Patra is a popular Gujarati dish made with colocasia leaves and a variety of spices.
It is typically served with rice or roti.
What Are The Ingredients In A Patra Recipe?
The main ingredient used in making this curry is the green vegetable, known as Patra (Colocasia).
This is also called taro leaf in some regions, but it’s not related to true taro at all.
The plant has an edible tuber that can grow up to two feet long and look like a large ear of corn.
When cooked, its starchy root becomes soft and tender, similar to potatoes.
Patras are commonly found growing wild in India and Southeast Asia, though they can now be grown successfully indoors.
Other than the Patra, there are many other ingredients that go into making the patra curry.
These include onions, ginger, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chili peppers, fenugreek seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaves, black pepper, and salt.
Some recipes may add tomatoes to the mix too!
Some people use ground almonds instead of cashews for added protein and fat content.
You can even find recipes where peanuts are substituted for the nuts if desired.
How Do You Make A Patra Recipe?
The traditional way to prepare this vegetable side dish involves steaming the leaves, then frying them in oil.
You can also bake them instead, but they tend to get mushy.
Here’s how it works:
- Wash your colocasia well and chop off the bottom part (the stalk). Then cut into small pieces.
- Put all the chopped colocasia leaves into a pot with 1/4 cup water for about 5 minutes.
- After that time has passed, drain out the excess water from the pot.
- Heat up some oil on medium heat until hot enough so when you drop a little bit of the leaf mixture, it sizzles immediately. This will take about 10-15 seconds. The point here is not to cook the mix completely, just to warm it slightly.
- Now add one teaspoon mustard seeds and let them pop. Add 2 teaspoons turmeric powder, followed by 3 cloves garlic, half an inch ginger, and salt. Saute these briefly before adding 4 tablespoons ghee. When the ghee starts bubbling, turn down the heat and allow the ghee to simmer along with the other spices. Once the ghee turns golden brown, remove it from the stove top and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of ghee, and once again sauté the remaining spices. Now add 2 cups of boiled basmati rice, stir everything around, and cover the pot for about five minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
- At this stage, you have two options: If you want to serve it as soon as possible, keep the pot covered and continue cooking the rice. However, if you would like to wait for the rice to cool down first, place the entire pan over low heat.
- When the rice has cooled off, sprinkle 1/4 cup of cilantro pesto sauce onto each bowl of rice. Top with fresh coriander sprigs, sliced onion, and green chili peppers. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing at the table.
Cilantro Pesto Sauce
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Pulse the cilantro leaves, garlic, and lime juice together in a food processor or blender until smooth. There should be no large chunks left. Transfer the paste back into its original container.
- Mix in the spices and salt.
What Is The History Of The Patra Recipe?
The word “patra” means leaf, so we can assume that this was originally a leafy vegetable like spinach or kale.
However, it has long since become more closely associated with colocasia leaves (also known as taro stems) which have been used for centuries in India for their nutritional value, especially in vegetarian dishes.
In some parts of Asia, such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, the plant is called kalo chakkara and is also known as ubi pata or “taro leaf.” In South America, the plant is known by its Spanish name, cebolla de la tierra, or earth onion.
The term colocasia comes from the Latin word cola, meaning “tail.” This refers to how the plant looks when cut into sections – it resembles a tail.
Traditional uses of patra
Colocasias were traditionally grown for their starch content, but they are now cultivated primarily because of their high vitamin A levels.
They contain beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and other diseases.
They are also rich sources of iron, calcium, potassium, vitamins C, B1, B6, E, and K, folic acid, protein, fiber, and essential minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, and iodine.
Colocasias are considered superfoods.
For thousands of years, people have eaten them fresh, cooked, or dried, but today most of us know about them through Indian cuisine and vegetarian recipes.
These days, colocasias are sold in supermarkets all over the world.
A traditional patra recipe
We first learned about patras at my mother’s house.
My mom is an amazing cook who loves making her own version of every recipe she finds online.
