The steamed rice sweets that are wrapped in turmeric leaves are prepared on certain occasions by the Hindus as well as the Catholics here in Goa. ‘Patoleo’s’ are also called ‘Patoli’. Made with lots of love and care by our Goan women the recipe might be easier than the other desserts such as bebinca but without a doubt is very delicious.
To make Patoleo’s you need:
To make Patoleo’s you need jaggery, grated coconut, rice, cardamom and turmeric leaves. The preparation starts by putting the jaggery and coconut on a slow fire, adding 3/4th cup of water and stirring occasionally. Next, you need to clean and wash the turmeric leaves; after this is done keep them aside and you can start with the rice. Soak the rice in water and wash it thoroughly. Put it in the blender and grind it to a paste.
While doing all this don’t forget to keep stirring the jaggery and coconut…!
Slow cook the rice paste and add salt. Next, you need to add the cardamom to the coconut- jaggery mix and stir it evenly. Your filling is done! By now the rice will also have thickened, let it cool down a bit so you can knead it.
Let’s begin assembling the ‘Patoleo’.
Take a small portion of the rice dough and line it with the main vein of the turmeric leaf and flatten it along the sides. Make it nice and thin, add the filling and fold the leaf sealing your patoleo. Once all the patoleo’s are done get the steamer on and steam the patoleo’s. This will take approximately 20 minutes per batch.
Your Patoleo’s are ready to eat. They are made for various occasions such as Shravan, Nag Panchami, Hartalika, Konsachem fest (harvest festival) and even on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi. They are also taken as ‘vojem’ to the groom’s house by Catholics and Hindus as well.
August 15, Independence day which is also an obligation day for Roman Catholics as it is the feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, Patoleo’s are one of the main dishes prepared. Another great celebration in Goa calls for this great dish and that is the feast of St. John or Festa de São João.
Sweets like these are made with great pride here in Goa keeping the traditions alive. Everybody in the family comes together to help prepare these dishes for the various occasions that are celebrated by Goans throughout the year. A family that cooks together stays together.