Gouri pooja
Patholi (pronounced as ‘paathoLi’) is the most important sweet dish for Gowri festival(which is on coming Sunday) and also for Nagar Panchami. During these festivals, we can find ‘Turmeric leaves’ at native (those who are in India, can find these leaves in Mangalore stores). Turmeric or plumeria or Frangipani(called as Kudchampe in Konkani, thanks Baab for the English name) leaves are used for this dish.

Gowri festival is one of the most popular festivals for Konkani women. We celebrate it as ‘Vaayna pooja’ (coconut pooja is performed on this day and those coconuts are called ‘Vaayn’). Like Ganapathi pooja, this is also done in places where people have kept this vrata/pooja. Some people do only Vayna pooja, some people keep a Gowri photo and perform the pooja, depends on how they have been following it for generations. My mother performs vayna pooja, here is how she does it

– Coconuts are washed with turmeric water. (Usually 11, 15, 25 coconuts are used. I have no idea about the significance of these numbers).
Kajal is applied to one eye, sandalwood paste(gandh) to second eye and kumkum to third eye (I think this is done as a significance of mangalya). Few people apply Kajal to two eyes, kumkum and gandh in between to signify two eyes of coconut as two eyes of Goddess gowri.
– A circular mark is done around the coconuts with chalk.
– A reddish colored thread is available in market which is used for this festival. 5 black beads(similar to the ones in Mangalsutra) are inserted into the thread and then the thread is tied into a knot (to hold the beads together).
– Infront of god, few banana leaves are spread on the floor. A layer of rice is spread.
– On top of this the coconuts are kept.
– Few oil lamps are kept on the coconut (usually 5 lamps and more).
– The threads with beads are kept on one of coconut.
– One hair brush, 5 green bangles are kept (my mom does not keep these two. It depends on how things are followed for generations).
– Decorated with flowers

After all these things are done, the pooja is performed. As prasadam, ‘patholi’ and ‘goDa phovu’ (Mix jaggery with coconut. Then mix poha).

After the pooja is performed, the coconuts are given to temples(kuldevata temple) and elder women (only to muttaide/suhaagans, meaning whose husbands are alive).

The thread is tied to the mangalsutra.
The Gowri pooja along with photo or statue of Gowri is much more elaborate than this. (I do not know the exact procedure as my mom only performed Vayna pooja).

(I hope this post is understandable. I have done my best to write about everything related to the pooja).

Ingredients for Patholi:
Coconut 1 cup
Rice 1 cup
Poha(avalakki) 1/4 cup (one handful)
Turmeric leaves 8-10 or parchment paper
For filling:
Coconut 3/4 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder 1/2 tea spn

Soak the rice in water for around 1hr.
Grind it along with coconut (without adding much water). Now add washed poha and grind to get a smooth paste. Add salt.

Heat coconut and jaggery mixing continuously till the jaggery melts and forms a uniform mixture. Add the cardamom powder.

Spread a thin layer of the rice paste on the leaf (or parchment paper piece).


Spread around 1-2 tea spns of stuffing on it.


Fold the leaf(or parchment paper) as shown.


Pile in the steamer or in a cooker vessel.

Steam it for around 12-15mins.


Preparation time : 40min
Makes around 8-10 patholis

73 thoughts on “PathoLi”

  1. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe Shilpa. Was wondering how to make patholi. Parchment paper idea is really good. Tommorrow will be my first try with patholi. Wish me luck!!!!Absolutely Love this dish

    1. i prepare pathoili myself looking at aayis post. it came out wonderful. I dried the turmeric leaves from my home town and got it here [US]. what i do is in parchment paper i keep a piece of dried turmeric leaves and it smells great. just like real ones you do with turmeric leaves itself.

      try this.

  2. Hi Shilpa …..Lot of patience to explain both Janmashtami and Vaayna Pooja. A gr8 idea to make patoli on parchment paper. I am too craving to eat it since a long time, but the only sweet tooth in the house. So i will have to freeze the remaining. Thanks for such a lovely post.

  3. Hi shilpa,
    U are an Amazing cook. U post recipes daily. Keep it up dear.
    Happy to know in detail abt the Gowri festival as we dont do it.
    The recipe looks more like kozhukattai except for the turmeric leaves , which we do for vinayaka chaturthi.

