Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Alu Vadi - Colocasia leaf rolls

This is the season of Alu vadis. Shravan, Ganesh Chaturthi and alu vadis are almost synonymous for me. Speaking of Ganesh Chaturthi, I am excited as usual, but in a fix as to what should  the decoration be for my favorite God's arrival?

Please guys, if you have any ideas do let me know!

Here you go.

  • 3 colocasia leaves (alu) in varying sizes from large, medium and small
  • 4 cups gram flour
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp roasted fennel (saunf) powder
  • 3 tbsp coriander powder
  • 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4th tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp thick tamarind paste
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying
Wash the colocasia leaves and remove the thick veins with the help of a thin sharp knife. Dry them and keep them aside.

Mix all the other ingredients except oil for the batter with little water. The batter should be like a thick paste (about the consistency of toothpaste).

Place the largest leave vein side up (light green color on top). Spread the batter thickly and evenly onto the leaf.

Place the medium sized leaf on top of the first leave in an upside down manner. The vein-side should be facing you. But the pointed end of the second leaf should rest between the fork of the first leaf. Spread the batter thickly and evenly onto the second leaf.

Now place the smallest leaf on top of the second leaf, vein-side up. The pointed end of the third leaf should rest between the fork of the second leaf. Spread the batter thickly on to the third leaf.

Fold the right side of the leaves so that the outermost edge meets the centre of the leaves. Fold the left edge inwards in the same manner. Spread batter thickly on top of the folds.

Now fold the top part of the leaves and bring them to the center. Fold the lower edge of the leaves to  meet in the center as well. Spread batter thickly onto these new folds.

Now roll up the folded leaves like a dinner roll. (Or like a swiss roll).

Wrap it up tightly in cling film. I know that most people will not be comfortable with the idea of steaming alu vadi while it is wrapped in cling film. Trust me, the cling film does not melt or stick to the leaves. It does not impart any odor or taste to the roll. Just holds it together.

Steam the wrapped roll in a steamer for 35 to 45 minutes. Once they are steamed, remove the cling film and cut the roll into individual slices (much like the swiss roll).

Some like to eat these vadis just like that... steamed. Others like to deep fry it till they are crispy and crunchy. You can choose whichever way is more comfortable. Either way, they are extremely tasty.

Serve hot.

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