I love seeing what she does with these old family recipes, and I always ask if I can try one of them out myself.
After tasting many versions of patra recipes throughout my childhood, I came up with my own version.
This particular recipe is inspired by two things: our Gujarati heritage and a recent trip to New York City where I tried the vegan variation on the menu at Pangea Café.
Here’s what I recommend trying next time you want to try your hand at cooking a patra recipe.
How Did The Patra Recipe Come To Be?
The origin of this delicious dish can be traced back to ancient times, when it was known as “kadhi” (soup).
The word kadhi comes from Sanskrit and means “cooked food cooked by boiling water.” This simple dish originated during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization and is still enjoyed today in many parts of India.
After the discovery of oil lamps in the late 19th century, cooks started using oil instead of fire for cooking purposes.
As they continued to cook their dishes, they found that the aroma of these oils could not withstand the heat.
They decided to add more flavors to counteract the flavor lost during cooking and came up with a new technique called tempering.
In addition to adding extra flavors to the oil, they also added additional spices to balance out the taste of the oil after being heated.
This led to another innovation—the creation of a condiment consisting of a combination of both oil and spice.
Eventually, people began calling it “patra.” Patras were usually eaten on special occasions such as weddings and religious festivals.
Nowadays, however, it has become one of the most popular snacks among Indians all over the world.
What Are The Different Variations Of The Patra Recipe?
The patra recipe can vary depending on where it’s from, what region you live in, who your cook is, and how much time you want to spend cooking.
Some recipes only use a handful of ingredients while others include dozens.
This type of patra uses just one kind of leafy vegetable (colocasia) along with other spices like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, chilies, turmeric powder, and salt.
The most common variation includes just two types of spice — black salt and asafoetida.
These two things give this patra its distinctive flavor that makes it so delicious.
In addition to using just one type of leafy vegetable, this patra also requires whole chickpeas (chana).
This helps boost the protein content because these beans contain high amounts of dietary fiber, which is needed for proper digestion.
These patras usually feature potatoes instead of the usual colocasia leaves.
They may also include onions, carrots, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chillies, coriander, and mint.
All of these vegetables add color and help improve the taste of the patra.
Bajji refers to a mixture of lentils and peas.
In fact, bajjis are commonly used as an ingredient in many Indian dishes, including dal makhani and khichdi.
Bajji-based patras usually call for a combination of yellow split lentils and red kidney beans.
You could even try adding pomegranate seeds if you don’t mind extra work!
Dahi is yogurt, but not the sweetened stuff.
Instead, we’re talking about plain yogurt mixed together with lots of fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, and mint.
Dahi-based patras are often cooked into a curry, although they can also be eaten alone.
If you prefer something more vegetarian, there are plenty of options here too.
For example, patras based around cauliflower, eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, and cabbage are all possible.
Sweet potato-based patras
A lot of people think of patra as being a savory food, but sometimes they get adventurous and experiment by turning their attention towards sweet treats.
A few examples of sweet patras include pumpkin, carrot, apple, and mango.
What Are Some Of The Common Problems People Have When Making A Patra Recipe?
There are many different variants of patra recipes, so it can be difficult finding one that will work best for your family.
While there isn’t a universal patra formula, here are a few things to consider when making this traditional Indian food.
Cleaning the colocasia leaves
Colocasia leaves contain mucilage which makes them sticky, so they need to be cleaned before using them in a patra recipe.
You should rinse the leaves thoroughly under cold water until all of the dirt has been removed.
The easiest way to clean the leaves is by rinsing them in cool running water while holding onto the stem end of each leaf.
Make sure not to soak the leaves too long because they will get mushy if left in water for longer than 15 minutes.
Choosing the right cooking method
You can cook the colocasia leaves in two ways: steaming or boiling.
Steaming involves placing the leaves into a pot filled with enough water to cover the bottom of the pot about an inch above the level of the leaves.
Bring the temperature up to simmer and then turn down the heat to low.
