Maharashtrian cuisine is inarguably one of the most popular regional cuisines of this country. It is best renowned for its fiery curries, rich coastal fare and love for meat and local veggies. Maharashtrians also mastered the art of zero-waste cooking. Colocasia, or taro, or alu or arbi is a versatile vegetable, each part of which is completely edible. The leaves especially have their own pungent quality which makes them such a favourite.

Also Read: Colocasia Kebab To Lentil Soup: These Monsoon Recipes Are A Delight

 In her book, ‘My Romance With Food’ cookbook author and homechef Roopa Nabar writes how in her village, the large, heart-shaped leaves are used to make patra and the more tender leaves with black sterns are used to make Alu Che Phatphate or bhaaji. 

Patra is a famous crispy snack

Alu che phatphate, is comfort food for many Maharashtrians. The curry is flavoured with souring agents like tamarind or kokum, it not only helps give a punchy edge to the dish, but it is also known to nuetralize the itchy effect of the leaves. Another pro-tip that Roopa gives us is that colocasia with tender and soft leaves with dark brown stalks work best for this recipe. Now without further ado, here’s the recipe you have been waiting for.  

Alu Che Phatphate

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes 

Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes Serves: 4-5 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 - 5 medium bunches of colocasia leaves (alu) 
  • 2 corn on the cobs 
  • 3 tablespoons oil 
  • 1.5 teaspoons red chilli powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons grated jaggery 
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp 
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour (besan) 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

Method: 

1. Wash the colocasia leaves and sterns. Peel the sterns and finely chop them. Similarly, finely chop the leaves. 

2. Chop the corn into 1-inch pieces. 

3. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a vessel, add the alu leaves and stir on medium heat for four to five minutes or till they reduce in volume. 

4. Add the corn and fry for a minute. Add two cups of water, cover and cook on low heat for eight to ten minutes. 

5. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt and one cup of water and mix well. Cover and cook further for ten minutes on low heat. 

6. Add the jaggery and tamarind pulp into it. 

7. Mix the gram flour in half a cup of water and add it to the cooking leaves. Cover and cook on low heat for five minutes. 

8. Heat the remaining oil in a tempering pan. Add the garlic and saute till it turns dark brown. Add to the colocasia mixture. Cover immediately and simmer for two more minutes. Serve hot. 

Doesn’t that sound like a cakewalk, how about trying the recipe out soon. Have it hot with steamed rice and ghee and you are in for a blissful treat.