Sunday, November 18, 2007

Alu chi Patal Bhaji

Alu in Marathi means colocasia or taro leaves. Aluchi Patalbhaji is very flavorful Maharashtrian curry. The combination of alu, peanuts, cashews and chana daal with right amount of spices, make this delicious curry a ubiquitous entry in most of the Maharashtrian weddings.

Here's how I make it.

Aluchi Patal Bhaji or Phatphatay(Serves 6)
अळू ची पातळ भाजी
Ingredients
2-3 bunches colocasia leaves, chopped (approx = 5 cups)
1/4 cup peanuts, soaked in warm water for 4 hours
1/4 cup chana daal, soaked in warm water for 4 hours
1/4 cup cahsewnuts, soaked in warm water for 4 hours

4 kokums
salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery

2 tbsp besan, mixed in 1/4 water (whisk so no lumps remain)

Tempering
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 green chilies, slit

Garnish
1/4 cup coconut, freshly grated (Optional)

Additional Garnish (Optional)
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Method
1. Chop colocasia leaves along with stems finely.
2. Combine colocasia leaves, peanuts, chana daal, cashews. Add 2 cups water and pressure cook till soft.
3. Heat a saucepan. Add oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
4. As the mustard seeds start spluttering, add green chilies.
5. Add cooked colocasia leaves mixture. Stir well. You can churn the mixture using wooden daal masher or ravi.
6. Add salt, jaggery and kokum.
7. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
8. Mix besan with 4 tbsp water to make a smooth paste.
9. Add this paste to the boiling curry. Stir for about 2 minutes.
10. Switch off the gas. Garnish with coconut, if using.
11. Serve with chapati or rice. Just before serving, make second tempering ready. As the curry is served in the individual bowls, 1/2 spoonful of second tempering can be drizzled over the curry. The secret is that this second tempering is fresh so as soon as it's drizzled over the individual curry, it should make the sizzling sound.

Note -
1. Besan paste acts as a binding agent in this curry.
2. Spinach can be substituted for colocasia leaves.

I am planning to send this post as my entry to the "grindless gravies" at When my soup came alive.

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