Patra take a long time to make from scratch. My grandmother used to make them and I remember sitting with her and wiping the patra (colocasia) leaves to prepare for basting with the chick pea paste.
Nowadays, you can buy them ready made in tinned or frozen form at Indian supermarkets and they are very easy to prepare. Do not be put off by the horrid appearance from the tin!
To make the quick tinned version
- 1 tin of ready made patra
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 3 tbsp freshly grated coconut or dessicated coconut if you can’t find any
- Handful of fresh coriander – roughly chopped
To make it
- Take the patra out of the tin – yes it looks a little like dog food. Sorry!
- Roughly chop into 1cm slices and then random cuts so you have lots of small pieces about 1-2 inches thick.
- Heat the oil in a wok – non stick is best.
- When the oil is really hot, add the mustard seeds, then the sesame seeds in quick succession, followed by the chopped patra.
- Stir fry the patra so they are evenly coated and lightly crisping up on the edges.
- Throw over the lemon zest and juice and stir in.
- Turn the heat off and throw over the freshly chopped coriander and coconut.
Serve hot or cold with some plain yoghurt on the side.