Friday, August 4, 2017

Banana Dry Fruits Patholi / Steamed Dumplings.

“Banana Dry Fruits Patholi / Steamed Dumplings” … A sweet dish prepared on Turmeric Leaves … A little bit of twist is always welcome even to God’s after all the same is being offered for years now … So today I prepared our very own Konkani Saraswat's Patholi / steamed dumplings in turmeric leaves with a little bit of twist by adding in banana and dry fruits as churan / stuffing …... 

** Patholi is a sweet dish prepared by Konkani on festive occasion, especially during Nag Panchami, Ganesh Chaturti / Gowri Pooja, Krishnashtami. These are sweet dumplings similar to the Maharashtrian Modaks, but prepared on Turmeric Leaves. Turmeric leaves are very fragrant and have a lovely aroma which fills the whole house while being steamed. These are available in plenty during rainy season, may be this is the whole reason for it being prepared for Naivedyams during this particular season. Patholi is prepared by applying finely ground rice paste on the leaves which is centered by Sweet coconut churnu / filling. The leaves are then folded over and steamed for some time till done. These patholi’s are thin and long in shape. The aroma of turmeric leaves get seeped in with the prepared patholi giving it a very different and awesome flavour. 

** Many dishes are prepared using Turmeric Leaves. Kheeri a dish which I have already posted is nothing but fine quality rice cooked in coconut milk to which turmeric leaves are added for fragrance. We can also prepared the cucumber idly on turmeric leaves. In case turmeric leaves are not available the same can be done nn banana leaves. However it will not have the delicate flavor of turmeric leaves. Today however for a change I prepared the churan / stuffing with the addition of banana pieces and dry fruits. I have prepared with apple filling before so also of mango flavor. Sure to think of many more. Will post as and when I prepare. So here is the recipe … prepare them and enjoy with your family and friends. You can offer them as Naivedyam as I did too. I have posted different combinations before, please use the search option in the blog for the same.

Turmeric leaves / Haldi paan : 12-15 leaves.
Rice : 1 cup 
Rice powder : 2 cups
Jaggery : about approx. 75-100 gms.
Dates Syrup : 2 tblsp
Ellaichi Banana : 2 small ( or any other variety if larger in size only one)
Ghee : 1 tblsp
Coconut : ½ cup freshly grated.
Cashew nut pieces : Fine pieces roasted 1/2 cup
Melon Seeds : 1/4 cup roasted.
Almond Slivers : 1/2 cup 
Cardamom Powder : 1/2 tsp
Layye pitto / Powdered puffed rice : as required.
Salt : a pinch

** Cut the edges of 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. Do not discard the edges of the turmeric leaves. Store them in the fridge, you can use them while preparing cheppi kheeri or oondi for added on flavor. I always do the same.

** For the outer cover : Wash and soak rice in water for an hour or so. Strain and then grind to a fine paste. This is the traditional method. However, in Mumbai we get a very good Rice flour ie. used for preparing Modak which is very similar to our patholi. 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 a pinch of salt and water and combine it with rice flour to a very fine thick paste. You can add a tblsp of grated jaggery to the same and mix well so that there are no lumps in the batter. Usually this is not added, but then some find the outer cover a bit bland and they do add on gud. I do at times depending upon the inner filling but today I have not, It is up to you to add or not. You can try both the methods by adding for some batter so that you can choose as to which one is to your liking. Prepare the batter and keep it aside ready.

** For the filling : Heat a thick bottomed kadai with pure homemade ghee, when it melts add in one cup of grated jaggery. Keep the heat medium and melt it by sprinkling a few drops of water on the jaggery. Do not allow the jaggery / gud to get burnt. Keep the fire low if you find it getting burnt. Once it melts and comes to a boil, add in the dates syrup and mix well. Now add in the grated coconut and mix well. Fry for about 5-7 minutes till it get thicker. 

** Note : I used Dates Syrup readily available in the stores. If not available you can leave out the same or just grind ¼ cup of dates, sieve and use the same. 

** Now add in two ellaichi banana (small variety banana) cut into small sized pieces and mix well. Cook for another minute or two. 

** Now add in roasted cashew nuts, almond slivers, roasted melon seeds and mix well. Remove from fire and add in cardamom powder 

** Remove and add cardamom powder and mix well. Let cool to room temperature. Now add in 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. You may need about a cup or so depending entirely upon the texture of the churan / stuffing. You can check the enclosed pictures. 

** Arranging the Patholi / Dumplings : 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 some rice flour paste on your hand (about a large tablespoon) 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 center 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 required amount 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 of leaves 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 center ones will not get proper steam due to which they may not get cooked properly. In all the Patholi should be steamed for about 30 mins. 

** When done remove and put them gently on a plate and allow to cool to room temperature. Banana Dry Fruits Patholi is done and ready to be served. I prepared them as Naivedyam to God, so after the pooja served them topped with fresh homemade ghee. Enjoy these dry fruit patholi with family and friends, they are sure to like the change in the same. Also you can leave out the banana’s and prepare them with only dry fruits. Just increase the coconut that’s all. 

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