There’s been not much about Himachali cuisine and dishes on the Internet and to meet this demand we at HimVani promise to fulfill this gap by regularly featuring some Himachali dishes. I request you all to send in your local dishes too. Look out for sidku, sookha meat, ghaunda, madra, soon…
To start with, we have the famous pateed or patroda made from the arbi ke patte. Ingredients and the method may vary from place to place. However, below is my recipe.
Taro leaves (arbi ke patte) : 8
Gram flour (besan) : 250 gms
Onions : 3
Garlic : 5 cloves
Ginger : 2 inches
Green chillies : 2
Tamarind paste (imli paste) : ¼ tbsp
Turmeric powder (haldi) : ½ tsp
Coriander powder (dhania) : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder : ½ tsp
Pomegranate seeds (anar-dana) : 1 tsp
Salt : To taste
Oil : 1 tbsp while steam-cooking
Oil : For frying
Water : 1 & ½ cup for cooking
Thread : For tying the Taro leaves (arbi ke patte)
- Grind onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and pomegranate seeds into a paste either in a mixer/grinder or preferably on a sillbatta/hamam-dasta.
- Mix gram flour and the paste formed above. Also add turmeric powder, coriander powder red-chilli powder, tamarind paste and salt and add water to form a not-so thick paste.
- Apply the paste formed above evenly on the underside of a taro leaf. Place another leaf on that and repeat the process till you have piled up four leaves. Now fold the leaves and keep applying the paste. When you’ve done four folds, tie them up loosely with a thread. (Remember: The paste should all be inside the folds and not on the outside.)
- Repeat the process with the remaining leaves.
- Place some twigs or an idli-stand (or any other means) in to a pressure-cooker. Add 1 & ½ cup of water and 1 tbsp of oil to water and steam cook the above chunks till three whistles.
- Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the threads and cut the chunks into about two inch pieces.
- Deep fry these small pieces.
- Serve hot with tomato sauce or pudina (mint) chutney.
- A regular sabzi/dish can also be formed. For that do not deep fry. Instead, sauté it like your regular other vegetables in oil, onion and ginger-garlic paste, coriander (dhania), cumin (zeera), fenugreek (methi), mustard (rai/sarson) and sesame (til). And have it with hot chhappaatees.