Ke Savor The Sweet Essence Of Kerala: Mastering the Art of Making Traditonal Ela Ada - A Step by Step Guide F

Header Ads Widget

Savor The Sweet Essence Of Kerala: Mastering the Art of Making Traditonal Ela Ada - A Step by Step Guide

Ela Ada | Elayappam | Kerala Ada Recipe

 Delicious And Authentic Ela Ada Recipe : A Step By Step Guide To Make Perfect Traditional Kerala Sweet

Welcome to our culinary journey into the heart of Kerala's traditional sweets. Today, we're delving into the delightful world of Ela Ada, also known as Ela Appam. These exquisite treat hold a special place in the hearts of Keralites and have been cherished for generations. Made from a delicate b lend of rice flour, jaggery, coconut and aromatic spices. Ela Ada/ Ela Appam is a unique delicacy that showcases the rich flavors and cultural heritage of Kerala. In this blog post, we will take you through a step by step guide on how to create these heavenly steamed rice dumplings, packed with sweet filling and wrapped in fragrant banana leaves. Join us as we unravel the secrets behind making the perfect Ela Ada /Ela Appam and discover the joy of indulging in this beloved Kerala sweet. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will leave your taste buds to longing for more!

    Discovering the Delights of Ela Ada: A guide to Kerala's Traditional Sweet Treat

    Ela Ada, also known as Ela appam, is a traditional sweet dish from Indian state of Kerala. It is a steamed rice dumpling that is filled with a delicious mixture of jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar), grated coconut, and sometimes flavored with cardamom or other spices. The name "Ela" refers to the banana leaf used to wrap the dumplings, which imparts a unique aroma and flavor to the dish.

    To prepare Ela Ada, a batter is made by grinding soaked rice and water into smooth paste. This batter is then spread thinly on banana leaves, and the sweet filling is placed in the center. The leaf is carefully folded and sealed, creating a parcel that is then steamed until the rice dough cooks through and filling becomes soft and gooey.

    Ela Ada is a popular snack or dessert during festivals and special occasions in Kerala, such as Onam and Vishu. It is loved for its delicate flavours, the sweetness of jaggery and the fragrances of the banana leaf. The combination of soft, aromatic rice dumplings and the rich, sweet filling makes Ela Ada a truly irresistible treat. 

    The name "Ela Ada" has its origins in Malayalam language, which is spoken in the state of Kerala, India, where this sweet dish is traditionally made. The Word "Ela" in Malayalam means "leaf", specifically referring to the banana leaf that is used to wrap the ada. The term "Ada" refers to the steamed rice dumpling itself. 

    Since Ela Ada is prepared by spreading a rice batter on a banana leaf and then folding it to enclose the sweet filling, the name perfectly captures the essence of this culinary creation. The banana leaf not only serve as a natural wrapper but also impart a unique aroma and flavor to the dish.

    The combination of "Ela" leaf and "Ada" (steamed rice dumplings) gives us the name "Ela Ada" which has becomes synonymous with this beloved traditional Kerala Sweet. 

    Unlocking Ela Ada Mastery: Expert's Tips And Tricks For Creating Irritable Kerala Sweet Dumplings

    1. Use high quality roasted rice flour: Look for finely ground, good quality roasted rice flour, preferably made from a variety of rice suitable for making ada. This will ensure a better texture and flavor. 
    2. Measure accurately: Use precise measurements when combining the roasted rice flour with water to make dough. Consistency is key, so follow the recipe closely for the best results. 
    3. Adjust the water quantity : Unlike regular rice flour, roasted rice flour requires less water to form the dough. Gradually add water to the flour and knead until you achieve a soft, pliable dough that holds together well. 
    4. Quality ingredients: Use fresh, grated coconut and high-quality jaggery for filling. Fresh coconut adds a delightful texture and flavor, while good quality jaggery ensures a rice, natural sweetness. 
    5. Flavor infusion: Enhance the taste of coconut-jaggery filling by adding aromatic spices such as cardamom powder or a pinch of nutmeg. These spices add depth and complexity to the flavor profile.
    6. Cool the filling: Allow the cooked coconut jaggery mixture to cool completely before using it as a filling. This will make it easier to handle and prevent it from oozing out of the ada while wrapping.
    7. Banana leaf preparation: Choose fresh and pliable banana leaves for wrapping the ada. Rise them well and gently heat them over a flame to make them more flexible and release their natural aroma.
    8. Proper wrapping technique: Take a portion of the rice dough and flatten it into a disc on the greased banana leaf. Place a spoonful of cooled coconut-jaggery mixture in the center and carefully fold the leaf to enclose the filling. Ensure a secure seal to prevent any leakage during steaming. 
    9. Steaming method: Arrange the wrapped ada in a steamer or idli maker, making sure thy have enough space to expand. Steam them for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat until the ada is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.
    10. Cooking and serving: Allow the steamed ada to cool slightly before carefully removing them from banana leaves. Serve them warm or at room temperature for best taste and texture. 

