Alu Wadi is a crispy Indian snack-appetizer made with Colocasia (Taro) leaves and is a perfect side dish with your meal.
Alu Wadi is traditional Maharashtrian snack or appetizer recipe made with colocasia (taro) leaves which is called as Alu in Marathi or Patra in Hindi . These leaves are layered with a spicy, tangy and sweet chickpea flour paste and then rolled into a log which is then steamed and sliced into thin Vadis (circles), hence the name Alu Wadi or Alu chi Vadi (in Marathi). It can be served steamed or shallow fried (crispy golden brown) with chutney or just on its own.
How to make Alu Wadi
The process to make this Alu Wadi recipe is a bit long but worth the effort. There are a lot of steps involved but they are not at all difficult. If you have someone who can help you along, its even more fun! To make it easy and less intimidating I've divided the process into the following steps.
- Prep - The Colocasia leaves are available in most asian/Indian grocery stores now. Pick the fresh green looking ones. Make Chickpea flour batter and get the leaves ready by washing, drying and trimming the stem and veins. Colocasia leaves may cause itching (to some) either while handling or after eating (scratching sensation in throat). So use gloves if you haven't worked with them before. Adding tamarind and cooking the leaves is known to help reduce the itchy feeling (in throat) caused after consumption of these leaves.
- Build - layer the leaves with the batter and roll into a log. See below step by step details below.
- Steam - This is the first step of cooking this Colocasia roll. Steam the rolls until they are cooked and then slice each roll into ¼th inch thick wadis. Its delicious to eat it steamed too but I prefer the fried one more. You can do steps 1-3 in advance and refrigerate/freeze the vadis until ready to serve.
- Shallow fry - Last but not least, shallow fry these alu wadis on a skillet of tempering made with mustard seeds, curry leaves and sesame seeds until golden brown and crispy. They taste best when served hot and crispy!!
Step by Step Method to Make Alu Wadi:
Rinse the leaves and wipe them dry. Work with one leaf at a time, place it upside down and using a knife remove the thick stem and veins without tearing the leaf. Cut off the thick stem and gently slide the knife along the vein to remove it (as shown in pic 2 from left). You can do this a few times till vein is almost flat as the leaf. To level it further, use a rolling pin and run it along the vein to even it up. Prepare all the leaves this way and keep them ready.
Now form tight roll - fold the bottom portion slightly, then bring in the left side to touch the centre, apply some batter to help with sticking. Similarly fold the right to touch centre and apply some batter. Now roll starting bottom to up rolling as tight as possible. Similarly make the second roll.
Grease the steamer basket if needed with some oil. Place both the rolls seam side down in the steamer basket. Steam for 15-20mins. Cut each roll into ¼ inch thick slices which are called Wadi or Vadi. You can freeze these vadis or refrigerate them for later use. They are good for couple of days in refrigerator. When ready to serve, prepare a tempering of oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and sesame seeds. Once the seeds start to crackle add the Wadis and fry one side on medium high until golden brown then flip and fry the other side too. They taste best when served hot and crispy - Yum!!
Different Options for Steaming
You can steam using your regular steamer or pressure cooker or Instant Pot or Multipot. Place water inside your preferred steaming machine about 1-2 cups and bring it to a boil. You can do this by pressing the saute button on Instant Pot or Multipot.. Now place the steamer basket with the rolls inside into this and close the lid. If using a regular pressure cooker, remove the weight and steam for 15-20 mins. For Instant Pot or Multipot. - Press steam with value set to venting and steam for 15 mins with external timer followed by NPR.
You can serve this Aluwadi as a snack or appetizer on it own or with a chutney or dip Or even as a side dish with you meal. One of my favorite combinations is to pair Alu Wadi with Varan bhat/chapati, Matki usal and lemon pickle. Perfect Maharashtrian comfort meal like I grew up eating.