Cover the pot and let the steam build up inside the pan.
Cook the leaves over medium-low heat for about 10 to 20 minutes.
After being cooked, you can either serve the leaves as is or add more spice to give the dish additional flavor.
Boiling also works well to prepare the leaves.
Add the leaves to a large bowl containing enough water to cover them completely.
Place the bowl on top of a stove burner set at high heat.
Allow the leaves to boil for 1 minute after the water starts to bubble.
Remove the leaves from the water and place them in another container to drain.
Once drained, you can use the leaves immediately or store them in airtight containers for later use.
Adding salt to the colocasia leaves
Salt is often used in patra recipes to bring out the natural sweetness found in the leaves.
If you plan on adding salt to the patra recipe, try to use sea salt instead of table salt.
This type of salt contains trace minerals that help boost the immune system and keep bones healthy.
Using fresh herbs and spices in a patra recipe
Fresh herbs and spices add incredible flavors to any meal, but they aren’t always easy to find in stores.
Thankfully, you can easily grow fresh herbs indoors and even purchase them online. Here are some great resources for growing herbs indoors:
1. Growing Herbs Indoors – A Beginner’s Guide
2. Urban Farmer – How To Grow Fresh Vegetables Indoor | From Seed (Video)
3. Herb Garden Planter Tool Kit & Starter Plants – An Easy Way To Start Your Own Herb Garden
4. Amazon – Best Selling Herb Gardens For Home Use
5. Gardening Tips – Learn About Plant Growth In Your House And Yard With These Simple Tricks
6. Lifehack – 6 Ways to Grow Food Indoors Without Seeds
Spices like turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, red chili powder, bay leave, green chilies, garlic, paprika, saffron, nutmeg, mace, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, caraway seeds, curry leaves, etc., can also be purchased at most grocery stores these days.
Try looking around the produce section for fresh spices, especially those listed above, to save money.
What Are Some Tips For Making A Perfect Patra Recipe?
There’s no wrong way to make a patra, but it can be challenging if you don’t follow the right steps.
The following are some guidelines that can help you get started on your journey towards creating the best patra recipe possible.
Choose high-quality herbs
When you buy fresh vegetables, always look at their quality before purchasing them.
If they seem too soft, leave them out as soon as possible.
You want your patra to stay firm so that it doesn’t break apart while cooking.
This means that you need to cook the patra immediately after you prepare it.
Do not let it sit around for more than an hour, or else it will become mushy and lose its shape.
Selecting the right size leaf
A good patra recipe will require only one large head of cabbage per person depending on how many people you plan to feed.
However, there’s nothing preventing you from using two heads if you prefer.
In order to avoid wasting leftover leaves, cut off any excess stems beforehand.
Sautéing the whole vegetable first
Before chopping up the rest of the vegetables required for your recipe, sauté the entire head of cabbage in oil over medium heat until it turns bright green.
This helps to bring out all of the flavor inside the vegetable.
Chopping everything together afterwards
After finishing the sauté process, add the remaining vegetables into the pot.
When everything has been mixed, chop everything up by hand to ensure that each piece gets cooked evenly (you may also use a food processor).
Adding the seasoning
Once chopped, mix in the salt, sugar, turmeric powder, red chili powder, ginger paste, cumin seeds, coriander seed, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, dried mangoes, garlic cloves, onion pieces, curry leaves, and pepper powder.
Mix well to incorporate all of these ingredients into the mixture.
Stir constantly throughout the mixing process.
After adding all of the seasoning, cover the pot and allow it to simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
Cooking the colocasia leaves
While the mixture simmers, take care of the last step of preparing the colocasia leaves.
If you already bought the colocasia leaves from a grocery store, then wash and dry them thoroughly.
Otherwise, just run a knife through the leaves to remove any dirt that might be stuck between the layers.
Next, place the colocasias in a bowl filled with cold water and gently squeeze them to separate the individual leaves.
Once separated, drain them and set aside.
