Pajey Madipula ~ Rice Rolls Steamed in Banana Leaves

I make it a point to learn a few new recipes everytime I visit Mangalore. In the past I used to collect plenty of recipes and on some occasions even have them made in front of me. Then I would return back home and try them once again in my own kitchen before posting the recipes on the blog. This year too I managed to learn a couple of recipes, I came across something that I had never heard of before - Pajey Madpela, a term in the local language Tulu which roughly translates to 'rolled up carpet'. We had been to the Butterfly Park in Belvai, Moodabidri on a Sunday morning and enjoyed the scenic beauty en route. We started our journey pretty early as we intended to get to the park by 9 a.m., supposedly the best time to catch a glimpse of the several varieties of butterflies that live unrestricted there. The kids had a great time and thankfully the weather was great although it did drizzle during the journey. On our way back we stopped for lunch at a lovely seafood joint and I was introduced to the Pajey Madpela which we ordered along with Neer Dosa (plain rice crepes) and Pundi (rice dumplings).  

Pajey Madpela is an absolutely simple rice bread that involves only two ingredients - rice and salt and some banana leaves cut into squares. The smoothly ground batter is thinly spread over the leaves and rolled up like a carpet (or a roulade if you please!). These leaf rolls are then steamed, cooled, unrolled and the delicate breads are served with a a curry of your choice. 

I made these after I got back to Dubai and served them with some chicken curry. The thinner you spread the batter, the better the taste of the rolls. If you are able to find some banana leaves where you live, do give this recipe a try!

Pajey Madipula ~ Rice Rolls Steamed in Banana Leaves
Prep time: 3 hours + 15 mins | Steaming time: 18-20 mins | Serves: 3-4

1. Wash the rice in a couple of changes of water and soak it in plenty of water for 3-4 hours. Drain the water.
2. Grind the rice along with the salt to a super fine paste using water sparingly. You should get a thick, fine batter that is almost as smooth in texture as toothpaste
3. Wash the banana leaves and pat them dry. Cut the leaves into big enough squares (the size depends on whether your steaming equipment can comfortably accommodate them without being folded). Keep aside
4. Place sufficient water in a steamer and bring it to a rolling boil.
5. Keep a small bowl of water handy to dab your fingers. Spread out portions of the batter in as thin a layer as possible. Then roll each leaf square as if you roll a mattress. Place seam side down in the steamer. Cover all the rolls with a thin muslin cloth so that the steam drops don't fall on them to make them soggy
6. Cover the pan and steam for 18-20 minutes. Remove the rolls and let them cool completely before unrolling them to serve.
7. Serve with any veg or non veg curry of your choice. 

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