Alu vadi – a yummy tea-time snack made of colocasia leaves

You are what you eat.(photo:IANSLIFE)
Photo: IANS

Pelting rains call for the most comforting snack - Alu Vadi is a perfect tea-time match.

Sharp knife
6 large fresh colocasia leaves arvi/arbi/taro leaves
200 gm chickpea flour besan
50 gm rice flour
50 gm sattu flour
2 tsp ground cinna
1 tsp immunity powder
2 tsp ground Ceylon/Srilankan cinnamon
¼ tsp Ajwain
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 inch ginger peeled and grated
2 green chillies optional
5 tbsp fresh tamarind pulp
100 gm jaggery powder
500 ml water
For the tempering
1 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil or unrefined mustard oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp asafoetida
2 tbsp sesame seeds
10-12 curry leaves
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves to garnish

To prepare the colocasia leaves:
Begin by wiping the colocasia leaves
Clean with a damp kitchen towel
Clean both sides thoroughly
Use a sharp knife to laterally trim the thick spine that runs down the leaf
Simply run the knife across the stalk to flatten it so it feels flat to the touch
Continue this process for all of the veins that branch out from the centre
Repeat the trimming for all the leaves
To make the batter:
In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, rice flour, sattu flour, ground cinnamon, immunity powder, ajwain,ground fennel seeds, ground cumin seeds, chilli powder, and salt
Whisk to combine
Add the grated ginger, green chilli paste, tamarind and jaggery powder
Slowly add the water, whisking all the time to ensure a smooth paste is formed without lumps
Continue whisking for 5 minutes until the paste is smooth
Set aside for 15 minutes
To assemble the Alu vadi:
Organise the colocasia leaves by size
The assembly process will begin with the largest leaves to the smallest leaf
Take the largest colocasia leaf and lay it (dull side up) out on a clean, flat surface
Top with a large spoonful of batter
Use a rubber spatula, or your hands to spread the batter over the leaf
Take the second largest leaf and place it dull side-up in the opposite direction to the first leaf
It should look like a butterfly, the four corners resembling wings
Repeat the spreading process so that the second leaf is covered and place the next leaf in the opposite direction once again
Once all the five leaves are stacked, cover it finally with more batter
Fold one side of the leaves down to the center
Repeat for the other side so the leaves meet in the middle
It should form a rectangle
Cover with more batter
Starting from the short side, begin to form a tight roll
Ensure the roll is as tight as it can be without the batter squeezing out or the leaves breaking
Rub any remaining batter on the outside of the log to stick down any loose ends
To steam the Alu vadi:
Heat up water and place the pot in a cooker
Grease a dish with a few drops of oil and place it in the pot
Place the rolls on the dish with the sealed side facing down
Close the lid and steam on medium heat for 15 minutes
Let it cool down and cut the roll into ½ inch wide pieces
If you prefer a lighter snack, you can eat them steamed too
For the tampering:
Heat the oil in a pan
Add the mustard seeds once they crackle, add asafoetida, sesame seeds and curry leaves
Arrange the Alu vadi slices in the pan and cook on both sides until golden brown and crispy all over
Remove from the pan and garnish with fresh coriander leaves
Serve warm or at room temperature with masala chai
Important note:
Do not consume taro leaves as a raw vegetable or in their raw state
They should be soaked first in clean water and then cooked for at least 30 minutes.



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