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Patoleo (Patoi)

It isn’t a forgotten or a lost recipe but very few know about this dessert / sweet from Goa.

It was originally called Patoleo by the Hindu people, however Goans pronounce it as Patoi and the East Indians call it Pan Mori or East Indian leaf cakes.

They are simple, aromatic and full of flavours steamed turmeric leaf cakes coated with Goan red rice paste /batter of a thicker consistency and stuffed with Goan Jaggery (Pyramid Jaggery), coconut and cardamom powder. They are usually during /in Monsoons and 15th August. The art of making Patoleo requires lots of patience and precision. The steamer used for preparing it is known as “Komfro”.

Jackfruit leaves may also be used for wrapping the dish and steaming it. That is another variation of Patoleo.

But I prefer using turmeric leaves because of its medicinal properties and the oil in the leaf is considered the best for purifying blood. So when the Patoleos are steamed it allows the oils to penetrate in the prepared dish thus making it very healthy. For best of this dish, the prerequisite is buying perfect parrot green aromatic haldi-turmeric leaves. In monsoons the turmeric leaves are grown in abundance and coconut is available throughout the year.

Preparation Time: 08 hours 20 minutes including time of soaking rice.

Cooking Time of Stuffing / Filling: 5 minutes

Steaming Time: 18 to 20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients and Quantity:

Turmeric leaves- 08 nos.

Goan red rice- 02 cups

For the Stuffing/ Filling:

Desi ghee- ½ tbsp.

Grated coconut- 1 ½ cups

Goan pyramid jaggery, grated- 01 cup

Green cardamom powder- ½ tsp.


Soak the rice overnight, drain the water and grind to a smooth and thick paste.

Wash the turmeric leaves thoroughly.

Wipe them dry with a kitchen absorbent paper.

Set aside.

For the stuffing:

In a heavy- bottomed pan add ghee, add grated coconut and jaggery, sauté for 5 minutes. Ensure that you keep stirring it so that it mixes evenly. Do not overcook jaggery. It has to be soft.

Add cardamom powder and mix well. Switch off the flame.

For the Patoleo preparation:

Divide the mixture into 08 equal parts. Moisten your fingers with water and take the thick paste of rice and apply on all the 08 turmeric leaves evenly.

Place the stuffing on one side or in the centre of the turmeric leaf. Fold the other half of the leaf, ensuring that it seals properly. Repeat this process for the other turmeric leaves as well.

Place them in a steamer and steam on a high flame for 18 to 20 minutes.

Once the colour of the turmeric leaves changes to a dull colour, they are ready.

Remove from the steamer.

Let it cool.

Unwrap the leaves.

Serve warm or cold as desired.


Chef Tips:

  1. You may add charoli and dried fruits to the stuffing.
  2. You may add nutmeg powder to the stuffing to further enhance the flavour of Patoleo.
  3. A pinch of salt may be added to the stuffing , as it enhances the sweetness.
  4. You may add a little water to the stuffing while preparing it, if you feel the stuffing is getting too dry.
  5. The rice paste applied to the turmeric leaves should be applied considering that it has to be of a thin layer with more amount of stuffing.
  6. I suggest placing the Muslin cloth before the Patoleo is placed in the steamer and cover it with the edges of the muslin cloth. And then steam it.