  4. For Gowri pooja…we decorate gowri’s photo with flowers. We also decorate a kalash using a coconut to represent gowri (i.e we draw eyes, nose etc). More importantly, lotus flowers are used during this pooja. Finally, the first vayna is given to gowri before distribution.

    At our place, my mom also places panna veedo with each vayna. On this is a piece of sugarcane, 1 banana each and few pieces of supari and 2 pieces of cucumber.Of course as you mentioned it varies in each house,but it is interesting to see how its passed through generations.

  5. hi shilpa,
    i’ve become gr8 fan fan of urs.parchment paper is the best for people like us who yearn for dishes like patholi and satisfy ourself with godphovu,as i dnt get patholipaan here in tokyo.once i had confused japnese ginger plant for patholi,thank god i checked for the fragrance in the supermrkt.million thanks for u.

  6. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, sorry I couldn’t respond earlier, I have been busy with work. Ya, I’m a konkani too.. settled in US. Your patholi looks great. My mom got ripe jackfruit cooked (ponosu).. I blended that with the soaked rice to make pnsachi patholi. I used aluminium foil instead of parchment paper.. it was yummy!!!
    Hope to see more of your recipes.


  7. Hi Shilpa,

    Thank you so much for this very detailed post — I enjoy learning about the traditions and culture behind this food I have grown to love and I do appreciate this first-hand account 🙂

  8. I forgot gowri puja until my mil called me up…by then I had already finished eating prawn biriyani!!I felt so bad and my husband consoled that prawn is also a vegetable in the sea!! 🙂 I wish I had read u’r wonderful post earlier…Patholi is very much like the Kerala Ada…my mom use the turmeric leaves for something called ‘Poorathada’ which is again a similar filling but a different shape!

  9. A wonderful, informative post, Shilpa. Vaayna Pooja at my MIL’s place is done the way you have explained it. (Including the hair brush & bangles, which are apparently not the tradition at your place. Actually, my MIL offers a tiny mirror too.)
    I got to know Patholi only after marriage, and I loooove it. If I am not wrong, one can use cardamom leaves instead of the turmeric leaves. Since none are available in Germany, parchment paper is what I’d use. 🙂 Thanks for the great idea.


    I found out what’s goan homemade vinegar is ! That’s is why it tastes sweetishly sour . It is apple cider vinegar and it’s easily available here ! Hooray !!

  11. Hey Shilpa. I wish you had posted this one day earlier- i was complaining to everyone about not getting haldi paan! For us the puja was yesterday so by the time I read your post my cooking, pooja and eating was done! I’m going to keep this in mind for Diwali – parchment paper – thanks for sharing the idea. I have a picture from my pooja yesterday – I can send it to you if you want it for your post.

  12. Thanks all for your kind words. I am very happy to know you all liked this post :).
    Sudeepta, I had posted this recipe on friday itself, two days in advance. I think you saw it late. I would be very happy to receive the picture of the pooja. I will be happy to update the post with picture. Thanks a lot in advance :D.

  13. Hi,
    Your website is great!!! especially for youngsters who can learn the traditional ways of celebrating festivals.
    Can somebody please post the exact procedure for conducting Lakshmi Pooja on Diwali day, as per the Kannadiga traditions.



  14. Hi Shilpa,

    Would be nice if you could post some more recipes made by Kannadigas. I am staying with my Dad, my mom does not stay with us. So dont have anyone to teach me about the Traditons & cultural practises. Hope your site will help me in some way.

  15. shilpa,

    hi, came across your site by chance and i must say no regrets. great job.

    instant patholis can be made by making a thick batter of maida and milk with salt to taste. spread on leaf, place the sweet coconut mix and steam as usual.

    try it. tastes great



  16. Rajni, sure.. I will ask somebody about Kannadiga traditions. Since I am not a Kannadiga, I don’t know the exact traditions, though I might have heard them. Let me find out…

    Thanks for the recipe Chandra. Will try it out

  17. Nice to read about vayna puja, my mom has vayna so I have seen the puja, I don’t coz my husband’s family does not have it!!

    Some things I know:

    1. My mom did not do a layer of rice below the coconuts, we would keep a fistful of rice under each coconut, so it looked nicer arranged on the banana leaf.

    2. We also kept a small banana, small comb and veedo with each coconut. The veedo is also given along with the coconut when presented to elders.

