My fascination towards organic plates started when my siblings and I went to stay over at my grandmother’s place in Medchal over summer holidays, when we were kids. I must have been 8 years old then. During our stay, we went for a morning walk and came across these bushes all along the walkway. Our cousins explained to us how we can make plates out of these leaves. And I was super excited about this.
Once we came back from our walk, our grandmother made plates for all of us to eat our breakfast in, by the time we were all fresh. That’s it! From then, I was zinged to the idea!
It wasn’t until 2015, when I was working and they were distributing these saplings in our IT SEZ. I could not resist taking one home! It took almost six years for this bush to give us enough leaves to make plates of our own. At one point, I was sure it was going to die. But these plants shed all their leaves and start over again!
I only vaguely remember how to make these plates from the one time I saw my grandmother make it. My father gave me superficial guidance from all the times he must have watched his mother making them. And one of my aunts has helped me out by making few samples for me – so I can replicate them. And here I am making them in batches now!
Making of Organic Plates/ Vistharakulu:
You can make these plates from fresh leaves if you are going to use them on the same day. If you want to store these plates for special occasions & festivals, watch the below videos:
After you make a string of these leaves, leave them in sun until they dry completely (approximately 2 weeks). Then take them out of sun and separate every leaf, sprinkle some water to make them a little soft. But I have dipped them in water completely to wash out all the dust they collected while drying. Then pile them up in stacks, put them in a gunny bag or plastic bag and put them under heavy weight over night. My dad suggested leaving them under mattress, this will help to flatten the leaves. Next morning, you can remove them and make your organic plates/vistharakulu.
Organic Plates/ Vistharakulu are easily decomposable in comparison to plastic plates.