Can I Freeze Alu Wadi
Yes absolutely!! You can freeze both the steamed roll and the wadis in ziplock/freezer safe containers. If you are planning to consume them in couple of days or even a week, you can simply refrigerate the steamed roll and/or wadis and shallow fry just before serving.
Hope you enjoy this Alu Wadi - Patra as much as we do!! If you give this recipe a try, we did love to hear from you ❤️ Please let us know your rating and feedback in the comments below. Thank you!
- 14 colocasia leaves Taro leaves or patra
For the Batter
- handful of cilantro finely chopped
- shredded coconut fresh or frozen (thawed)
Preparing the Colocasia leaves
- Rinse the leaves and wipe them dry.
- Work with one leaf at a time, place it upside down and using a knife remove the thick stem and veins without tearing the leaf. Cut the thick stem and gently slide the knife along the vein to remove it. you can do this a few times till vein is almost flat as the leaf.
- To level it further, use a rolling pin and run it along the vein to even it up further.
- Prepare all the leaves this way and keep them ready.
Making Chickpea flour Batter
- In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredient mentioned for batter - Besan(chickpea flour), salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, asafoetida (hing), jaggery powder and tamarind pulp.
- Add some water slowly to make a paste that is easily spreadable - neither runny nor too thick.
- This chickpea flour batter should have spicy, tangy and sweet flavor so depending on your taste adjust the red chilli, jaggery and tamarind quantity.
Making Alu Wadi
- Divide the leaves into two batches of 7 each to make two rolls
- For the first roll, take the biggest leaf of that batch and place it upside down i.e veins side up.
- Apply a thin layer of the batter using hands (preferably) and spread it all over the leaf.
- Place another leaf upside down again but in alternate way to the first i.e pointed part of the leaf is now at the broad portion of first leaf.
- Spread the batter evenly on top of the second leaf as well.
- Place the third leaf upside down in the same way as the first i.e the pointed side is at the broader side of second leaf and so on.
- Repeat these steps for all the 7 leaves.
- Now form tight roll - fold the botton slightly, then bring in the left to tpuch the middle line. apply some batter to help with sticking. Similarly fold the right to touch the middle line. Now roll starting bottom to up rolling as tight as possible.
- Similarly make the second roll.
Steaming Alu Wadi
- Place both the rolls seam side down in the steamer basket. You can grease the basket if needed with some oil.
- You can steam using your regular steamer or pressure cooker or Instant pot or Multipot
- Place water inside your preferred steaming machine about 1-2 cups and bring it to a boil. You can do this by pressing the saute button on Instant pot or Multipot.
- Now place the steamer basket with the rolls inside into this and close the lid. Steam for 15-20minsIf using a regular pressure cooker, remove the weight and steam for 15-20 mins. For Instant pot/Multipot - Press steam with value set to venting and steam for 15 mins with external timer followed by NPR.
- Once the steam has settled, open the lid and take the steamer out.
- Cut each roll into ¼ inch thick slices which are called Wadi or Vadi.
- You can freeze these vadis or refrigerate them for later use. They are good for couple of days in refrigerator.
Shallow Frying/Tempering the Alu Wadi
- Depending on your skillet/pan size you may have to divide the tempering ingredients into two batches.
- Heat a frying pan/skillet on medium high heat and to it add oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and wait till the start spluttering.
- Now add the asafoetida, curry leaves and sesame seeds and give it a quick stir.
- Add the Alu Wadis in a single layer all over the pan (as many as can be accommodated).
- Cook for 5-6 mins on one side until the wadis are golden brown and crispy and then flip and cook the other side till golden brown and crispy.
- Serve these hot and crispy sprinkled with some cilantro and shredded coconut.
- The number of Wadis may vary depending on the size of the Alu/Colocasia leaves. Maintain the ¼ inch thickness though and make as many as you can.
- Some prefer to add ginger and garam masala to the chickpea flour batter, so you can add those if you like to your taste.
- I have used store bought tamarind paste. if you are using regular tamarind, soak in warm water (about couple of tbsps) and then squeeze the extract which can be then added to the batter.