Patravali or Pattal or Vistaraku or Vistar or Khali is an Indian eating plate or trencher made with broad dried leaves. It is mainly made from Sal or Banyan tree leaves, in circular shape, by stitching 6 to 8 sal leaves with tiny wooden sticks. It is popular during traditional meals, festivals and in temples. It is a cottage industry in India where women work on weaving them at home in spare time.
It was used extensively in the ancient times by Hindu sages for its purity. It was a custom to serve food in a patravali for guest meal or celebrations, temple prasadam.
Patravali is made from wildly grown plants like sal tree, fodder, pala tree, jack fruit etc.
The plates are popular villages in arid region in India like parts of parts of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana etc. The banyan tree, Butea monosperma, amongst others provide leaves that are used either with many pieced together or singly (only in case of a banana leaf) to make a leaf-plate for serving a meal.
In olden days, until a century ago, a would-be son-in-law was tested on his dexterity in making a patravali plate and bowl (for serving more liquid parts of the meal such as daal or stew) before being declared acceptable by the soon to be father-in-law.
The plate is made by machines with silver foil cover at the bottom and with border for better form. And the traditional patravali is back because of its environment-friendly nature and biodegradability.