Sweet Rice Dumplings Steamed In Turmeric Leaves (Patholi)

Sweet Rice Dumplings Steamed In Turmeric Leaves (Patholi)

Video to make patholi:


Turmeric leaves are fragrant and they impart their heavenly aroma and flavour to anything cooked in them/using them. With the onset of monsoons turmeric leaves grow in abundance.

That's when Konkani homes start filling up with the heavenly aroma of turmeric leaves. Konkani's prepare a lot of dishes using these leaves, actually use these leaves in a lot of dishes to impart its fragrance and flavour to the dish. We prepare patholis in turmeric leaves. Patholis are sweet, rice dumplings steamed in turmeric leaves. We also prepare a fragrant rice dish called kheeri using turmeric leaves. We also use turmeric leaves to make cucumber idlis (called thoushe muddo in Konkani).  

Patholi is a sweet, rice dumpling, steamed in turmeric leaves. Rice is ground into a thick batter, it is then thinly spread on a turmeric leaf which is then filled with a sweet coconut filling. The leaves are folded together and the dumplings are then steamed for 12 - 15 minutes to make delectable, thin, flat, long rice cakes packed in a slender, delicate and fragrant turmeric leaf. The turmeric leaves impart their heavenly aroma and flavour to these rice dumplings. The sweet, inner coconut filling makes these rice dumplings absolutely delicious. The leaves are then peeled off on steaming these dumplings and the patholis are had hot with loads of ghee on top. Simple pleasures of life!!

The characteristic fragrance of patholi comes from the turmeric leaves. However, if you do not find turmeric leaves, you can steam them in banana leaves too but nothing beats the taste and flavour of turmeric leaves. If you have very few turmeric leaves then you can cut them into pieces and keep them inside the banana leaves in which you are steaming the patholis, so that it imparts its smell, flavour and taste to the patholis.

Patholi in Konkani means a steamed 'pudding' or 'dumpling'. Turmeric leaves are called haldi paan in Konkani. Hence, patholis are also called haldipanna patholi in Konkani. 

Patholis are delicious and fragrant due to the turmeric leaves. They are usually served as a dessert during lunch, dinner; but you can also have them as a snack. Patholi's are a sweet dish that delights everyone! 

Patholi is a dessert prepared during gowri pooja, chauthi (ganesh chaturthi), nagarpanchami festivals. These festivals fall during the rainy season and thus patholi is a must for these festivals.

To make patholis we need to prepare two things: rice batter and choornu (the Konkani word for inner, sweet coconut filling). Here's how to make them:


10-12 Turmeric leaves

For the batter: 
1 cup rice
Salt to taste
Jaggery to taste
1/2 cup beaten rice
1/2 cup grated coconut

For the inner coconut filling (choornu):

1/2 cup powdered or grated jaggery
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
1 cup broken puffed paddy (optional) (called laya pitto in Konkani) 
A pinch of cardamom powder

Serves: Makes 12-14 patholis.

Preparation Time: 50 minutes

Preparation Method:

Preparing the batter:

1. Soak rice for a minimum of half an hour and grind them in a mixer along with grated coconut, beaten rice, salt and jaggery into a smooth paste using just enough water needed to make a paste. Keep the ground, thick batter aside.

Use as little water as possible while grinding the batter as we need a thick, dry batter. If your batter gets watery, it will flow off the turmeric leaves. 

The best thing to use to make a thick, dry batter, super quick is this

2. Wash the turmeric leaves carefully, drain all the water and wipe them dry using a cloth. Take care not to tear the turmeric leaves. Keep them aside.

If the turmeric leaves are longer than the size of your steamer then chop off the stem portion of the leaf or else its a hassle while placing the patholis inside the steamer for steaming.

Preparing the inner coconut filling (choornu):

3. In a bowl mix together freshly grated coconut, grated jaggery and cardamom powder. Mix them well. Then add broken puffed paddy to the mixture and mix well. 

The sweetness of the patholi depends on the amount of jaggery you have used while preparing the the filling (choornu). So, add in jaggery according to your palate, depending on how sweet you would like your patholis to be.

The inner filling can be prepared without broken puffed paddy but the mixture tends to get a little watery without them. Broken puffed paddy absorbs the mositure that's given out when you mix grated coconut with jaggery.

If you find whole puffed paddy then heat them for a minute until they get a little hot, powder them in a blender and then use them.

Puffed paddy:

Broken puffed paddy:Preparing patholis:

4. On a clean working surface place a turmeric leaf and then place a small ladle of rice batter at one end of leaf. Spread it across the length of the leaf using your fingers or a spoon. Leave out the edges of the leaf to avoid spilling out of the batter when you press them closed. The rice batter should be applied as thin a layer as possible.

5. Place the inner filling mixture along the spine of the leaf, right in the centre, in the middle of the leaf. Patholi's sweetness also depends on the amount of filling (choornu) you place inside each patholi. So, if you want your patholis to be very sweet then place lots of filling (choornu) in the centre of each leaf.

6. Fold the leaf vertically into half, along the spine. Continue this process until all the leaves/rice batter is used up.

7. Place a steaming vessel with sufficient water on a high flame. When the water comes to boil, place the patholis inside the steamer. You can stack them up or place them evenly so that all of them get steamed evenly.

8. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes on a high flame.

9. Once cooked, remove the hot patholis out, peel off the turmeric leaves and serve hot patholis with lots of ghee on top and enjoy!

Side Note:

1. If you can't find turmeric leaves in plenty, you can make patholis in banana leaf (or parchment paper) and keep small pieces of turmeric leaf inside for the great smell and taste of turmeric leaves. Make pieces of banana leaf/parchment paper, apply rice dough and filling, fold the banana leaf, parchment paper into half and then steam them.

2. If the turmeric leaves are too thin and small to hold the rice dough and the coconut filling, then you can place them inside another bigger sized turmeric leaves or wrap the smaller turmeric leaves with banana leaves that been cut into required size. The fresh banana leaves break and tear so you have to wilt them on the gas flame for 30 seconds. This process makes the banana leaves soft and removes their brittleness. 

3. If you do not have a steaming vessel, you can use a cooker, add water into it. Keep a plate with holes at the bottom. Place patholis on it, close and steam for 15 minutes.

For more Konkani desserts and sweets recipes look here.

Tags: Sweet, Konkani style dumplings, Turmeric leaves, Sweet dumplings, Konkani festivals, Patholi, Dessert, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food.