I always look forward to our weekday vegetable grocery shopping outings.This time a bunch of green leaf with tender stems caught my attention.Now when I just glanced through the vegetable aisle of our middle Eastern grocery store here, I thought may be it’s notey-shak- Amaranth leaves but on closer looks and when I hold them in hand, I found them quite similar to Paat shak/tender Jute leaves.Last time when we were in India, my father-in-law got a bunch of paat shak pata from the local vegetable market .I even helped him in to clean up the shak pata and then do a simple stir/fry recipe with it.But somehow this time I couldn't recall the leaf perfectly.When I asked the helper working in that grocery store , who was busy putting up piles of these leaves neatly packed in plastic bags,told me it’s “Molokhiyah”.Well that created doubts in my mind, but somehow deep down,I felt that it was indeed paat shak leaves.
( Paat -shak'er porotha/tender jute leaves paratha, sweet boondi, malai mushroom matar)
Actually it’s being a long time that I have seen Paat shak and then made them.It was almost out of my memeory map for sure.For every query there is google.After some google searches , I found out that “Molokhiya/malukhiyah” is actually a soup preparation in many middle eastern countries including Egypt, Lebanon,Jordan etc.Although they usually chop the leaves and then add in the simmering soup which also includes size-able portions of meat/chicken as well.All this chopping and then cooking for long time results in a slimy preparation, usually topped over a bed of cooked rice or toasted pita bread.A detailed recipe can be found here.....
( Tender Jute leaves/paat shak in Bengali )
”Molokhiya/Malukhiya “is the middle eastern name and then Jews mallow is the English name for tender jute leaves(Corchorus sp).I am sure other details can be found here and here.......
Now still after all this “gyan” through google search, my mind was still hooked to our own Bengali paat shak pata.I couldn’t let it dismiss ,to be something else.At this stage,
I put the paat shak leaf’s picture on blog's FB page ,and asked everybody to recognize the leaves.Many said it was “kalmi shak”, which indeed again made me nostalgic as I don’t get them here in UK .
But then there came a fellow reader Reshmi who told us, this is indeed “Paat shak”.She even obliged us with her way of preparing Paat shak with shorshe bata .I would say go ahead and see what she shared with us to cook.The end result is a very own “Bengali Ghoroa ranna” at it’s best.If you like what you read then like the blog’s FB page , so that you also don’t miss out these tips and recipes.
Meanwhile here is Paat shak’er porotha for you all and oh! With the left-over pat shak leaves I made paat shak’er bora as well.
Paat shak’er porotha/Tender Jute Leaves Paratha
- 1 bunch paat shak/Mulokhiya leaves/tender jute leaves
- 2 heaped cups of whole wheat flour/atta
- ½ cup of besan or chick pea flour
- For seasoning
- 1 tsp of red pepper powder
- 3-4 pinchof hing- asfoetida
- ½ tsp of cumin powder
- 1 tsp of crushed whole black pepper or 7-8 whole black pepper crushed
- 1 tsp of coriander powder
- Trim off tender leaves and tender shoots from the main stem.Blanch them for few mints.Don’t worry even if it turns out slimy, anyhow we will be adding in the dough.If you don’t like the slimy ness of the jute leaves then do not cook them more, cook until they just shrink, about 3-4 mints at medium flame not more than that.
- Now mix all the dry ingredients – red pepper powder, cumin, coriander powder, hing, crushed black pepper powder and salt.
- Mix in whole wheat flour and besan/chick pea flour.Add in oil.Add in wilted paat shak /tender jute leaf.Mix in the dry powders with the flour. Now knead it all very well with some water.Divide into 5 -6 portions.
- Roll and make parathas as required.
Paat shak’er bora/pakoda- Tender jute leaf/Saluyot fritters
- About 2 handfuls of tender jute leaves
- ¼ cup of besan/chick pea flour
- Salt as per taste
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp of crushed red chilly flakes
- ½ tsp of coriander powder
- ¼ tsp of cumin powder
- Pinch of hing
- 2-3 green chilies chopped finely
- Oil to fry the fritters/pakoda
- Take out tender leaves. Do not chop them, we will need it whole.
- Now marinate the leaves with garlic powder, cumin, coriander powder, red chilly flakes, chopped green chilies and salt. Leave it aside for 3-4 mints.
- Now mix in besan/chick pea flour, coating the leaves very well. Add in water about 1-2 tsp, just enough to bind the leaves with besan well. Or you may pick individual leaves and then dip in besan batter and then fry. Whatever way you prefer it’s up to you.
- Now heat up a saucepan, add cooking oil. Check if the oil is ready, drop a small lump of this mixture into the hot oil, if it sizzles then the oil is ready to be deep fried.
- Drop the mixture into the hot oil with a spoon. Fry well each side about 4- 5 mints at med-high flame or till they turn out nice brown and crisp.
- Serve immediately with a cup of tea or as evening snack. Your “Tele-bhaja” is ready.
Happy Cooking Friends