Ela Ada

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Ela Ada

A traditional Kerala dish made with rice dough using banana leaves makes a great breakfast or an evening snack. When I think back to my mother`s cooking when I was a child, I don’t know how much of it was a pleasure and how much of it a challenge for her. But I know for sure that in the world that we live in, where people work hard and have little time for themselves, the act of cooking for themselves, the act of cooking for others, of entertaining, is an act of ultimate generosity and needs to be a pleasure for everyone involved.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Serves: 4

Rice flour – ¾ – 1 cup ( roasted rice flour)
Boiling water – 1 – 1¼ cup
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Grated jaggery – ⅓ cup
Banana leaves( If not available use silver foil)


1) Add salt to rice flour and mix well. Add boiling water, gradually, to the rice powder and mix using a wooden spatula/spoon. Once the mixture cools down a bit, knead with your hands to make a soft and pliable dough. Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.
2) Combine grated coconut and grated jaggery.
3) Clean the banana leaves with a wet towel. Place the cleaned leaves over gas flame; flip the sides in between, to wilt the leaves slightly. This will prevent the leaves from breaking while folding. It’s better to use leaves without the middle stem.
4) Grease the wilted leaves lightly with coconut oil or ghee. Place big lemon size balls of dough on the leaves and spread it thin using your finger tips. Make sure to dip your finger tips in water while doing this.
5) Place some filling on one side of the rolled out dough and fold from the other side and press lightly.
6) Once the water starts boiling in the steamer, place the adas and cook on high flame for 8-10 minutes. Open the steamer and see whether the ada is separated from the leaves, then it’s cooked. Tantalise your taste buds with Ela ada.

Add some crushed cardamom to the coconut jaggery mixture.
The quantity of jaggery can be adjusted to suit your sweetness level.
While steaming, make sure not to crowd the steamer with adas. If you are making large quantity, steam ada in batches. Also the cooking time for ada varies depending on the thickness of adas and how much adas you’ve placed in the steamer.


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