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Squash Leaves Patra / Butternut Squash-Pumpkin Patra / Stuffed Squash Leaves roll

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Squash leaves patra vadi is a vegan snack or an appetizer made using tender squash leaves. The leaves are stuffed with a spicy, sweet filling made using gram flour and a few spices. It can be enjoyed steamed, shallow fried, or fried as a morning breakfast, or a snack, or goes well as a side to your Vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali.

Slices of patra arrannged on a black cheese board with some sesame seeds sprinkled and some leaf and vadi seen in the background.

What is Patra or Patrode or leaves roll

Patra or Patra Vadi or alu vadi is a vegetarian snack typically made using colocasia or taro root leaves. It has a spicy, sweet taste and tangy taste from all the different ingredients used and will leave you craving for more.

This Vadi is also called Patrode/Patrodo/Patrodou. In the north, it is famous as arbi ke patte ke pakode or Rikvach, chembila Appam in Kerala, Patra in Gujarat, and a few more names in different states.

Patra vadi is one of my favorite snacks. In India, I get this every season when it. I remember last time when I went to India during monsoon, I made it a point to buy and cook them. Sadly I do not get the leaves here. We used to buy the tin version, but it was just okay to satisfy your tastebuds. 

Replacements for Colocasia leaves or arbi leaves or Taro leaves or patra

So how do you make your favorite snack? I started buying veggies from my organic farm a few years ago. I bought a big bunch of york cabbage. This is not the typical cabbage we eat in our Indian cuisine. This has long pointy leaves. So I thought of making patra from this. I made some and we loved it. 

The only thing I did not do is take some good pictures, but whenever I could next time I would do so and eventually share the recipe. Still sharing one of the pics which I did.

5 pieces of York Cabbage Vadi arranged on leaves.
York Cabbage Vadi
Close up look of York Cabbage Vadi seen in a hand.
York Cabbage Vadi

Now since last 3-4, I am more into gardening too and grow a lot of veggies. I have added a lot more veggies in my garden. This year I am growing Butternut Squash and Pumpkin too. Though none of them have yielded fruit yet due to pollination issues, I can still enjoy the edible parts of the plant right?

I was pruning my butternut squash and decided to use the tender green leaves in one of the recipes. Squash leaves are heart-shaped and are bigger in size. They looked to me like a perfect replacement for colossia leaves or arbi leaves. Hence I decided to make this crispy, yummy, and healthy Butternut Squash leaves patra vadi.

Butternut Squash leaves patra served in a cream bowl.

Leaves that can be replaced

  • Butternut Squash Leaves
  • Pumpkin Leaves
  • Zucchini leaves (Read Disclaimer Below)
  • York cabbage leaves
  • Any big green leafy vegetables

Are Squash Leaves Edible?

Squash leaves are edible. Be it pumpkin, butternut, or courgette/zucchini. The only thing is that they are best picked when they are tender and young. The bigger it gets they get bitter and have a rough texture.

The leaves would be slightly rough to the touch. As any other leafy green vegetable one can stir-fry, steam, or add them to soups, curries or dals. What about some pakoras? The possibilities are endless when you think about it. 

Fresh Butternut Squash Leaves arranged on a table.
Fresh Butternut Squash Leaves arranged on a table.

Benefits of Squash leaves

Squash leaves are believed to be a great source of different essential nutrients and are believed to be beneficial to overall health. 

Disclaimer – 

However, when incorporating a new vegetable, it is best you either consult your doctor/dietician or consume it in moderation and see how your body reacts to it. Anything consumed in moderation is the key.

Caution on Zucchini Leaves

While it is known that zucchini leaves have many benefits for your health, using them carelessly will result in getting the side effect of overdose.  Hence, it is highly recommended to have it in just an acceptable amount.

Also, according to some research, any type of squash originating from the Cucurbitae family can contain toxins called cucurbitacins. While it is only present in the fruit, it is not impossible that the leaves, or to be more precise, zucchini leaves, may also contain it. So, it is suggested to consult with the experts before deciding to consume these leaves.

