Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Fried Pathrode in Jaggery Syrup

This is a Mangalorean Bunt Jain delicacy that I relished during my younger days. Our neighbours were Jains in Ballalbagh where we lived for 16 years from 1958 to 1974 in Veera Bhavan compound as tenants of Dharmasthala Heggades. Till the late Sixties, Late D Puttaswamy was in the main house with his wife Late D Kusumavathiamma and their two sons. Kusumamma she was fondly known as, was from the Yermal Royal Family, and she was a great cook. I must confess, that I learned neatness in preparing/serving/presenting food to a great extent, watching her work in the kitchen! Every item from sweets, savoury items, curries, pickles and custard puddings she made were delicacies with a touch of perfection.

They later moved to another house in the same locality but I was like her own son and every time I visited them, she would offer some or the other sweet and snack with strong hot coffee. Fried Pathrode in Jaggery Syrup was one of the delicacies she made often. When I was working in Mysore district and Bangalore, every visit to their home during my holidays used to be a delight, for she always made my favourite sweet and savoury fried pathrode in jaggery syrup! 

Jains deep fry slices of pathrode roll and make this but I have my own innovation. They make this by soaking rice, grinding it with tamarind, chillies, turmeric, coriander seeds, fenugreek(methi) seeds and asafotoeda to a paste, apply that paste over the pathrode(Colocasia)leaves, make rolls, tie plantain thread at equal distance on the rolls, slice them and then deep fry till crisp. These fritters go into thin hot jaggery syrup and get soaked for a while before consuming. These may look somewhat like Gulab Jamuns but the savoury fritters in sweet jaggery syrup taste just out of this world. As you bite into the succulent juicy chewy pathrode, you can feel a vivid array of flavours that get released on your taste buds, making you bask in a feeling of ecstasy!

I tried this with Maraalva Paan or Tree Taro Leaves. I had the paste made for Maraalva Phodi to which I added coriander powder, fenugreek powder and turmeric powder, applied that paste over the maraalva leaves and made a roll. This roll was frozen and then cut into 10mm thick slices and deep fried in hot coconut oil. Then I made a thin jaggery syrup and dropped these fritters in that to make fantastic Fried Pathrode in Jaggery Syrup! Enjoy the traditional Jain treat which your kids may also love to eat.

I for one become a kid myself when I relish this, reminiscing over the fantastic preparations by Kusumamma. This dish is dedicated to her, whom I deem as my second mother. Incidentally, it is the Second Anniversary of Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa Blogspot today, and my birthday as well!

Ingredients for Pathrode:
Tree Taro leaves(Maraalva Paan) - 10-12
Hoorna(Roasted Black Gram powder) - 1/2 cup
Coriander Powder - 2 Tsp
Fenugreek(methi) Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Rice flour - 1 cup
Red chilli powder - 4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Asafotoeda - a pinch
Tamarind - Cherry size ball
Salt - Q.S.
Water - Q.S.
Coconut Oil or Refined vegetable oil - For deep frying

Make a thick solution of hing in water.
Extract tamarind in 30ml water.
Mix all the powders and salt to taste to make a thick gummy paste, adding the asafotoeda solution and tamarind extract, adding water as required.
Check for salt.
Wash and wipe the tree taro leaves dry.
Remove stem and ribs if any, with a sharp knife.
Spread one big leaf shining side down.
Anoint the masala paste evenly in a thin layer.
Place a smaller leaf over its edge and again smear the masala paste.
Go on arranging layers to make sufficiently thick and tight roll, tucking the ends inside like a 'Patrvadi Roll'.
Keep the roll in the freezer for 6-8 hours till it hardens.
Remove from the freezer and transfer to the cutting board.
Using a very sharp slicing knife, make 1/2 inch thick slices of the roll.
You can arrange these slices in a fridge container, keep them for later use and they remain good for 2-3 days.
Heat oil in a thick kadai.
As soon as the oil starts fuming, reduce the heat to less than medium.
Roll each slice in rice four and deep fry 6-8 slices at a time in hot oil on controlled heat till crisp, puffy and brown.
Remove any dropping in the oil each time as you finish frying them phodis.
Drain the phodis on the perforated ladle and then transfer over to absorbent paper.

Ingredients for Jaggery Syrup:
Jaggery - 1 cup of broken small pieces.
Water - 3 cups

In a saucepan, heat water and add jaggery.
Bring to a boil and remove any impurities.
Keep boiling for about 10-15 mins or till the syrup formed is reduced to little less than half and resembles honey.
Switch off the flame and keep covered.

To serve:

Add the fried phodis into the hot jaggery syrup, soak for 10-15 mins and serve hot in a dessert bowl with a fork.

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