A Konkani rainy season delicacy – Alvatti

With the advent of the rainy season, we find green vegetation all around. Since ancient times we were using many of these plants as ingredients in our cuisine. One such green leafy vegetable is Colocasia. These leaves if not boiled properly, produce itching inside mouth and down to the throat. If soaked in water, it produces itching of our hands too. So while using the leaves – Chop cleaned and dried leaves without touching water. If there is itching, wash the hands with tamarind and water. The itching factor is common and not to be afraid of, because boiled leaves would get rid of the itch and turn out delicious.


Other rainy season specials used in this dish are –
– dried seeds of jackfruit ( in jackfruit season, we take out the seeds and dry them under sun to be used later in different dishes),
tender bamboo shoots
hog plums (ambade/amtekayi/Ambazhanga – Thanks to Anjali for translations)

(clockwise from left – bamboo shoots, hog plums, jackfruit seeds)

So commonly we prepare Alvatti in these days. Bamboo shoots(keerlu) give a crunch to the dish, hog plums give a nice tangy flavor and jackfruit seeds give a great texture. When the colocasia leaves are cooked, they considerably go down in volume(like spinach), so use them in large quantity.

4 / 5 cups finely chopped calocasia leaves with stem(pathrade panna)
1 / 2 cup Bamboo shoot pieces(Keerlu)
8 – 10 Jackfruit seeds
3 Hog plum(Ambade)
1 cup grated coconut
5 Red chillies
8-10 garlic pods(small ones) OR Seasoning of mustard seeds, curry leaves

Cook chopped calocasia leaves with bamboo shoot pieces and seeds of jackfruit(crush and remove the outer skin before using).

Grind coconut and chillies. Add the masala to cooked leaves.
Add crushed / peeled ambades, salt and cook for about three minutes.
Heat oil fry garlic pods in it. OR Make a seasoning of mustard and curry leaves.
Add them to the boiling dish.
Alvatti is ready for use either with rice or chapati.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time: 30mins

29 thoughts on “A Konkani rainy season delicacy – Alvatti”

  1. Nice pictures and wonderful recipe. My Amma makes this during Ashtami no garlic phanna but lots of ginger. She makes a similar recipe with bhajje the red leafy vegetable. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Poornima Prabhu

    hmmmm,keerlu,pathrode paanu,bikkandu are all every Konkani’s dream dishes especially when u r out of reach of these things.My mil makes alvatti very differently,though.Keep posting.

  3. Hello Varada-ji

    Thank you for sharing this interesting recipe and I can only imagine the unique flavors of Ambado and Jackfruit seeds with the colocassia leaves. I don’t know if I’ll get bamboo shoots but with the rest of the ingredients it should taste good too right? Did you use coconut oil for the tempering?

    shilpa: Anjali, you get bamboo shoots in Mangalore stores – both in Malleswaram and Jayanagar 4th block vegetable markets. Give them a try. We do make this without bamboo shoots though. Aayi normally uses coconut oil for all the seasonings.

  4. oh wow.. yum yumm…
    Just waiting for my alva paan to grow. I will try your version next time combo looks so nice. In my mom’s version we add only kala chana and leaves. Thanks for sharing.

    Shilpa: Gowri, we call that version venti randayi.

  5. Varada aunty,
    What lovely new things u are getting us introduced into. Of course jackfruit seeds are nothing new but these two are certainly exceptional. I happened to eat the deep fried version of pathrode and i underwent severe itching right from my tongue till intestine ,though i loved its taste, and the person who made it used tamarind, is it so that some people will definitely getting itching in spite of using tamraind. Very informative.

    shilpa: Nirupama, there are 2 different types of colocasia leaves, One type is extremely itchy and no matter how much you boil, the itchiness does not go away. Your best bet is tender light green leaves which are usually not itchy. Tamarind water is used to wash hands and adding tamarind in the recipe does not have any effect on the itchiness.

  6. Xpt Patrado i can eat ne thing of this may be it venti randai or ganti butti nd the delicious alvathi or gajabaje……………but wht to do i dont get colocassia leaves here 🙁 gr8 recipe

  7. Shilpa Shanbhag

    Nice combination…We use Jolu(Corn on the cob) instead of Kirlu and even that turns out excellent… And for that added zing,my mom adds slit green chilles topped with Karbev-sasam phan. I must try this combination when I visit home next.


