Aluchi Vadi

Alu (आळु): Taro or Colocasia leaves in Marathi.

Original Marathi recipe can be found here.

Like everyone else, I have very fun memories of my grandparent's house. My mom's parents lived in the same town I grew up in so I was fortunate enough to visit them very regularly. I still remember everything from the mango tree in the front yard, the two story old house to the bananas in the backyard. There was a bore well/tube well in the backyard and that was the main source of water for the house for the longest time. Daily dishes, laundry was done around this well. All the water would then go to banana plants or taro plants. These two plants need lot of water to grow so that was perfect condition - no water was wasted. Grandma would look after her backyard like a small baby, caring for the plants, making sure there is no weed, no pests. I particularly remember the taro from her backyard. Every couple of days she would cut at least 10-15 leaves and give it to someone so the yield was constant. We would receive this bunch at least once in 10-15 days. Mom would make sabji if the leaves were not very tender and would make vadi only where there were enough tender leaves. I do get taro leaves in Indian grocery stores, Asian grocery store and also in the local farmers market. I make these vadis once in while and make sabji more often. Here is how my mom makes these vadis -

6 Tender large Taro leaves
9-10 tbsp Besan (Chickpea Flour)
1 tbsp Chili Powder (or per taste)
1 tsp Goda Masala
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Chopped Cilantro - Fistful
2 tsp Tamarind Paste*
1 tsp Jaggery Salt per taste
Water as needed

Oil as needed for shallow fry

Preparation -
Wash taro leaves thoroughly, flip and remove the veins keeping the leaf intact. Set these aside.

ALu VaDi 

Mix all the remaining ingredients except water in a bowl. Add little water at a time and make thick paste. Consistency should be like idli batter. Now we are ready to assemble the vadis.

Now spread leaf on cutting board or in plate, spread the paste on the leaf making sure its covered but the batter layer is thin. Now spread another leaf on top and spread thin layer of batter.

ALu VaDi 

Fold sides of the leaf, top and bottom over itself, cover with more batter so the sides stick properly. Now make tight roll. Similarly make two more rolls from remaining leaves and batter. Arrange all the rolls in a greased steamer.Boil about 4-5 cups of water in a utensil on which you can fit the steamer. Once water starts boiling, put the steamer on the pot and cover. Let the rolls steam on medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remove and let them cool completely. Now using sharp knife cut 1/2" thick rounds vadis.
Shallow fry these vadis from both the sides.

Enjoy as snack or appetizer.

Tips -
  1. * I soak golf ball size tamarind in about 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Squeeze the pulp and discard pith etc.
  2. Traditionally these are deep fried and served with meal as a side.
  3. I make tempering using mustard, cumin, sesame seeds, hing, turmeric and curry leaves. Add the vadis and fry for 10 minutes mixing everything thoroughly on low heat.
These pinwheel savory snacks are on its way to MLLA#47 started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and currently hosted by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan

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