Steamed Slices of patra and logs of Patra arrannged on a black cheese board with some sesame seeds sprinkled and some leaf seen in the background
Steamed Butternut Squash Leaves Patrode

Ingredients used in the recipe for patra

The first main ingredient is the leaf. I have used Butternut Squash leaves. One can use Pumpkin or Zucchini leaves or as said earlier even the Savoy cabbage leaves would work. Of course, if you can source colocasia leaves or arbi patta, you can use that.

The next main ingredient is gluten-free Besan or gram flour. This flour is used along with spices to make a thick paste that is coated on the leaves. Few recipes even call for the addition of a tablespoon or two of rice flour to make it crunchier. I do not add it. 

The next ingredients are spices. Red chili powder, salt, turmeric powder, and asafoetida are added. A paste of freshly grated garlic, ginger, and green chili paste is added. 

Sesame seeds are added to the paste as well. 

A slurry or a paste of tamarind and jaggery is added for that sweet and sour taste. Also as mentioned above to overcome any itchiness from the leaves if at all.

A thick paste is made from the above ingredients. The leaves are rinsed thoroughly and pat dry. The hard stem is cut from the center if it has one. The leaf is then rolled using a rolling pin. This helps to even out the hard stems and helps in rolling the leaves to make a tight log.

The log is then steamed for 15-20 minutes until done. Once done, one can enjoy this as is, or shallow fry them when it cools down. One can garnish it with some freshly grated coconut and serve it with chutney of choice or simply as is.

Recipe process of Butternut Squash Leaves Patra or Pumpkin leaves patra or Squash Leaves Patra

The recipe for today is pretty simple. One needs to make a paste or a thick batter with gram flour, spices, tamarind, and jaggery. Tamarind need not be missed. Typically tamarind is added to the arbi leaf patra, as at times if the leaves are not fresh it might leave you having an itchy throat. Tamarind helps in overcoming it. I used the same principle in the squash leaves as the leaves had a bit of a rough texture. It might not be the case with squash leaves, but I thought it is a better idea to not skip it. Also, tamarind gives the patra a nice sour taste which balances the sweetness from jaggery. 

Check out the video in the recipe card on how to stuff and roll the logs.

Slices of patra arrannged on a black cheese board with some sesame seeds sprinkled and some leaf and vadi seen in the background.
Butternut Squash Leaves Patrode

Can patra be refrigerated? 

Patra logs stay in the fridge for a good 6-7 days. One can simply keep the entire roll or cut into slices and keep it. Enjoy when required.  

Can patra be freezer?

For freezing, let the steamed vadi cool down completely. Once cooled, cut into slices and freeze on a baking tray. Once they are frozen, keep them in a zip lock or an airtight container.

If you are shallow frying or flying them after refrigerating or freezing, one can do this straight without defrosting.  Do not defrost this vadi. If you defrost it will release water. If you like to enjoy it without frying, simply microwave or warm it on a stovetop.

Dietary Requirements

This is vegan and dairy-free. It is gluten-free if you use gluten-free asafoetida. Store-bought asafoetida powder has wheat in it and hence is not gluten-free. However one can skip it completely, but adding asafoetida in this recipe helps in digestion.

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Butternut Squash leaves patra served in a cream bowl

Squash Leaves Patra / Pumpkin Patra / Stuffed Squash Leaves roll

Squash leaves patra is a vegan snack or an appetizer made using tender squash leaves, stuffed with a spicy, sweet filling made using gram flour and a few spices.
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Course: Appetizer, Sides, Snacks
Cuisine: Gujarati, Indian, Maharashtrian
Keyword: Garden Harvest Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables
Servings: 4 Logs
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Ingredients

  • 16 Medium size Squash leaves patra
  • 1 Cup gram flour – Besan
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste or freshly grated ginger and garlic.
  • Water as required

To soak in warm water

  • 1 inch Tamarind pulp
  • 1 tablespoon Jaggery – Can be replaced with sugar
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water

Instructions

Soaking the ingredients

  • In a bowl add in the water, jaggery and Tamarind.
    1 tablespoon Jaggery, ¼ cup lukewarm water, 1 inch Tamarind pulp
  • Let this soak for 20-30 minutes.
  • After a while the tamarind would be soft and jaggery would be dissolved.
  • Extract the pulp by passing it through a strainer. Discard the seeds or any skin of tamarind.