    Remember, practice and experimentation are key to perfecting your Ela Ada with a cooked jaggery mixture. With these tips and tricks, you'll be able to create irresistible ada that will delight your taste buds and capture the essence of this beloved Kerala sweet. Enjoy the culinary journey and the flavors of tradition!

     Beyond The Basics: Delve Deeper into Ela Ada

    1. Serving suggestions: Ela ada can be enjoyed as a standalone snack or sweet dessert. You can serve it with a side of coconut chutney or enjoy it as it is.
    2. Storage and shelf life: Ela ada is best consumed fresh. However, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. To retain their freshness, you can refrigerate the ada for up to 3-4 days. Reheat them briefly in a steamer or microwave before serving.
    3. Variations: Ela Ada can be customized with different fillings based on personal preferences. You can experiment with fillings like mashed banana, roasted sesame seeds, nut or even savory options like spiced potato or mixed vegetable filling.
    4. Vegan and gluten free options: To make the recipe vegan, you can use plant based oil instead of ghee or butter for greasing the banana leaves. For a gluten-free version, ensure that the rice flourished is labeled gluten free or made from a gluten-free grains
    5. Importance of banana leaves: The use of banana leaves is not for aesthetics but also imparts a unique aroma and flavor to the Ela Ada. They act as a natural wrapper and help in retaining the moisture and enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

    Essential Tips for Handling With Banana Leaves With Confidence

    1. Select fresh leaves : Choose fresh, pliable banana leaves that are free from blemishes or tears. Look for leaves that are vibrant green and have a smooth texture.
    2. Clean the leaves: Rinse the banana leaves thoroughly with water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently wipe them dry with a clean cloth or a paper towel.
    3. Cut into manageable size. Trim the banana leaves into squares or rectangles of an appropriate size for wrapping ela ada. 
    4. Grease the leaves : Lightly grease the banana leaves with a natural flavored oil or ghee before spreading the rice dough. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the leaves and make it easier to fold and shape the Ela ada.
    5. Practice folding and sealing : Fold the banana leaves gently to enclose the filling and secure the edges. You can use toothpicks to hold the folded edges in place if needed. Take care not to tear the leaves while folding or sealing.
    6. Steaming precautions: When arranging the wrapped Ela Ada in the steamer, make sure to leave some space between them to allow steaming to circulate evenly. Avoid overcrowding as it may affect the cooking process. 
    7. Remove carefully: Once the Ela Ada is steamed, handle them with care when removing them form the banana leaves. Use a spatula or tongs to lift them gently to avoid any breakage or tearing. 

    "Steaming Variations For Flawless Ela Ada: Explore Various Methods To Master This Traditional Delicacy"

    Method 1 : Traditional steaming

    1. Prepare a steamer by filling a large pot with water and bring it to a gentle boil.
    2. Place a steaming basket or a stand inside the pot to elevate ele ada above the water level.
    3. Arrange the wrapped ela ada on steaming basket, leavening some space between them for steam circulation. 
    4. Cover the pot with tight-fitting lid and steam the Ela Ada on medium heat for about 10 -15 minutes or until they are cooked through.

    Method 2: Idli steamer

    1. If you have an idli steamer or an idli maker, it can be an excellent option for steaming ela ada.
    2. Fill the base of the idli steamer with water and bring it to a boil.
    3. Grease the idli plate with a little oil or ghee to prevent sticking.
    4. Place the wrapped Ela Ada on the Greased idli plates, measuring they have enough space between them.
    5. Stack the idli plates in the steamer and cover it with a lid.
    6. Steam the Ela Ada for about 10-15 minutes or until they are thoroughly cooked.

