Pathrode is a unique coastal dish with its name and style differing from region to region. Belonging originally to the Konkani household, it is a dish that is seen on an everyday basis. But in Kodagu, this dish is limited to the cold downpours and like any other Coorg cuisine has its own unique way of preparation, which differs from the original recipe. Pathrode or Pathra vada is a dish made from Arbi pathha or mara kesu ( Remusatia vivipara ) and rice. I’d admit that it is a complex recipe with a unique flavor profile but is a traditional recipe that the moms take pride in preparing, not to forget the hard work in doing the same.
The key feature is to select the Pathrode leaves. The Pathrode leaf or Remusatia vivipara is an epiphyte and in the wild, you’ll find it dangling from a tree. It looks similar to a Colocasia leaf. Too old leaves can cause itchiness to the throat. Look for mature leaves with vibrant green color. If you are rolling the leaves like in the traditional recipe, make sure that the leaves aren’t torn at the corners. But this is not necessary for this recipe. Let’s get on to the recipe, shall we?
- Colocasia leaves – 8-10 leaves
- Rice- 2 cups
- Banana leaves – 10-12
- Coconut – Half a coconut grated
- Dried red chillies- 4-5
- Cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon
- Toasted coriander seed powder- 2 tablespoons.
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
- Chilli powder- 2 tablespoon
- Green chilli- 4
- Ginger- a small piece
- Cloves – 4-5
- Cinnamon sticks- 2
- Tamarind – 1 and a half tablespoon.
- Garlic- 5-6
- Corainader leaves
- Chicken masala – 1 tablespoon. ( Optional )
- Coorg dark vinegar / Huli niru or lemon juice – 1 tablespoon.
- Jaggery- 1 tablespoon.
- Onion- 1
For the tadka / ograne
- Vegetable oil- 4 tablespoon
- Mustard seeds
- Garlic cloves ( Crushes) _ 6-8
- Chana dal- 2 tablespoon
- Urad dal – 1 tablespoon
- Curry leaves- 7-8
- Dried red chillies- 5-6
- Onion diced
- Jaggery- 1 teablespoon
- Coconut shreds- quarter a coconut.
- Soak 2 cups of rice in water for 4 hours.
- Shred the colocasia leaves by folding them together and chopping them. Wash it and drain it.
- Collect the banana leaves and cut them into plate sizes.
For the Pathrode:
- Prepare the masala by grinding the coconut shreds, green chillies, red dried chillies, cumin seeds, garlic, tamarind, toasted coriander seed powder, onion and ginger.
- Had a splash of water and grind it into a thick course paste.
- Add in red chilli podwer, a pinch of turmeric, cloves, cinnamon sticks and the coriander leaves. Blend it again.
- Pour the thick course masala out.
- Now grind the pre soaked rice ( 4 hours) and colocasia leaf shreds with some salt.
- Make sure to grind it a little only to crush the rice. Over blending the leaves will lead to a slimy paste.
- If large chunks of the leaves or the rice remain, it’s no problem. They will eventually cook in the slow cooker.
- Pour the rice-leaf paste to the masala and mix it.
- Add some jaggery, a few drops of Coorg dark vinegar / lemon juice ( To reduce the itchiness) and mix it in.
- Add in some chicken masala and mix it. This is totally opional. You can skip it if you are a vegetarian.
- The mixture is ready to be cooked.
- The banana leaves that were brought in should be wilted on the direct flame for a few seconds to lightly soften the leaves. This avoids it from tearing while folding it.
- The leaves of preferably mysore banana is prefered, since it is softer and more pliable. The leaves of plantains cannot be used.
- Wipe the leaves for any debris and add the mixture at the centre and fold it as shown in the video.
- Place the folded banana leaves in the slow cooker ( water filled) fold side down.
- Let it steam and cook for 45 minutes. It will become firm like a rice cake.
- This pathrode can be eaten as such or can be incorporated with ograne or tadka. The later being tastier.
For the thadka / ograne:
- Cut the pathrode into smaller pieces or crumble it.
- Heat your kadai and pour in the vegetable oil to heat.
- As the oil heats up add in the crushed garlic with the peels.
- As the garlic browns add in the mustard seeds and let them pop.
- Add the chana dal and let it toast.
- Add the urad dal. Let is toast and then add in the dried red chillies followed by the curry leaves.
- Add the diced onions and a pinch of salt. Saute it unil its transparent.
- Now add the pathrode pieces and stir it in.
- Add some jaggery powder and let it melt.
- Finally add the remainder of the coconut shreds and stir it in.
- As the coconut toasts remove the Pathrode from the flame.
- Your tangy and savoury Pathrode is ready to serve.
Facts for you
- Pathrode, made with the leaf rolls has been chosen as one of the 26 dishes enlisted for health development in the ‘Traditional Food Recipe’ by the Ayush ministry for its medicinal values.
- Traditionally, it is believed that the consumption of Pathrode removes hairs, nails, rice husk and other toxins from the intestine. Accumulation of these toxins leads to appendix related problems.
- Rich in vit A and C. Conatins omega 3 fatty acids which are good to control the blood pressure.
- Boosts immunity in the body.
- Last but not the least, it is an epiphyte ( grows on trees). So by eating Pathrode you are also saving trees indirectly. Don’t you all agree?