Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 287

Swad Brand Patra: Today's new food is the last of my haul from Patel Brothers in Decatur, and to be honest, I wasn't exactly looking forward to it tonight. I neglected doing my daily post until tonight (after dinner away from home), and opening up a can of new food when I wasn't at all hungry didn't sound exciting at all. However, the blog must go on, so I came home and gave this "patra" a try. The can described the contents as "curried vegetable rolls." and as with most Indian foods, the results are never exactly what I expect.
The main ingredient for this one was something called "colocasia leaves." That was something I'd never heard of, so I did a bit of research. Apparently, colocasia is an herbaceous plant that's also sometimes called "elephant's ear" due to its large leaves. The root is used to make poi (the Hawaiian dish), but this dish only used the leaves. It also included gram flour (another Indian staple), palm sugar, chili, salt, ginger, coconut, and several other spices.
As instructed by the can, I emptied the contents, then cut off a thin slice to lightly pan-fry in a bit of oil. I gave it a couple minutes of heat on each side, then plated. Based on the appearance, I wasn't really sure what this would be like, but it was actually really tasty. The gram flour portion almost had the texture of firm polenta, and the pre-cooked colocasia leaves provided a nice contrast to the starch. As with many Indian dishes, this one definitely had some heat and sweetness, but I can't wait to eat the rest of this as a side with my next dinner - it was great. If only I'd been hungrier tonight!

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