For this part of the preparation, you will need about 2 cups of colocasia leaves.
Add them to the pot along with enough water to completely submerge the leaves.
Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low.
Allow the leaves to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
Making sure the colocasia leaves aren’t overcooked
The key here is to keep an eye on the amount of liquid in the pot.
If the leaves start to turn brown, which indicates that they are getting too hot, then pour in additional water.
Stir constantly during this process, ensuring that the leaves remain submerged under water.
If at any point the leaves start to stick together, then stir vigorously to prevent clumping.
As long as the leaves still taste fresh and retain their original color, then they are likely ready to eat.
How Should You Serve A Patra Recipe?
Patras have the tendency to get soggy if not eaten immediately after cooking, so it’s best to eat them on the same day that they’re prepared.
If you want to save time, you can cook your patras ahead of time and store them in an airtight container until needed.
These will keep well up to 1 month in the fridge.
For each serving, add about 2 tablespoons of sauce to the cooked patras, mix together, then top off with a little more sauce.
For those who like their food spicy, feel free to increase the amount of chiles used when preparing this recipe.
You can use either plain yogurt or buttermilk as a topping instead of the sauce.
You may also garnish with chopped onion, fresh cilantro, or green coriander (also called dhania).
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making A Patra Recipe?
People often get confused about how to prepare a patra recipe.
Here’s what not to do when preparing it.
Not using enough water
A good patra recipe needs at least 2 cups of water to cook properly.
You don’t want your patra to dry out because then all that work will have been for nothing!
Using too much oil
If you use more than 1 tablespoon of oil, your patra may end up tasting bland.
If you only need to add a little bit of oil to your pan, go ahead and use it but make sure that the amount doesn’t exceed 1 teaspoon per cup of water (or even less if possible).
Adding too many vegetables
You shouldn’t overdo it on adding veggies to the pot.
Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn while cooking.
The key here is to reduce their overall volume by half before adding it into the mix.
Don’t forget to watch the patra as it cooks.
Once it starts turning brown, remove the lid immediately so it gets cooked faster.
If you wait until it turns black, you might risk burning it.
Making the spice mixture too wet
The best way to make a spice mixture is to combine all the ingredients together and let sit overnight.
Then transfer everything into a bowl and set aside.
Make sure you use this method whenever you make a patra recipe.
This will help ensure that there aren’t any clumps of masalas left behind once you start mixing them.
What Are Some Things You Can Do With Leftover
The best way to use up leftovers is by turning them into an easy, tasty and healthy breakfast.
Here are several ideas that will help you get started on your patra-making journey:
1. Patra pancakes
A delicious patra pancake is a great choice for breakfast.
This simple meal can also serve as lunch or dinner if you need to save time during busy days.
Just mix together the following ingredients: 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, 2 eggs (lightly beaten), 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1/8 cup milk, chopped onion, pepper flakes, grated ginger, and shredded carrots.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat.
When hot, pour about 3 tablespoons batter per pancake onto the pan.
Cook until bubbles form around edges, then flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
Repeat this process until all the batter has been used.
2. Patara bhat
This traditional Punjabi dish is one of our favorite Indian recipes.
If you don’t have any leftover vegetables, try using cauliflower instead – it works wonderfully! You can also add in some chickpeas if you want a protein boost.
Serve these hearty bites with basmati rice or naan bread.
3. Vegetable kofta
Kofta is another traditional Indian food that uses ground meat and veggies.
The veggies in the patra recipe can go well with the meat, but there are so many options! Try adding peas, spinach, mushrooms, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, cabbage, squash, celery, bell peppers, onions, kale, tomatoes, turnips, parsnip, or even broccoli raab.
Once you decide what kind of veggies you want to use, simply combine them with the ground meat and seasonings before forming small balls out of the mixture.
Deep-fry those meatballs until crispy and enjoy!
4. Veggie sandwich
You can easily spice up a veggie sandwich with patra and serve it as a quick snack at work or school.
