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Thursday, March 18, 2010


Paatra is the Gujarati version of a Swiss roll (spicy, sweet, tangy)

To make Paatra, buy a bunch of fresh Alvi na paan (also called Paatra leaves, they look like elephant ears, also called Taro leaves in the West)


2 cups Besan flour

1 + 3/4 cup water

2-3 teaspoons salt (salt to taste)

1/8 teaspoon haldi

1 teaspoon Red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon Dhaanajeeru powder

1/2 teaspoon ajmo (ajwain seeds)

1/2 tablespoon ginger paste (you can add more ginger/green chilli/garlic paste if u like it more spicy)

1/2 tablespoon green chilli paste

1/2 tablespoon garlic paste

1 tablespoon sugar

To taste ~ Add little by little as everyone has diff consistencies of tamarind paste ~ about 2-3 tablespoons tamarind juice or 2 tablespoons lime juice (if you use the Tamarind Concentrate kind of tamarind paste, u need to add 1/2 tablespoon as its too tangy)


1. In a big bowl, add besan flour & all the dry ingredients, mix well.

2. Add water, make a thick paste without any lumps.

3. Add tamarind juice/lemon juice in the end to taste (add little by little or the whole mix will become very tangy)

4. Taste, once all spices are adjusted, mixture is ready to spread on paatra leaves.

5. Wash all the paatra leaves in running water, spread them on a counter & wipe dry.

6. Remove the stems & sort the leaves - In every set keep 1 big size, 1 medium size & 1 small size leaf. Keep all the sets separately.

7. Take a big tray or on a clean portion of the counter, place the biggest leaf upside down (the veins should face us)

With a spoon or hand, spread a thin & even layer of Besan masala on the entire leaf.

Now take the medium size leaf of a set & place it on this mix (The tip of the medium size leaf should be slightly above the leaf below it) Again upside down, apply another thin even layer of Besan masala on the entire leaf.

Lastly take the smallest leaf, place on the medium leaf (The tip of the smallest leaf should be slightly above the leaf below it) Apply a thin even layer of Besan Masala on this one too.

One set of Paatra is ready - Fold the right hand & left hand side of the paatra leaves inside so the edges straighten out.

With a steady hand, from one end to the other, roll all the leaves together like a Swiss roll. Since there is Besan masala filling, the leaves will stick to each other & bind.

8. Repeat this for all the sets of Paatra leaves that are made.

9. In a steamer basket, add water, place the steaming tray (apply oil on the steaming tray)

Place all the Paatra rolls on this such that they dont overlap. Even if you need to place one on top of the other, keep space so steam can circulate

10. Close the steamer basket & steam on medium flame for 30 mins.

11. When you open after 30 mins, insert a knife, the knife should come out clean with cooked besan.

12. Remove the tray from steamer basket, let it cool for about an hour.

13. Cut pieces into desired thickness. (At this stage you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge & do fresh vaghaar whenever u want to serve)


1. Some deep fry them in oil so they become more crisp.

2. Pan-fry - On a big pan, add a spoon of oil, spread paatras in a single layer & on medium flame, let them cook till crisp.

Apply oil on the top side, flip & cook crisp on the other side.

3. Plain vaghaar ( I use this method) Keep oil for vaghaar, add a small spoon of rai, sesame seeds ( til ), pinch of hing

Add the cut paatra pieces, mix well so vaghaar is coated on all the paatra pieces.

Add shredded coconut before serving.

Serve with Cilantro (dhania) chutney, tomato ketchup or any other chutney of your choice.

Great side dish or snack.

Prepare & enjoy !!!

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