Patra or Alu Vadi (Stuffed Taro Leaves)

Patra or Alu Vadi is a snack made of taro/colocasia (Arbi/Chembu) leaves. These leaves are available only for a certain part of the year – around the winter in India. The leaves smeared with a chickpea flour and spice batter; then steamed and fried/roasted crisp are a delectable evening snack, especially with tea/coffee. I roasted these with a few drops of oil on a tava to make it a healthy snack 🙂





Taro/Colocasia (Arbi/Chembu) leaves: 6

Chickpea flour (besan): 1 cup

Green Chillies: 5

Ginger: 1 inch piece

Red chilly powder: 1 teaspoon

Turmeric: ¼ teaspoon

Jaggery/Brown sugar: 1 teaspoon

Tamarind paste: ½ teaspoon

Sesame seeds: 2 teaspoons

Asafoetida (hing) powder: a pinch

Salt to taste

Oil to roast the vadis: 1 tablespoon

For tempering:

Oil: 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon

Sesame seeds: 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida (hing) powder: 2 pinches


Coriander leaves: a handful – cleaned and finely chopped



  1. Wash and clean the taro leaves. Cut the thick stem and central vein.
  2. Place the leaves backside facing upwards. With a rolling pin, press the veins of the leaves so that the leaves are more flexible.
  3. For the batter, crush the ginger and green chillies in a bowl.
  4. Add the chickpea flour, spices, jaggery, and salt to taste. Slowly add in water and make a thick batter – similar to the one for bhajiyas/fritters (thick like honey).
  5. Place the largest leaf as the base. Smear the paste by taking teaspoons-ful and applying a thin layer all over.
  6. Now, a smaller leaf can be placed over it. Smear this leaf too with batter.
  7. Repeat the procedure with more leaves. You can use anywhere between 3-6 leaves for one roll. The topmost leaf should again be smeared with batter.
  8. Next, fold the two sides of the set of leaves. Smear with the batter again.
  9. Also, fold the upper and lower edges so the batter doesn’t spill out of the leaves. These too are now smeared with the batter.
  10. Roll the set of leaves in a spiral. Repeat if leaves and batter remain.
  11. Steam this roll of leaves like idlis (without pressure/whistle) in a vessel within a pressure cooker or steamer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Check if there is sufficient water about every 15-20 minutes, so the cooker doesn’t dry out.
  12. Turn off the heat after about 45 minutes – 1 hour and open the cooker immediately (carefully too). Insert a fork or toothpick to check if the leaves and batter are well cooked – the leaves and batter should be soft and easily pierced. The fork or toothpick should come out clean; with no batter sticking to it. If the roll is not fully cooked, cover the pressure cooker and cook again for about 15 minutes or so till fully cooked.
  13. Remove the vessel with the roll outside and set to cook completely.
  14. When cooled, remove the roll and place on a cutting board. Cut the roll across into ½ inch thick slices.

  15. Next, heat a tawa (griddle/skillet). When well heated, reduce heat level to low. Place about 5-6 sliced patra at a times to roast on the tawa and drizzle a few drops of oil around the base of the patra slices.
  16. When roasted brown on one side (after about 2-3 minutes), flip and roast the other side of the slices.
  17. Once browned on both sides, remove the slices in a bowl. Repeat this for all the patra slices.
  18. After all slices are roasted and taken off the tawa into the bowl, we will make the tempering (tadka). Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan for tempering. Add the mustard seeds and fry till they pop. Turn off the heat; then add the asafoetida powder and sesame seeds. Rest for a few seconds and add over the roasted patra slices. Also, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  19. Serve and enjoy this snack with any sauce of your choice. We had it with spicy tomato sauce.

5 Responses to “Patra or Alu Vadi (Stuffed Taro Leaves)”

  1. I just saw this yesterday in a cooking show were they were saying it is famous in gujurat and here i see them today.
    Never had them would love to try them.

    From skribles: Thanks Happy Cook

  2. yumm..janaki…..u reminded me of taste of aluwadis my mom used to make……keep it up…

    From skribles: Thanks Nishi … nice to have u visit my blog 🙂

  3. Wow these look perfect and so very tempting 🙂

    From skribles: Thanks Usha

  4. very good recipe

  5. i will try this at home

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