How to keep it light during the festivities
Can't keep a check on the festive binging? Home chef Soumitra Velkar shares his go-to Pathare Prabhu snack for weight-watchers
The festive season is infamous for weight gain, thanks to our gluttonous binging on sugar-laden desserts and deep-fried snacks. But, home chef Soumitra Velkar has a dish that could help you keep your festive snacking light and healthy. The patvad, he says, is a staple at his Pathare Prabhu household. "In Maharashtra, it is commonly known by the name alu vadi and variants are found all over India. While the patvad, which is made during Ganesh Chaturthi is vegetarian, the traditional Pathare Prabhu patvad includes dried prawns," says Velkar.
To make this savoury snack, you need colocasia leaves, soaked chana dal, coriander and cumin powder, ginger, a tablespoon of oil and salt to taste. To enhance the flavours, you can add red chilli powder and turmeric. Velkar suggests using the Pathare Prabhu sambhar masala, but if you can't find it, you can also use any standard garam masala powder. You can also add some finely chopped coriander leaves to the mix, he says.
You begin with trimming the colocasia leaves, discarding the stem and flattening out the thicker veins on the leaf with the back of your knife. Blend together the rest of the ingredients into a coarse paste. "If needed, add a little water, but ensure the paste isn't runny," Velkar says. Take a set of three leaves and lay out the largest leaf — the veiny side facing up — and apply a layer of tamarind pulp. "This is the important part of the recipe, as the acids from the tamarind pulp neutralises the oxalates, which can trigger allergic reactions (if any) from the leaves," he adds.
Next, spread out the chana dal paste over one of the biggest leaves with tamarind. Be generous with the paste and ensure that the entire leaf is covered properly. This should be followed by inverting the second leaf with the tapering end over the stem part of the first leaf. Once again, apply tamarind pulp followed by the chana dal paste. Repeat the same for the last leaf. After you have layered the three leaves, gently tuck in the sides and make a tight roll with the three leaves. Alternating the leaves will make the layers even from the ends too.
Make a couple of more rolls and put them in a steamer. Allow them to cook over steam for up to 15 minutes. You can tell that it is perfectly cooked if a toothpick runs out clean, when pierced into the centre of the roll.
"Once the rolls are ready, allow them to cool down. Preferably, leave them overnight in a refrigerator, so that the roll is set. Cutting while hot can cause it to break," Velkar warns. "After you've cut them into thin discs, brush it with oil, and pan fry in a non-stick pan or air fryer and serve with green coconut chutney and nimbu."
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