    3. You should use the gifted vayna in curries with no onion/garlic/meat/fish, usually a sweet dish is made out of it.

    4. If a wedding is held on vayna day, then the bride’s party has to decorate and bring 50 – 100 vayna to give to close relatives. More work for the already pressured bride’s family!!

    5.Last thing, the number of vayna you keep is dependent on how many your mayi/ MIL kept. So you would add 2 to the number she kept(the breakdown was something like 2 for phagra mayis, 2 for mayis, 1 for mother etc ) Even I am not sure but it was always odd.

  18. Hi Shilpa,

    Gr8 job.. keep posting…ur posts r indeed handy to the ameteur cooks. I think they don’t need to call back home to ask for recipes.

    Well, would like to share an alternate recipe of making patholi’s which i inherited from my MIL. So here goes:

    Grind 1/2 coconut with a little jaggery n’ a little water. To this add wheat flour n’ make a thick spreadable batter(thicker or as thick as the idli batter). Spread this into a thin layer on the leaf or the parchment paper. the inner filling remains the same as the one u have posted. seal and steam it.

  19. Hello Shilpa,

    I should have visited your blog before I tried making Patholi on Ganesh Chaturthi. As every year it is flop this year too… but I am not giving up.. I don’t have a wet grinder to follow my mom’s recipe. At my place (Kundapur-Coastal south Karnataka) it is called ‘Panpathali’. As you had mentioned, it is made on Turmeric Leaves on Nagpanchami and Ganesh Chaturthi. Using Parchment paper is very good Idea. I also once tried on Banana leaves until I found a plant of ‘Sugandi’ or ‘Sugand Raja’. (White butterfly ginger lily OR Hedychium coronarium. For more detail visit: I remember my mom using this leaves in absence of Turmeric leaves.

    Thanks for the recipe. I will try your method of rice dough next time.

    1. Deepti Padmanabh

      I am from Kundapur smells and tastes Devine isn’t it..all thanks to aayis recipe!

  20. thanks for the recipe. Have been trying to make this for ages. My children havent tasted this. Could not get hold of turmeric leaves, till one fine day someone had given me turmeric pods which I had just kept aside and few days later found it sprouting. Planted it and it has grown so well. Will make the recipe this weekend.

  21. Thanks for the PathoLi recipe. I want to try it. Can u please tell what is parchment paper and can i get it in any of the Indian stores. Thank You

  22. Pramila, Parchment paper is available in any American grocery stores. I think it is available with any other baking products. Click here to see its picture. I am not sure if it is available in Indian stores.

  23. I love patholi. Parchment paper idea sounds good. Can this be done using rice flour ?say, by adding warm water ? Has anyone tried it before ? I wont be able to make a thick rice paste in my grinder. Have to add some water atleast . Any suggestions ?

  24. Sm, I have not tried with rice flour before. You can add very little water, taking care the paste do not become very watery. I have the normal blender here and I managed to get thick enough paste. Give it a try.

  25. Hi! Shilpa,

    I had a konkani friend in school & her mother use to make this dish on 15th August. I loved it but never had an opportunity to taste it after I finished schooling. I will definately try it very soon. Thanks a lot!

  26. vidya keralikar

    i came across ur site few days back,very good.since iam a konkani from karwari liked most of ur recipes .we too make patholis at home just like this.thankx for the recipe .keep up the good work.

  27. hi Shilpa!
    Was excited to find this recipe here. I’m Catholic and in Goa we make this on August 15. Been a while since I tasted this, now that I’m in California. Was wondering what tool you use to scrape fresh coconut.



  28. Hi Shilpa,

    Nice innovation! BTW, if you crave the amazing taste of haldi panna in your pattoli, you can try the herb called rosemary. I too am a sucker for pattoli, and when I was in a place where I had no access to the haldi panna, I would steep rosemary in the rice flour.

  29. About Patholi paan(haldi Paan):
    Many Konkanis grow haldi paan in Houston and when I was in Corpus Christi because of weather. Green haldis is available in plenty in Indian stores as Gujaratis use a lot. But now in LA area, I tried to grow several times by planting (in our backyard) green haldi roots, only 3 to 5 % gives out leaves. I was wondering weather we can mix green haldi extract and mix with rice paste and we can get the same patholi flavor. Also, dry corn leaves are available in Mexican markets, which they use for Tamalis. I will try weather we can use for Patholi also. I love Patholi and your recipe seems very good.

