4 April 2006

Spinning the wheel

Colocassia pinwheels / Aloo wadi

This is a traditional Maharashtrian recipe considered to be quite a time consuming one.

Sometimes, things that seem very difficult to do aren't so and vice versa. Fortunately, making wheels out of colocasia leaves turned out to be the former.

Last Saturday, as I was doing my weekly vegetable shopping in the market, I spotted the Colocasia leaves. Aloo wadi is probably Colocassia's only claim to fame. Since I had never tried to make it before, I tried to give it a shot. Google was the best bet. Several recipes came up, after going through most of them, I decided to go ahead and do it my way!

It's the technique that matters here more than the ingredients- and hence the pictorial depiction.

These are beautiful, large green leaves with pinkish thick stems. Take about 8 leaves, wash them thoroughly.
Cut off the stems and slice off some of the central thick veins.
Flatten the leaves with rolling pin and keep them upside down.
The paste- Mix in a bowl one cup of gram flour ( besan ), 1/2 cup of rice / wheat flour, 1 tbsp tamarind paste, 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 2 tbsp grated jaggery, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder / garam masala / 5 spice powder, salt to taste
Add few tspns of water to make a thick paste with the above ingredients.

Coat the back of each leaf with this paste, and place one leaf over the other. Make two stacks of 4 leaves each.

Fold up the bases and tightly roll the stacks from the base towards tip. You may secure the rolls with some twine.

These rolls need to be steamed for about 30-40 minutes until a toothpicked poked in the roll comes out clean.
If your cooker / steamer is not big enough to carry the whole roll, you may cut them in half and then place it a vessel, the way I did. Keep the vessel in the cooker with water, such that there is no water in the vessel. Remove the whistle from the cooker lid and let it steam

Once cooled, cut the roll into 1/2 inch slices. Garnish with a tempering of mustard seeds, sesame seeds. You may also add finely chopped coriander, and grated coconut to the garnishing.
Serve hot with a slice of lime.
Saffron Trail Tip
This is an extremely healthy snack, rich in iron and protein, and can be made with just one tsp of oil that is required for the garnish !! Took me all of an hour from start to finish including the 35 min of steaming time.


Anthony said...

I have seen this in shops.. didn't knw it could actually be prepared at home..lol Thnks for the amazing recipe

Lakshmi said...

hi Nandita, these i have tried from the indian stores, usually i get from the frozen section.
Now, I'll try to prepare one day.

Priya said...

i love these, but we dont get those leaves here unless u have a backyard and grow vegetables :( my mom makes it quite often , we call it pan vadi. But instead of using besan we use bengal gram( soaked in water and ground to a coarse paste ) iam going to try ur surprise patties( nice name LOL ) love ur blog ...

s said...

Looks good Nandita. I think we used to buy it in cans now i am sure to try it. lovely recipe ...

Nandita said...

Hi all you dear friends- I have been a jerk all this while, not knowing that I'm supposed to go into the comments section and publish them
When my friends kept asking me why I haven't checked out their comments, i realised something was wrong somewhere..and sure I was!

Anthony-You see it in all the farsan shops next to dhoklas etc-but its so much healthier sans all the oil and sugar , when made at home

Lakshmi- Hi! When we were in Upstate NY, we would buy these frozen packs from India stores, it was a yummy treat to heat and eat..

Hey Priya..thanks for your appreciation- its very encouraging indeed. I know I havent seen it in India stores in US either- but now that Im back in Bombay, gotta make the most of it! Bengal gram ground would taste better, but using besan is faster.

Thanks S

Vineela said...

Hi SaffronTrail,
This is new recipe to me.Nice presentation.
I dont know whether i will get these leaves r not?let me try.
Thank u

Gini said...

Seriously? You can eat colocassia leaves? I had no idea! In kerala we grow these a lot but never made anything with leaves although we use the stalks.

Nandita said...

Hey Vineela, Thanks

Gini-thats the fun about sharing- i just dumped the stems-why i just asked the veggie vendor to shop them off and just give me leaves. Wat can I do with the stems//??

Kitchenmate said...

Nandita: Great recipe, but looks very long process:)
You have got an cool blog going here. My came through Tony's. Will be visiting you quite often(once a day atelast) :)

Nupur said...

Looks delicious ....but i was under the impression that it is a gujarati delicasy and not a maharastrian one or maybe it is something that is made in both the states.

Nandita said...

Karthi- process LOOKS long, but isn't really that bad ! Even i refrained from making it as i was under the same impression-but it was worth while!

Nupur, i guess its made in both states, after all they are neighbouring states- so some recipes just cross borders...

cdat said...

am reading your recipes now and then.
makes interesting read, but cant make them.
hope to taste them sometime.

Inji Pennu said...

Oh my! that looks really interesting. I can make different pastes I guess. Never knew you could use the leaves, though I knew you could cook with the stems.

These are leaves of Suran or Elephant yam,right? Just making sure.

Nandita said...

Thanks Appa!

LG- These are leaves of ARBI or Colocassia (in tamil we call it cheppankizhangu)

Sunshinemom said...

I too thought this is difficult and never really got down t making it! You make it sound so easy! and yummy too:)

Alex said...

Is it one tsp of each of these: 1 tsp of coriander powder / garam masala / 5 spice powder. Or one teaspoon of any one of those?

Not sure if they all go in the recipe, or if it's just a choice of one of them.

Looks great! I can't get that leaf here, so I thought I'd try it with kale.

Nandita said...

Alex - it is either one of them - coriander powder would be easily available or else just run some dry toasted coriander seeds in the coffee grinder...kale should be a good substitute, anything tough enough to hold up the batter and steaming process

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