Maddhu or aati payasam is made from the leaves of maddhu soppu or Justicia wynaadensis leaves, a medicinal plant, endemic to the Western Ghats. This plant grows in the shades of the Kodagu belt and has many medicinal properties. Traditionally, it is believed that this plant, if cooked on the 18th day after the onset of Aati thinga, has 18 types of medicines. It can be cooked any other time though. Let’s get on to the recipe, shall we?
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. This miracle vegetable is a zero-waste, edible from head to toe prodigy. It has various delicacies revolving around it by utilizing its leaves, stems, roots, and also its tuber. It is of many types, black colocasia ( black stem elephant ears), pathrode leaves, white colocasia ( Taro ) etc,.
This recipe specifically calls for the black colocasia. This is a purple stemmed Colocasia found near marshy areas and is a perennial plant. As a cuisine, the young leaves and the stems of this taro is used. The vegetable alone can be very itchy during preparation. If the itchiness is intolerable, some tamarind juice or black vinegar ( something mildly acidic) can be applied. It’s an excellent source of fibre and has many health benefits. Let’s get onto the recipe, shall we?
The cuisine and diet of the people in Kodagu revolve cleverly around the season and the location. Amidst June, with its bone-chilling rains, it’s the time for delicacies that keep the body warm. These include mushrooms, bamboo shoots, colocasia, jackfruit, etc., which on consumption leads to ushna , which trust me, is a blessing during …