  8. Very nice!! reminds me of another konkani fav, vaali shaak. have you posted it here before? vaali bhaji with oysters or dry prawns?

    Shilpa: I think you are referring to this recipe. We don’t call it vali shaak though.

  9. Hey Shilpa,

    What a co-incidence. My MIL had prepared this dish yesterday. It tastes so good. beleive me we were licking our fingers. Let me tell you we had added only corn to this dish. . Tastes really good.

  10. As colocasia and ambade is not available here I use spinach leaves and olives.I have never added bamboo shoots but will try next time I make it.:-)

  11. yes, mouthwatering alvathi. in mangalore we prepare it only with patrade paan,ginger,greenchilies slit to be boiled with masolu and ambado. and then karibevu sasam panna in coconut oil. delicious

  12. Right radhika.. normally they prepare as you said in every households. But what shilpa has posted is the traditional way…. YUMMY!!!! especially when we are not getting it 🙁 🙁

  13. YUMMY!!!! especially when we are not getting it 🙁 🙁
    But it is generally made without garlic panna.. only sasam karbevu…..

  14. Oh, how I wanted to get off at Kumta… (isn’t that your native place, Shilpa/Varada?) we trsveled in the passenger train from Udupi to Madgaon. I saw what can only be described as jungles of colocasia everywhere! I hope I get an invitation for next time…

    Shilpa: Yes Anita. It would have been wonderful if you had visited our home. Next time when you go there, please let me know and you are always welcome 🙂

  15. Nagesh Kaikini

    s Shilpa has mentioned steaming/cooking also breaks down/destroys the oxalates……..but the itching of throat will persist, to some extent..

    4) If however you prpare; but not fully. masala steamed patrode (gujarati
    patraa) the oxalate crystals often get broken down.
    5) Recipe for masala patrode, some other timr please.


  16. Thank you Mai!

    This has to be one of my Favorite dishes. I can have this with rice or chapattis. In our home in Mumbai this was a regular dish made atleast once a week! Yaay!

  17. Correct me if I am wrong but this is not alvati. This is tere paanna ambat/ghashi.
    Alvati doesnt have garlic n red chillies. It is done with lots of ginger n green chillies. Its made during nagarpanchami n krishnashtami especially. Its mandatory for krishnashtami as far as I know.


    Shilpa: Namrata, there are different versions of Alvatti. We call this as alvatti. We make venti randayi for Krishnashtami.

  18. I remember I left a message here, but can’t find it now.

    I love having this with cheppi/dhavi/narlya kheeri. teyi is just round the corner. 🙂

    Shilpa: I thought I had seen your comment too, I can’t find it now. I am very sorry :((. My site is acting up these days.

  19. Tried it today. Came out excellent. But unfortunately the leaves were very prickly.
    So had to throw away the whole preparation. :(((

  20. hi, there is another recipe made by the christians it’s called alu dhento bhaji and you use the stems of the pathra leaves .the masala is ground and fried in ghee and it is delicious . red chillis, corriander seeds,turmeric, jaggrey, zeera, garlic , cloves and cinnamon and it comes out real nice with ambade.

  21. Overcome by a wave of nostalgia after seeing all the konkani recipes………..the reds, the kulitha idli……and ambade !!! Even if I cook all that here in Netherlands, something of the Indian salt or water ( chlorine laced !!!) yet makes a difference to taste. I nearly started to feel I am losing touch with kokani cooking!!!

  22. Thanks for sharing, remembered my Aai, she use to make it, we use to collect the seeds of ‘phanas’ after finished eating the flesh around it. One of my fav8 as a konkani 🙂

  23. Shilpa,
    After handling colocasia soaked water my hands started itching horribly. I tried washing with soap and applying moisturizer but none worked. I did a google search and came across your blog. Thank you so much for the tamarind water tip. Since I had a lemon handy, I just squeezed the juice directly over my hands and the itching gradually reduced. God Bless you!

  24. This itchy stem /leaves is called TARO in english and in mauritius Brede SONGE. Very nice to eat with PURI. The one that comes from India to UK is not the same as the one from mauritius.It is easy to grow in non frosty area. Grow a small dasheen ( a root vegetable) found in indian greengrocer.Needs lots of water,Area must not be too hot nor too cold. I grew one dasheen in the soil but when the snow and frost came it died.

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