Sunday, August 13, 2006


Ela Ada: Steamed Sweet Coconut in Rice Flat Cakes

I first thank Suryafor giving the idea to use parchment paper instead of banana leaves to make this dish. For a long time I was craving for this dish after coming to the U.S. I used to check the grocery stores for the arrival of banana leaves for some occasion and so far I have never seen banana leaf’s in the Indian grocery stores. When I saw the recipe recently inSurya blog I was so happy because I got a way to make this dish in the U.S. using parchment paper.Ela Ada is a traditional Kerala recipe and we eat this for break fast.It is made of coconut and brown sugar (jaggery), which is layered inside the rice paste. Later the paste is folded with the banana leaf and steam cooked in an earthen pot or idly mould vessel.Ela ada can be made in wheat and rice flour. My mom makes with rice flour and she fills it with coconut and jaggery and also one filling just with coconut which is also called as “Poovada”. Since our family size was big and my mom had to manage work and family life, she makes this recipe on special occasions. She had to soak the rice, dry them and grind them to make this recipe, nowadays we are blessed with the ready made flours. I used rice flour to make this recipe and it is pretty easy to make. I always had a nostalgic feeling to this recipe and here it goes!!

Making the rice dough
In a pan slightly roast 1 cup of rice flour and keep it aside. Once it is cooled down, add required warm water with salt to make nice dough. Remember it should be in the form of dough and not a batter or watery consistency.

In a skillet, melt the brown sugar with a tablespoon of water and add the grated coconut. Cook for 5- 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture starts to thicken, remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

How to make Ela ada

Cut parchment paper into small sizes.
Spread a ladleful of rice dough evenly on the parchment paper; use your hands to spread the rice dough. Place a tablespoon of sweetened coconut over this and spread it evenly. Fold the parchment paper in the middle and press the sides with to close it well.

Place the parchment paper flat in a steamer and steam the packets for 15 to 20 minutes. I used idly moulds to steam the Ela ada

Remove them from the steamer, peel off the parchment paper, and serve hot with tea.

This is my entry for the Independence day food parade by Indira


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They look so good, Priya. Completely a new recipe to me and I like it. Almost like sweet dumplings that we would get in Chinese restaurants but with different kind of stuffing.

Great addition to IDF parade and thanks for taking time to participate in this event.

6:25 AM   Edit
Blogger Sudha said...

ho priya even i love this ada..i actually tried the frozen ones that we get in indian grocery stores, but they tasted pathetic..Thanks for that i have the recipe from surly going to try this soon..Just wanted to know do we get the parchment paper in american stores? because i couldnt find them in just wanted to know where we can get them..

7:31 AM   Edit
Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

Thanks Indira for your kind words:)

Sudhav, it is available in all American Stores--it is usually kept near to the aluminum foil, wax paper etc. In california it is avialble in Albertsons, safeway, and other stores...may be they ran out of stock:(

Alka, thanks for giving another idea---now I can try with aluminium foil--- chakka varati as a filling would be yummy-- I had it back home:)

1:45 PM   Edit
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These look great! I will certainly try the recipe.

Banana Leaves are readily available in CA. You can find them frozen in Thai/Cambodian/Vietnamese stores around the bay. Ranch 99 should have them as well. They come in flat packets that are about 1' x 1' square.

Sometimes you can find them fresh in these places too, but more rarely. Frozen is always available.

3:33 PM   Edit
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priya, thats a great idea. We use turmeric leaves to make this dish and I never had the hopes of finding those leaves here. Now I can do the dish.... Thanks a lot for this tip.
A great entry for the parade.

4:09 PM   Edit
Blogger Menu Today said...

Hi Priya,
Nice entry for Independence day parade, I love this ada stuffed with "chakkavarati". Thanx for sharing.

7:08 PM   Edit
Blogger Prema Sundar said...

I have heard of ela ada and i have seen in frozen section in indian grocery stores. But i havent tried it.Very nice step by step presentation.Thanks for sharing a traditional kerala recipe

9:24 PM   Edit
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Independence Day!
They look delicious! I love this kind of sweets! Concerning the flour: is it rice or glutinous rice flour?

12:37 AM   Edit
Blogger Unknown said...

Yummy. Happy indepedence day.

1:02 AM   Edit
Blogger Tina Jennifer D'Silva said...

Hey Priya... My mother makes this too.. & we used to love it... I never tried it here coz we dont get banana leaves. But parchment paper is a good idea.. Thanx for the idea..

11:12 AM   Edit
Blogger Krithika said...

Ela ada looks yummy ! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

2:57 PM   Edit
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your ada looks delicious Priya..happy Independence day to u and ur family

6:20 PM   Edit
Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

Diane, thanks for the info--will check them soon:)
Shilpa with parchment paper it is so easy to make:)
MT, thanks for your comments:)
Prema, try it- it is similar to Kozhakatta
M- I just used rice flour- these are available in the Indian Stores.
Pushpa, thanks and wish you the same:)
Monisha, good to see you around here:) let me know how it came in your kitchen.
Hey Tina, after a long time I am seeing you here:) Hope you and your kid is doing good:) Let me know how this turned for you.
Krithika and Annita- Happy Independence day to you guys:)

11:16 PM   Edit
Blogger Prema Sundar said...

Will surely try this priya. Thanks u so much for adding me to ur bloggers list.

Hey Prema, Let me know how it came for you in your Kitchen:)

4:16 AM   Edit
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very similar to the kozhukattai we do at home. My mother still soaks and grinds the rice(Nothing like freshly made rice flour). We usually empty half the filling before she even starts stuffing.

Anonymous, it is very similar to Kozhukatta.. even my mom still into the custom of grinding and making stuff. I just make with the rice flour, I don't have that much patience:)

8:54 PM   Edit
Blogger Shah cooks said...

My first time commenting at ur blog, and i feel like I am at home here. love adas. Can you post chakka ada too?I made a savoury version of ada and I would like to link u to complete the description of the process.

10:24 AM   Edit
Blogger Shakthi said...

hi..iam new to ur blog..i want to know abt rice flour..indian stores rice flour is not that good when i tried to make these kind of items but didnt turn u think..its need to pout hot water to make a dough..tell me ..if possibe reply me soon.thanks

7:01 PM   Edit
Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

Shakthi, I usually roast the rice flour slightly and add warm water, and it comes out well. Other method- (hard process) is you can wash the raw rice, allow them to dry, and dry roast them slightly and grind them.

7:22 PM   Edit
Blogger Billo said...


The parchment paper idea was superb, especially rolling using another paper on the top. My MIL and my mom (both are visiting me now) are amazed to see the super duper "paper" ada :-) We are planning to use the same paper rolling technique for pathiri and kozhalappam!! Pathiri would be very easy, thin and quick using this idea. Thanks again, Billo

4:00 PM   Edit

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