Collard green rolls with a unique spicy filling.
Merry Christmas Y’All!!! I hope everyone is enjoying this loooong weekend with their loved ones. The kids are going to be enjoying their gifts delivered by Santa so I am going to make an effort to gift the adults. By that I mean the gift of getting kids to eat their vegetables and I mean leafy vegetables especially collard greens. These sweet and sour collard rolls are easy to make and are the perfect finger food for hungry kids. The adults won’t feel left out either since these rolls can become the perfect accompaniment to their evening cup of tea.
My original plan on this long weekend was to experiment with a couple of recipes in the kitchen. But with such a festive atmosphere all round that plan went quickly out of the window. Instead I got the Dallas citypass and took my wife on a visit to a few attractions in the city. Among them the perot museum was a personal favorite since it was one of the most interactive museums that I have come across. One of the things my wifey loved was the Biolab where she got to analyze DNA. She got a taste of what I do on a daily basis and she was pretty impressed!!! (Ok. I admit these are my words, not hers. I am simply blowing my own trumpet!!!)
With all the fun that we were having it was quiet a surprise that I found time to get in the kitchen and cook up something (CHUCKLES!!!). The inspiration for this dish came to me a couple of weeks ago while skyping with my mom in INDIA. She had family over for dinner and one of the things that she had made was “ ALU VADI” which are basically stuffed colocassia leaf rolls. The filling is usually besan or gram flour (with a few spices) where the tangy tamarind is balanced with the sweet jaggery (cane sugar). This is a dish, which I think pretty much every Mumbaiite absolutely loves. I decided to do it with a twist by using collards instead of the colocassia leaves.
To make the filling mix together gram flour, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, sugar and salt. I did not have the jaggery that is usually used so I simply replaced it with sugar. Add tamarind paste and required water to make a thick paste.
Wash and wipe the leaves with paper towel or dry cloth. Remove the stem and slice the middle vein with a knife. This takes out the tough part of the leaf and makes it easier to roll. Gently roll the rolling pin on the leaf to flatten the veins otherwise the rolls would be very chewy.
On a plain surface, place the leaf smooth side down and spread the paste evenly on the rough side. Stack 3 more leaves on top of the first one repeating the same steps each time. I usually make these rolls with a maximum of 4 leaves. You can try using more leaves but then the rolls become a full-fledged appetizer instead of bite-sized finger food.
Fold the sides of the leaves inside and tightly roll the leaves just like a burrito. Then tie it with a thread or string to prevent it from opening in the steamer.
Preheat a steamer with enough water. Grease the steamer plate with oil. Place the rolls and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let it cool.
Once the rolls cool down slice them half an inch thick.
Heat oil in a pan on a low heat, fry the steamed roll till golden brown on both the sides.
Serve with tea.
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- 8 Collard Green Leaves
- 1 cup Gram Flour
- ¾ tsp Cumin Powder
- ¾ tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- Water as required
- Oil as required
- In a bowl add gram flour, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, sugar, salt and mix. Add tamarind paste and required water to make a thick paste.
- Wash and wipe the leaves with paper towel or dry cloth.Remove the stem and slice the middle vein with a knife. Gently roll the rolling pin on the leaf to flatten the veins
- On a plain surface, place the leaves smooth side down and spread the paste evenly. Place another leaf on the top and spread the paste, similarly place the third and fourth leaf.
- Fold the sides of the leaves inside and tightly roll the leaves just like a burrito. Tie it with a thread to prevent it from opening in the steamer.
- Preheat a steamer with enough water. Grease the steamer plate with oil. Place the rolls and steam for 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let it cool.
- Once cool slice the rolls half an inch thick.
- Heat oil in a pan on a low heat, fry the steamed roll till golden brown on both the sides. Serve with tea.