Hands up: Who knew raw Elephant Ear (Colocasia) leaves are inedible and in fact, toxic?! What we commonly called Patra in India. Still lost? This plant:
I was looking for a raw alternative to rotis for my wraps - and came across these little beauties at the market, and they're a real bargain, too, for just Rs. 1 per leaf. Plus, my mom got a tub of Undhiya, which is a popular winter time Gujarati vegetable stew. I thought that would make the perfect base for my Elephant Ear raw wraps.
So, today while I have some free time, I looked up Elephant Ear and did find that the plant is mildly toxic and should not be attempted raw. All parts of the plant contain the compound calcium oxalate, which is destroyed by cooking. Soak the leaves overnight in water to reduce some of the toxicity and then cook them with a pinch of baking soda. And Its supposedly best combined with milk (yuck!) to further reduce its side effects. My verdict is, to just say no to the plant from now on!
I was more than happy to donate what was remaining of my Elephant Ear leaves to my mom who can make some delicious Parsi-style Patra.
Warning: Do not have these leaves raw unless you have the immunity/impugnity of a, well, elephant.
Raw Patra Wrap with Undhiya and Veggies
- 1 Elephant Ear leaf
- 2 tablespoons of Undhiya
- About a cup of chopped assorted veggies - I used cabbage, carrot, and spring onions
- 2 jalepeno peppers, chopped
Wash the Elephant Ear leaf.
As they say, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Ah, well.