Pathrade (Steamed Rice Cake with Shredded Colocasia Leaves)

I tried another favourite Mangalorean dish - Pathrade (pronounced as Pathra-Day) which is close to getting extinct from Mangalorean kitchens. It maybe because most Mangaloreans have scattered all across the globe and finding the key ingredient to make the Pathrade - Pathradyache Kolay or Alwache Kolay (Colocasia Leaves) is harder than striking oil in Antarctica. Besides these leaves which are shredded and mixed with rice batter, one also needs Teak tree leaves (Sagoni in Konkani, Saaguvani in Kannada,Satgun in Hindi) in which this mixture is packed and then steamed in a Tondor (steamer).

Teak leaves not only lend a lovely flavour and fragrance to the pathrades but also a very pale purplish colour if you use almost dried leaves.

I was lucky to have found the two kinds of leaves during my recent trip to Mangalore and since I already own a Tondor, making this dish was easier than I thought. It was fun too, since I had only my imagination & sense of taste to aid me during preparation. Ofcourse, good ol J.B Lobo's recipe book was my faithful teacher throughout.

Now that I have my own kitchen garden where I grow 2 types of spinach (Ceylon baji as they call it in Mlore & Palak), Miri (Kali Mirch/Pepper), Tulsi (Holy Basil) & Karano (Brahmi/Thyme-Leaved Gratiola) - the Pathrade leaves have joined the bandwagon. Take a look...

If you are unable to get the colocasia leaves, you can make pathrade with Spinach (Valche Baji/Basale)/Palak and steam the mixture in Banana leaves as Teak leaves are hard to find even in Mangalore.

Adapted from: Sambardo by J.B Lobo

You Need:

6-7 large colocasia leaves (leaves of Arbi in Hindi)

500gms boiled rice - washed and soaked for a minimum of 2 hours

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

5 dry red chillies (kumti)

1/2 tsp jeera/cumin

1 marble size ball tamarind

1/2 cup grated coconut

Salt to taste

For wrapping & steaming
6 large Teak leaves - Washed and dried


1. Drain the soaked rice well and grind it along with the other ingredients and very little water (just to get the mixie blade going). The batter should be finely ground but dryish
2. Shred the colocasia leaves finely and mix it to the ground batter well
3. On a working surface place a Teak leave and place about 2 portions of batter in the centre along the spine of the leaf. Leave out the corner edges so that batter doesnt splill out. Something like this

4. Fold the leaves along the sides & tips & fasten with wooden toothpicks (in Mangalore they often use 'Irachi Kadi' - meaning broomstick)
5. While you are busy making the remaining 'packets' of batter, place sufficient water in a Tondor (steamer) and bring it to a boil
6. Place all the pathrades on the shelf inside the Tondor, cover & steam for 20 minutes on high flame
7. Remove from the steamer & allow to cool. Now you can open up the packet & cut into pieces of about 1/2 inch width & use in the Pathradyanchi Kadi or just apply Meet Mirsang (Salt+Chillie paste+vinegar) and fry as you would fry fish

8. You can store these for as long as 5-6 months in a deep freezer, but just ensure that you place them in zip lock (freezer safe seal bags), otherwise when you thaw them the next time around you will have slightly soggy Pathrades which will need a little squeeze before using.

(Click here to view the Pathrade Gravy Recipe)



Thank you very much... the best pathrade I have made and this being my 1st attempt. My daughter says she has never eaten a better one than this.. :)

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