Jun 28, 2009

Spicy Spinach Cake / Pathrodo

Pathrodo. Say that again. brr. Fortunately, this dish is a complete opposite of how it sounds. This is a typical Mangalorean dish. The original dish is made with a specific leaf which is abundantly found in the Southern part of Karnataka. I used to eat this only when I visited with my grandparents and uncle in Mangalore. It was an absolute treat (and still is) whenever I get to eat this when I'm back in India. Anyway my mom, the genius that she is, concocted the same recipe for spinach. It is a little complicated but hey, if I can do it...well, you know how it goes. Oh and it's RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS, in a Konkani way.

Prep time: overnight

Serves 2 (minimum; depends how you eat it ;) )


1/2 cup toor dal/yellow pigeon pea (soaked overnight, uncooked)
1 cup rice (basmati works) (also soaked overnight, uncooked)
5 dried red chillies (i'd stick to 2-3 thai dried red chillies; soaked overnight with the above two)
3/4 tspn Asafoetida
1 tbspn tamarind paste
1/4 cup coconut milk (approx. )
1/2 tbspn vegetable oil
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1-1.5 cups of very roughly chopped spinach (i used baby spinach. just tearing a leaf in half is more than enough. Do not add the stems)
Salt to taste.

You need a food processor for this one..a blender might work as well. you need something with a blade. If you're really retro (try getting one of these...haha. that's what some of my family members used when electricity was shut for the entire day).


1. Soak dal, rice, and red chillies overnight (12 hours) in water in the same bowl.

2. Strain it and let it dry a little bit (I gave it about 20 minutes).

3. In your food processor add the coconut milk and red chillies. Grind.

4. It will be coarsely ground. To this add the dal and rice and grind. Also add the tamarind paste, asafoetida and salt.

5. It should be a semi-liquid with coarse granules of dal and rice. Grind it until you can no longer tell if it's dal or rice, but you can feel the coarseness with your fingers. taste this to see if it's sufficiently salty. it will be really pungent and strong.

6. Add the spinach to the mix. It's not going to coat very well as you can see in the picture, but that's fine.

7. In a pan, add oil and let it heat up. Add the mustard seeds to the hot oil. Let it pop, crackle and sizzle. at this point add the mixture. Stir it around a little bit on medium low heat (2 minutes), just enough to coat it all with the essence of the mustard seeds.

8. Next transfer it to your pressure cooker (without the weight) or steamer and steam it until it is cooked. If it is gooey and sticks to your toothpick when you poke it, let it cook. It took me about 20-30mins to cook it.

9. Let sit for about 10 mins and then serve!!!

10. If you are obsessed with mustard seeds like me, then do this: after you let it sit, cut it up into bite size pieces. In a pan, heat up some oil (1/2 tbspn oil) and add mustard seeds to it. You know the drill, once it starts jumping all over your pan, add the pieces and just pan fry them on both sides. Serve hot!

Note: It is generally eaten as an accompaniment. My brother enjoys them as is. I eat it rice+ yoghurt or rice+ dal soup (next recipe). SO GOOD.

Also this was my first time ever making it. Epic success.


A Peoples' Photographer said...

Looks fabulous! I love this blog... the only way it could be better is if you were my neighbor and you brought tastes over for me.

Pocketmouse said...

Lol. that WOULD be cool for you, yes. But hey, it could happen.