Haldi paanha Patholi,Turmeric leaf steamed dumpling with stepwise pictures,Monsoon special, Nagarpanchami special

Haldi Paanha Patholi is a steamed dish prepared in Turmeric leaves. Haldi paanh means turmeric leaves..Normally it is prepared on special occasions like  Nagar panchami,Gowri Pooja and Ganesh Chaturthi..The outer layer of the dumpling is prepared with the rice batter and the filling is done with the grated coconut and jaggery mixture which we call as "Churn" in Konkani. When the steaming process is done the house smells simply aromatic with turmeric leaves.I prepare this dish often during Nagar Panchami and Gowri pooja.

              I learnt to prepare this dish from my Amma  and have been watching the process since childhood especially  during Ganesh Chaturthi at our native place.It was very fascinating to watch ladies preparing Patholi,Chakkuli or chaklis etc.....The leaves were brought from our factory patch..We have small saplings in our house patch which is still in the growing process..In Mangalore one can see the view of these leaves under the coconut tree whoever lives in an independent house.Its a common view for us here.During these special occasions these leaves will have special demand and a heavy rush in the market.....

                              Patholi takes me back to my childhood days where Amma used to narrate me a story of a tree which cropped patholi .It was her childhood story.Yes,story telling was a must for me while having food...It was my favourite story since the story was thrilling where a child was kidnapped by an old lady.Though I remember it faintly Ill try to pen how much I remember...The story goes this way..One day a small boy had planted a Patholi plant and watered it daily and on  first day he ordered the tree that it should grow tall next day or else he would chop it off.Second day he said it should grow still bigger and vice versa.On the fourth day he said next day he wants patholi. The tree crops full of patholi as he demanded.A witch passes by and see's the boy on the tree relishing patholi.So she urges to eat the boy since she thought the boy would taste as sweet as patholi as he was eating patholi. So she asks the boy a patholi.He throws one patholi down,she says it fell here and there as she wanted the boy to come down and give so that she could kidnap.Finally she convinces the boy to come down and puts him inside the gunny bag.On her way to her house she stops somewhere to attend natures call  and the boy escapes ,fills the bag with the poisonous creepy crawlies and runs back home.The witch goes home with the gunny bag now filled with the creepy crawlies is totally unaware about the boy.When she opens the bag to take the boy out, the creepy crawlies attack and kill her....And the story ends....

                    There are few dishes which is prepared only during Monsoon season,one reason being the availability of the ingredients  which is found only during the season and  the other mainly being related to health benefits.For eg Cassia tora, bamboo,Pathrade leaves(Colocasia leaves),Alambe(thunder mushrooms),turmeric leaves etc..Turmeric has a lot of health benefits from its leaves to its powder..

Turmeric leaves-30- 35 approx

Ingredients for the outer covering:
Rice-1 cup,(I used basmathi)
Grated coconut-3 tbsp
Salt- a pinch
Jaggery powder-1 tsp
Puffed paddy-2 cups(or beaten rice)

Ingredients for the filling or Churn:
Coconut-1 big,grated(2 1/2 cups approx)
Jaggery -1/2 kilo(2 cups grated jaggery approx)
Water-1/4 cup
Cardamom powder-1/2 tsp

Method for the outer covering:

  1. Soak rice for an hour two.
  2. Clean the puffed rice and discard husks if any.
  3. Soak puffed paddy in water for 5 minutes and drain the water completely,squeeze the water if any and keep it aside.
  4. Drain the water from the rice completely and grind it with all the ingredients mentioned in the list and  the soaked paddy.
  5. Grind to a fine paste adding minimum water.
  6. Don't make the batter thin and watery.
  7. The batter should be thick pouring consistency.

Method for the filling:

  1. Add water to the jaggery and melt it well until you get a one string consistency.
  2. Add grated coconut and saute it for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cardamom powder,off the flame and cool it.
  4. This mixture can be prepared before hand and refrigerated for more than a week.
  5. Same churn is used for making beaten rice or godu pohu.
  6. By preparing the churn  in this manner the dish stays for a longer time.

How to clean turmeric leaves:
  1. Wash each and every leaf very well to  remove any dirt.
  2. Trim the bottom stalks off and wipe each leaf with a clean and dry towel carefully without tearing.
  3. You may also trim both, top and bottom ends.
  4. If the leaves are too big cut it into two.

How to proceed:
  1. Fill water in the steamer and keep to boil.
  2. If the steamer is ready,lower the flame until you finish the procedure and then higher the flame once patholi's are arranged.
  3. Keep the batter for the outer covering and the filling ready.
  4. Line the turmeric leaves on a clean kitchen platform.
  5. First take a ladle of batter and spread it on the leaf.(check the picture)
  6. Keep some gap on the top.(optional)
  7. Spread a tsp of the  filling in the centre in a straight line.
  8. I used my hands to spread the mixture,you may use a spoon.
  9. Fold the leaf as shown in the picture lengthwise or vertically.
  10. Some fold it horizontally.
  11. Continue the process until you finish the batter and filling.
  12. Arrange it in the steamer stacking and close the lid.
  13. Steam it for 15 minutes.
  14. Once steamed, peel off  the leaf and discard it before you eat.
  15. The color of the steamed leaf will be faded.
  16. Serve the patholi blobbed with homemade ghee.

My notes:

  • I used the puffed paddy in the outer covering.
  • You  may use beaten rice too.
  • You may  prepare this Patholi in Plantain leaf if turmeric leaf is not available.
  • You may also add puffed paddy powder if the filling has become little drainy.