I cant tell you how totally proud I am of myself !! This is one dish I never saw myself making - not that it is complicated, but it is a longish process and i always had someone make it for me back in bangalore, so never felt the need to make it myself.
Pathrode (in Konkani) or Patra (in Gujarati) is made from the same leaf in pretty much the same way and when I saw those leaves here, I was quite tempted to try making it myself. This is not the authentic Konkani way of making it, its a combination of the Konkani and Gujarati style.
The biggest factor that has stopped me from trying this has been that these leaves can sometimes be itchy - after all the effort, you could have a itchy throat if you picked the wrong leaf and for me, strangely, just knowing that something can itch is enough for me to feel all itchy.
Yam was another vegetable i was terrified of cooking, because that too can give you a bad itch or even a rash if its the wrong one you picked up.
Over the years, I managed to get over the yam-itch-phobia, and now after making this, I think I am over this itch-phobia too !!
See that you get leaves where the stem is dark in colour. the ones with lighter coloured stems are more likely to itch.
What you need -
6 leaves of patra / pathrode
3 cups besan
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
handful of tamarind
2 tbsp grated jaggery
salt to taste
For the ghasshi -
1 cup grated coconut
4 red chillies
small all of tamarind
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
What you do with it -
Cut the stems below the leaf and flatten the stem in the centre of the leaf
Wash the leaves and wipe them dry
Soak tamarind in warm water for about 20 mins and squeeze out the tamarind
Dissolve the jaggery in the pulp
Mix together besan, rice flour, red chilli powder and asafoetida and add to the tamarind pulp to make a thick paste
Place the biggest leaf with the dark green side facing downwards
Apply the besan paste all over it, except towards the ends of the leaf
Place the next leaf over it and apply the masala again
Do this for one more leaf
Repeat the steps above for the next three leaves
Fold in the edges of the leaf so that the masala doesn't spill out and roll inwards
Do this till it looks like a little bundle
Cut in half and place in a steamer / cooker and steam cook for 15-20 mins
Once its done, let it cool for a while and then cut into half inch slices
In a kadai, prepare a seasoning of mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves
Shallow fry the pathrode pieces till they turn a golden brown
For the ghasshi, grind all the ingredients with a little water till it turns smooth
Season the ghashi with mustard seeds and curry leaves
Dip the pathrode pieces in the ghasshi and enjoy !