Apple Patholi / Apple Dumplings on Turmeric Leaves for today's Naivedyam ........
I like making some innovative changes in the original recipes to bring in a difference to the recipe. Also there is a heavy demand for it in my family, they like a change in everything. So I am always on my toes and always thinking and cracking my brains for new techniques and taste. Also the other main reason being, I feel even God want's a change in taste from the routine dishes. So here it is.
I have already posted the making of traditional Patholi a sweet dish prepared during festivals in GSB / Konkan Saraswat houses. I have just made some changes to try different forms of patholi. Here is the one with Apple touch to the same. The outer cover remains almost the same except for addition of sugar instead of jaggery, while the inner filling is changed with very minute changes.
Cut the edges of 6-8 turmeric leaves, wash and wipe them clean. Keep this ready. If the turmeric leaves are too big in length, you can cut them horizontally into two pieces. Now Peel off the outer skin of 2 apples and chop them to fine pieces.
For the outer cover : Wash and soak one cup of rice in water for an hour or so. Strain and then grind with 3-4 tblsp of sugar, 3-4 tblsp of coconut to a fine paste. This is one method. However, in Mumbai we get a very good Rice flour ie. used for preparing Modak which is very similar to our patholi mixture. So I just use that powder for the outer cover. The patholi not only comes out good, the texture and the aroma is also awesome. Just add 3-4 tblsp of sugar, 2-3 tblsp of coconut milk ( I use ready made coconut milk available in tetra packs in the market) and a pinch of salt to water and combine it with 1 cup of rice flour to a very smooth, fine thick paste. There should be no lumps in the batter. Prepare the batter and keep it aside ready.
For the filling : Heat a thick bottomed kadai with 1 tblsp of pure homemade ghee, when it melts add in ½ cup of grated jaggery. Keep the heat medium and melt it by spinkling a few drops of water on the jaggery. Do not allow the jaggery to get burnt. Keep the fire low if you find it getting burnt. Once it melts and comes to a boil, add in 1 cup of grated coconut and mix well. Fry for about 5-7 minutes till it get thicker. You can also use sugar for this recipe instead of jaggery.
Microwave the chopped apples for 2-3 minutes and mash them a bit. Add this to the Jaggery coconut mixture and mix well. If not microwaving, just cook them with a little bit of water on low flame for about 5 minutes till it get soft and just cooked. Let cool completely.
If you find there is still a little bit of excess moisture in the mixture or if you see jaggery water leaving on sides, add in 2-3 tblsp of layee pitto (puffed rice powder) and mix well till you get a mixture that does not have much of moisture.
This layee pitto is added to ensure that the mixture does not leave water as it soaks in the extra moisture. So just add how much is needed only, on your judgement. Leave out if not necessary.
Now keep the turmeric leaves in a row on a platform or table the darker inner side of the leaves should be facing on the top towards you. Take a large tablespoon of rice flour paste on your hand and apply it on the turmeric leaves in one direction motion evenly leaving out 1 inch gap on all side of the outer edges of the leaves. Do not apply very thick nor too thin.
Now in a thin layer lengthwise at the centre of the applied rice paste, put in the prepared filling mixture neatly ensuring you leave some space towards the top and bottom. This is to ensure that when you fold over the leaves, into half moon type shapes, the center filling should get stuffed inside ie sealed within the outer rice flour paste. I have enclosed pictures for proper knowledge of the same.
Now fold over the leaves, and press gently so that they become compact. Do not apply excess pressure, which may then result in the paste coming out of the leaves. Heat a pedavan or Idly steamer with plenty of water. When it comes to full boil, lower the heat and gently keep the patholi in a layer, seeing to it that they are kept with the opening leave side upwards. If there are more patholis made than in a single layer.
Just steam first layer for 10 minutes and then place the second layer on top of the first one changing its angle a bit and then steam for 15-20 minutes. This is to ensure that all the patholis get evenly steamed. If you place them in rows all together in one go sometimes the centre ones will not get proper steam due to which they may not get cooked properly.
When done remove and put them gently on a plate and allow to cool to room temperature. Serve patholi topped with fresh homemade ghee after offering to God for Naivedyam.