Simply place sliced cucumber, tomato slices, red onion rings, and lettuce on a piece of whole wheat bread.
Top with cooked patra pieces, yogurt sauce, and fresh cilantro.
- 27 gramas Tamrind
- 100 grams Jaggery
- 300 grams Gram flour
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- ½ teaspoon hing
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
- ½ tablespoon mustard seeds
- ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon hing
- 3 dried red chilies
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoon dried shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Step – 1 Prepare sweet chutney for the besan paste
- Add 1/4 cup of water to the tamarind and jaggery in the pan.
- Put this pan over medium heat and let it to come to a boil. sometimes stir.
- Turn off the flame and let it to cool.
Step – 2 Meanwhile, let’s prepare the Colocasia leaves
- The leaves should be washed and dried.
- Place each leaf upside down as you work, then use a knife to cut away the thick stem and veins without damaging the leaf. To remove the vein, slice the thick stem with a gentle motion. You can repeat this process several times until the vein is nearly flat like the leaf. (Watch the video below for a better explanation.)
- With the additional leaves, repeat the process and set them aside. Maintain this state for all the leaves.
Step – 3 Preparing the besan paste
- With your hands, squeeze the tamarind and jaggery pulp into the same basin or pan when the tamarind and jaggery chutney has cooled.
- The pulp should be strained and set aside. I obtained a total of 12 cup Plus 2 tablespoons of pulp. Set it apart.
- Use sweet chutney in its place if you want to skip this step.
- Put the besan in a sizable mixing basin after sieving it.
- Add salt, pepper, coriander-cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, ginger paste, hing, oil, and tamarind pulp to the dish at this point. Mix everything thoroughly.
- Now, gradually add 12 cup of water to create a thick, lump-free mixture. The paste must be spreadable and neither too thin nor too runny.
- Add lemon juice and baking soda to the baking soda now. Give the paste a thorough stirring.
- This batter made from chickpea flour ought to taste sour, acidic, and sweet. So give it a taste and modify the jaggery, tamarind, and red chili powder amounts to suit your preferences.
Step -4 Making patra
- To produce three rolls, divide the leaves into three groups of six each.
- Take the largest patra leaf and place it on a work area with the vein sides facing you.
- Spread a thin layer of the batter over the leaf using your hands (preferred).
- Place a second leaf upside down, this time in a different position than the first.
- On top of the second leaf, spread the batter thinly and evenly.
- In the same manner as the first leaf, place the third leaf upside down.
- For all 6 leaves, repeat these procedures.
- Apply some batter, bring the left side to touch the middle line, fold the right side to touch the middle line, and make a tight roll.
- From bottom to top, start rolling the leaves tightly. With each fold on the top, continue to add a thin layer of besan paste. Set aside the roll.
- Make the rolls once again using a fresh batch of 6 leaves. The largest leaf should be taken first, followed by the remaining leaves, in descending order. From three batches of 18 leaves, I made three rolls. Six leaves were on each roll.
Step – 5 Steaming Alu Wadi
- Fill a steamer with 5 to 6 cups of water. When the water is about to boil, cover the steamer.
- Place the three rolls that have been prepared seam side down on a steamer plate that has been greased with oil.
- Place the steamer plate into the steamer with the rolls on it, then secure the cover. When a toothpick is inserted, it should come out clean after 25 to 30 minutes of steaming.
- Turn off the flame, remove the patra rolls, and let them out to cool for about 15 minutes.
Step – 6 Tempering the Patra
- Oil is added to a skillet that is already heated to medium-high heat. Use a broad pan to let the patra cook more uniformly.
- When the oil is hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds, and wait until they begin to sputter.
- Sesame seeds, red dried chiles, curry leaves, and asafetida can now be added. Stir it just a little bit.
- Include the Alu Wadis (Patra).
- Cook the wadis on each sides for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are gently crispy and golden brown.
- Add some cilantro and coconut flakes as a garnish. Serve them warm with cilantro and sweet chutney.