  30. Dear Shilpa,
    I am not a kannadiga but we also make this recipe and it is callled valson or elaiadhai. Everything is the same only in the filling jackfruit is also added or if jackfruit is not available flattered rice(aval) is added. Thanks for teh parchment paper idea, i had once used aluminium foil and when my mom visited me she brough about 25 milk covers. But parchment paper is best.

    I am desperately looking our for Aambhyachi dal recipe which is made of raw mangoes, bengal gram,jaggery. Everhthing is raw and is served with Panna.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes


  31. Continuing on my comment for Patholi paan, many places in my front yard where Sun shines, many small Patholi paan have popped-up, so this year we might have good luck to enjoy Patholi(during coming Ganesh Chaturthi) in real haldi paan. As mentioned in my previous comment, I had planted last year many haldi maande(green haldi roots from Desi store). One lady commentator who was pregnant in Oct-Nov last year had craving for this paan, I wish I could have fulfilled her desire.

  32. Hey Shilpa, nice recipe.
    We also make somethign like this called Ela Ada.
    Just one correction. Turmeric is not Frangipani. Turmeric itself is the English word; Haldi( Hindi) / hArshna( Kannada) is called Curcuma Longa in Latin. Frangipani leaves are toxic and not to be used for food preparation.
    If you can please chage this accordingly on the site please.

    Shilpa: Pratibha, I think I confused you. What I meant was, turmeric leaves or the Frangipani leaves are used for the dish. I know both of them are different. When turmeric leaves are not available, Frangipani is used for this dish. It is possible that few particular varieties of this plant are poisonous, I don’t know about it. But at my native, these are used while steaming this dish.

  33. Hi Shilpa,
    Patholi can also be made using Maida flour instead of Rice. Here we need not grind anything. Just mix the maida flour and salt with water to make a paste enough to spread on the leaves. When we use rice chances of hardness are there. but maida gives soft patholis. I have tried this which comes out delicious too.

  34. In my vaina I give vastra to each vayn. It is a kapus or cotton spread in a flattish way with a tiny cotton placed as roll across it. Perhaps it signifies Saree and Blouse. I do it exactly like my MIL. I love exchanging vayna with my relatives as i get a chance to meet them and interact. It also strengthens the bond between relatives. I wish i could send you one. So here i am sending u a e-vayn.

  35. Thanks for this recipe. I really loved to eat it..
    but in this bangalore also i used to go to my GSB friends home on Nagarapanchami fest to taste it.. Thanks a lotttt… 😀

  36. Beautiful pictures! A tip for turmeric leaves – I bring the fresh turmeric from Indian store & grow 5-7 in a big pot, watering enough just so that the soil stays damp. It takes atleast 3-4 months to obtain the leaves, but the wait is worth it. We live in MD & winter is harsh here. So we bring the pot inside the house, so we get to save the plants as well as harvest the leaves when they are ready!

  37. dear shilpa,

    i am really liking this site, i mean i see most of the goan recipes. although i came across this site lately, its wonderful. myself being a Goan, i can releate to these recipes and also get useful tips and there is also scope for improvement.

    as for patoli, we also make it on Haratalika (the day prior to Ganesh Chaturthy), where the ladies fast for their husbands. hence we make these patolies using wheat flour (knead the dough like we make chapati) and proceed the same way. these patoli’s turn out to be softer and they dont get hard unlike the rice ones. also in goa, the fasting ladies are allowed to eat them.

    i love them.

  38. I tip from amma, use a little bit of jaggery when grinding the rice. Cardamom overpowers the fragrance of haldi leaves, so can be ignored.

  39. Dear shilpa… i would like to know whether can i use badam tree leaves instead of turmeric leaves….coz i’m not in India….
    waitng for ur reply

    Shilpa: Sorry Sabina. Don’t know.

  40. Hi Shilpa,

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you too.

    This pic is too good ya…thanks for updating this post.

    Wld love to request you to kindly add the prayer said during Vaayna Pooja, if possible

    Tk care, regds,

    Vina Ganesh Prabhu, Mumbai

  41. Hi Shilpa,
    Doing a gr8 job! we enjoy patholis & modaks very much during ganesha chaturthi.
    In Kumta we have a recipe known as bangde Huli Mensu which is basically steamed mackerals in haldi paan. if you have the recipe can you please share it with your readers
    Thank You,
    keep up the gud work

  42. Excellent job… You are brand ambassador of GSB cuisine, traditions and rituals. Much needed in these days where many are not aware of the detailed procedures. Great Job and keep it up… Appreciate your enthu, hardwork and patience…

    Good Luck,

  43. Kiranmayi Kamath

    Good job Shilpa.I wonder how you find the time to update your blog with such elaborate details.Keep up the good work going. May God bless.