Preparing the Batter

  • Sieve the gram flour in a bowl.
    1 Cup gram flour – Besan
    Gram Flour or Besan in a seive.
  • In a bowl add in the gram flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, sesame seeds, ginger garlic paste.
    1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1 teaspoon Sesame seeds, Salt to taste, 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste or freshly grated ginger and garlic.
    Adding of spices in gram flour.
  • To this add in the soaked tamarind and jaggery paste.
  • Mix everything and make a smooth and a thick batter. Add little by little water , we do not want a thin or a runny batter. A thick batter helps in coating the leaves and making a tight log.
    The mixed batter for Patrodo.

Preparing the leaves

  • Rinse the leaves thoroughly to get rid of any impurities.
    16 Medium size Squash leaves patra
    Fresh Butternut Squash Leaves arranged on a table.
  • Pat it dry.
    The back side of Butternut Squash Leaves.
  • Using a sharp knife carefully cut off the stems.
    The hard stem of the leaf has been cut off.
  • If the main stem is thick, run a knife across to remove it. Do this very slowly or else you would tear the leaf.
    Squash Leaves ready to be flattened.
  • On a clean kitchen working area, or on a board, roll the leaf with a rolling pin.
    Flattening the leaves with the rolling pin.
  • This will even out the leaf and any hard stems or veins bulging out will flatten.
    Flattened Squash Leaves.
  • Divide the leaves in the order of big to small and make 3-4 groups/batches.
    The leaves are divided into 4 batches and arranged on a table.

Filling/Stuffing the leaves

  • Now on the rough side of the leaf, apply the gram flour mixture. Do this with your finger tips.
    Batter applied to first squash leaves.
  • Apply it all over.
  • Then place another leaf on this leaf but upside down. See the pic below.
    Second squash leaf kept upside down.
  • Pro-Tip, Press the leaf on top of it. This helps in sticking the leaf firmly and making a proper log.
  • Again apply the gram flour mixture all over.
    Second squash leaf kept upside down and batter applied.
  • Do this for all the remaining leaves in the group.
  • Then from both sides fold it and apply some batter.
    Starting sealing of the log from opposite ends.
  • Now start rolling the leaves from bottom slowly to form a tight log.
    Starting sealing of the log from one end, rolling off to reach the other.
  • While rolling press, so that it removes any excess air in between.
  • When you reach the end, apply some batter at the end and seal it.
    Closing or Sealing of the roll log for Patra, at the end.
  • Keep this in a grease steamer plate, with the sealed edge down. This helps in the log not opening up.
    Closing or Sealing of the roll log for Patra .
  • Patra Vadi Roll Prepared and a close up pic of it is seen in hand.
  • The inside look of the the log or roll for vadi.
  • One can even use a clean thread and tie the logs. The thread can be removed after the logs have been steamed.

Steaming the Patra

  • Arrange the patra logs in a greased steamer tray.
    Patra Logs ready to be steamed arranged in a steamer.
  • Fill the steamer with water and let the water boil.
    Water as required
  • Once boiled, add the steamer tray as per your vessel settings.
  • Steam this in a steamer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove it and let it cool a bit before enjoying it as a steamed snack.
    Steamed Patra Rolls or logs in a steamer.
  • Using a sharp kniefe cut into slices and serve.
    Cutting of the Patrode into slices.
  • The Cut Logs for Patra Vadi.

Shallow Frying the Patra

  • If you are shallow frying, let it cool completely.
  • Cut into slices and shallow fry or deep fry as required.
  • For Shallow Frying, warm the oil in a heavy bottom pan or griddle.
  • Once hot, shallow fry them on medium.
    Shallow frying of Patrode.
  • Keep on turning the patra in between to get fried on both the sides.
    Shallow Frying the Patra in a cast iron pan.
  • Do not let the oil too be too hot, or else it will burn the patra.

Video

Notes

  • Standard US Size cups and spoons are used.
  • Measurements are a rough guide. One can increase or decrease the spice level based on preference.
  • The batter quantity may be more or less depending on the size of the leaves too. If you have leftover batter, you can simply mix it with any greens and make some delicious Maharashtrian Kothimbir Vadi 
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