Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Patoleo / Sweet Dish in turmeric leaves

15th august; India celebrates Independence Day today. In Goa, We also celebrate the oldest feast day of Our Lady with great religious fervor the Feast of Assumption of Our Lady(Virgin Mary) on 15thAugust with rest of the world.
The Assumption ( Latin: assūmptiō, "taken up") of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven,informally known as “The Assumption” marks the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. As Mary completed her life as a shining example to the human race,the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.

Goan’s prepare special sweet on this feast called patoleos made of a paste of ground local rice spread over turmeric leaves and stuffed with a mixture of scraped coconut, cardamom powder and coconut jaggery. In Hindu homes coconut jaggery is substituted with sugarcane jaggery. Steamed or fried either way it comes out yummy. Patoleos is prepared in Hindu homes for festivals like Nag panchami,Mangal Gauri - Hartalika vrata(upvaas) , the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi . Salt free patoleos made of varai or wheat flour, are offered as naivedya to Goddess Parvati, as far as legends go Maa Parvati had a strong craving for these sweets during pregnancy etc and Catholic homes for festivals like konsache fest -harvest festival, San jao ( feast of St John the Baptist) and the Feast of Assumption of Our Lady etc.All the festivals / Feasts celebrated by both Hindu and Roman Catholic Communities associated with making of patoleos are celebrated during monsoon season June-September.
The key ingredient in making patoleos "turmeric leaves" have a very pleasant, unique aromatic smell rich in flavour.Turmeric leaves are used as a herb in cooking, as it gives a distinctive flavor to food. You can add quite a lot of these exotic tender greens to the any recipe, increasing your nutrient intake and giving your taste buds a real treat at the same time and it is medicinally useful as well, to prevent coughs ,colds,aches and pains. Turmeric leaves is cathartic, astringent and, antiseptic. It is also popular as a gentle laxative.

Fresh turmeric leaves are widely used in India, mainly along the coastal regions, where almost every backyard will have a patch of turmeric growing in it. It's availability in our home backyard and market also coincides with the rainy season when patoleos are made .. Making patoleos a much savored and mouth-watering monsoon delicacy.

Ingredients For Patoleos 
1/2Kg Rice Flour
2 coconuts Finely Scrapped
400 gms Jaggery
1 tsp cardamom powder
Salt to taste
25 Turmeric leaves

In a vessel add rice flour and salt for taste add enough water and knead the rice flour into a smooth dough.It should be easy to spread on the turmeric leaves.
Wash and trim the turmeric leaves as shown in the pic,retain all the trimmings (dette-Stalks).
Scrape coconuts fine,add jaggery,cardamom powder and mix well. 
On the front side of each turmeric leaf,
Place a small portion of the dough along the main vein of the leaf .
Hand in motion(Pic got blurred)
& flatten the dough towards the sides pressing with your fingers.
See that you spread the dough thinly and evenly on the leaf.
Then place a little of the coconut mixture in the center and fold the leaf over pressing the edges firmly.
Prepare all the patoleos in same way.Till you run out of fillings ,dough or turmeric leaves :)
Add the trimmings(turmeric leaves stalks)along with the water added to the steamer(Confro). The turmeric trimmings will give out its sweet aromatic flavor in water; patoleos steamed in this flavored water will come-out more aromatic and yummier.
I pressure cooked for 4 whistles 
Steam cook the patoleos for15-20 mins in a confro or any modern steamer,or pressure cooker till done.
A dekho in cooker! Voila!!!they are done
Once done the color of leaves will turn olive/ shevaali (bottle-green)color.Serve hot with leaves on.
Alternatively Patoleos can be fried on a skillet /Iron hot plate/ Tawa using Ghee/Oil...Hmmm equally yummy.

*Confro- Traditional steamer in Goa.
*The rice flour can be replaced by local red ( Ukade rice )available in Goa which can be soaked, dried and powdered.
*Varai (Proso millet-)Varai is a kind of millet which is very fine and of small particles, almost like a coarser semolina.It is consumed by people who are on a fast. 


  1. Hello I am Maria Arlene from the Philippines and I want to try the recipe you have described.

  2. "Remember that Bengali households still are known for their amazing food culture and this fact is known world-wide :)

    tanSEN was bengali my dear friend, so were a lot of other people! want to see the entire list as it stands today? so was subash chandra bose and sri aurobindo :)

    and i can name a million others and i am proud to say our greateness can be exerted beyond our national borders.
    we are the fifth largest speakers!

    we bengalis have won pretty much every award in the world stage you name it we have it and we are damn proud of what we have :)

    its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world.

    did you know that the FAMOUS SEARS TOWER is architectured by another bengali?"

    (MBA, IMT Ghaziabad)
    Bengaluru, Karnataka

    1. Kamonasish Mazumdar Aayush, your Bengali-is-great comment interests nobody in a recipe blog. Please read the article first before commenting.

  3. LOL Mr or MS Bengali...this is totally out of context, I hope you see a doctor soon. And yes, It is good to know that Bengalis are great, still we Konkani people cook the best fish dishes. :) PEACE

  4. Complements to Chetana kochrekar Shetye for a sincere effort to reach to the masses who are enthusiastic in cooking Goan dishes. Well done for projecting your nice skill. Please respond to my comment as I may try your preparations if you give your contact number for ordering some Goan dishes of Raus fish. - Narendra from Ponda Goa.