  44. Hi!
    Thank you for your description of the vaayan pooja. I am married to a Konkani whose mother is a maharashtrian. We have Ganpati at our place. Being newly married it was very difficult to understand exactly what needs to be done. This description of vaayan pooja is really very useful to me. I will use this next year. I think I missed out some of the things in the pooja this time.
    When is it given to the married ladies? On the day of the visarjan? (our’s is a 2 days ganpati)
    Could you also help me out with some other such queries?

  45. I am planning to make patoli on parchment paper. Is it ok to cook them by steaming? Or is there any other way to cook them as i am using parchment paper

    Thanks in advance

  46. Wow! I had forgotten about patoli till I checked your post. 2 quick questions (I would appreciate if you could reply over my email since (even though I really love to) I may not get a chance to revisit this page. What kind of poha did you use? thin or thick? Where did you get turmeric leaves in US?

  47. Pingback: Ganesh Chaturthi 2009 « Arun Shanbhag

  48. hi…yesterday itself i bought goya’s frozen banana leaves from walmart.just found in frozen section.will try this recipie..

  49. i am a regular visitor of your site.. you have wonderful recipes posted here. tried patholi for nagar panchami festival.. it came out so good. thanks

  50. Hi Shilpa,

    I think I am using your blog more than Wikipedia:)

    We did not have vayna pooja at my mom’s place but my mother in laws place it is celebrated. I moved to US right after our marriage so dint get any chance to see how it is done other than at my wedding which I don’t remember much

    So now I am planning to do it in US with 5 coconut(as per bhat maam) and my MIL will do it with 51. your procedure matches exactly with what my mom in law said.

    I think you have missed few stuff like
    aarthi(2 )- Visarjana and normal

    However, it is really great to see the pictures here. I was struggling to imagine how to decorate the coconuts ..

    Cant thank you enough:)

  51. I love Patoli, i remember aai making this and we use to sit there waiting to finish steaming and as soon as Naiwadya is done we eat it, still remember the taste of turmeric leaves, Thanks for sharing 🙂

  52. My earlier comment had some typos. Here’s the corrected one.

    Great info. Also nothing to beat paatholi.
    A few additional info for the readers:
    (1) The coconuts are always odd numbers – 7 & so on.
    (2) Usually, kajal is applied to both eyes, sindoor in the centre (exactly like a sowbhagyavati – a married woman)
    (3) Lamps (divo) are placed on each of the coconuts.
    (4) Another speciality of the day is the green leaves (upkari) without salt
    (5) After the completion, even if it is the next day, the first vaayn is given to the eldest in the family (generally the mother-in-law or the grand mother-in-law, and then in priority of age/position. By position I mean grand mother in law, mother in law & so on).
    (6) Blessed are those who have this pratha in their family coming down from generations and it is their beholden duty and responsibility to pass this on to their future generations. It is our belief that, Adi Shakthi…gawari, kasale badha, tapatrya, kashta ayaleri, ti aamka aawsu javunu rakshan kartali.
    (7) Any body who wishes to start this, can do so, however they must bear in mind that the tradition will have to be continued by their future generations.
    God bless you & continue to post your very informative posts.

  53. Hi Shilpa ,
    A few info for the readers who wants to make Patholi the traditional way using haldi leaf:
    I love patoli a lot but using parchment paper will not give the same taste. I live in Boston and this is what i did to get the haldi leaf .
    I found haldi bulbs in Indian store, bought home and dipped the bulb in water and then in Root powder( You can find root powder in Walmart or any nursery) and placed it in a pot with some potting soil and kept it near the window .To my surprise the bulbs started to sprout small tiny leaves in less then 10 days. Now, I have had this plant for 2 months and i already have a dozen of leaf on them .I could not do patholi for gowri pooja but i am going to make Patholi for Diwali. Hope this helps.

  54. how i am dying to have Patoli…what an uncomparable aroma of Haldi paan… as today’s nagpanchami, and as i am Karwari…i wish , i could have it/make it 🙁

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