    Method 3: Pressure cooker method

    1. If you prefer using a pressure cooker, you can also steam the ela ada using it.
    2. Pour water into the pressure cooker, enough to create steam, but ensure it's not too much that it touches the Ela Ada.
    3. Grease a plate or a small bowl that fits inside the pressure cooker.
    4. Place the wrapped Ela ada on the greased plate or bowl, leaving some space between them.
    5. Close the pressure cooker with its lid, without the whistle/weight, and steam the Ela Ada for about 10 -15 minutes on medium heat. 

    Note : Remember to Adjust the cooking time based on the thickness and size of the Ela Ada. Which ever steaming methods you choose, ensure that the steam is evenly distributed and that the Ela Ada are thoroughly cooked. 

    Unique variations of Ela Ada To Take Your Culinary Journey To New Heights

    1.  Banana Ela Ada: Add slices of ripe banana along with the coconut-jaggery filling to create a deliciously sweet and fruity twist to the traditional Ela Ada. 
    2. Nutty Delight: Incorporate finely chopped nuts such as cashews, almonds, or pistachios into the coconut-Jaggery filling for added crunch and richness. 
    3. Sesame Twist: Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over the coconut-jaggery filling before wrapping the Ela Ada. The nutty and slightly earthy flavor of sesame seeds complements the sweetness of the filling. 
    4. Cardamom infusion: Enhance the aroma and flavor of the Ela Ada by adding a pinch of freshly ground cardamom powder to coconut jaggery mixture. Cardamom imparts a delightful fragrance and a hint of spiciness. 
    5. Jackfruit bliss: Include small pieces of ripe jackfruit along with the coconut-jaggery filling for a burst of tropical sweetness and unique texture. 
    6. Chocolate Indulge: For a decadent twist, add chocolate shavings or chocolate chips to the coconut-jaggery filling. When steamed, the chocolate melts, creating a delightful chocolatey surprise within the Ela Ada. 
    7. Savory Variations: If you prefer savory flavours, you can create a savory version of Ela ada by replacing the sweet filling with savory mixture of spices mashed potatoes, onion and herbs. This variation is perfect for those who enjoy a savory snack or appetizer. 
    Feel free to experiment with different flavours combinations and ingredients to create your own unique variations of Ela Ada. Let your creativity guide you and enjoy the delightful flavours that each variation brings!

    "Ela Ada: A Culinary Emblem of Festivities and Cultural Heritage"

    Ela Ada Holds Immerse Significance in the cultural fabric of Kerala and if often prepared and enjoyed during special occasions and festive celebrations. Let's explore the specials occasions an cultural significance of Ela Ada. 

    1. Onam: Onam, The most significant festival in Kerala, celebrates the homecoming of Legendary King Mahabali. Ela Ada is an integral part of the grand Onam feast known as Onasadya. It is prepared with love and served as a sweet delicacy, symbolizing the abundance and prosperity associated with the festival.
    2. Vishu: Vishu marks the Malayali New Year and is celebrated with great fervor. Ela Ada is considered an essential component of Vishu Kani, a special arrangement of auspicious items displaced on the day of Vishu. It is believed to bring blessing and good fortune for the upcoming year. 
    3. Weddings and Festive Gatherings: Ela Ada is commonly prepared and shared during weddings and other festive gatherings in Kerala. It ads a tough of sweetness and joy to these special occasions, bringing families and friends together in celebration. 
    4. Religious Observances : Ela Ada is also offered as prasadam (blessed food) in temples during religious rituals and ceremonies. Devotees believe that partaking in ela Ada as prasadam brings blessings and divine grace. 
    5. Cultural Heritage: Ela Ada represents the culinary heritage and traditions of Kerala. The process of carefully wrapping the sweet filling in banana leaves is a time-honored technique passed down through generations, preserving the cultural essence of the dish.
    6. Symbol of Love and affections: Sharing Ela Ada with family, friends and neighbors is a gesture of love, affection and goodwill. It fosters a sense of togetherness and community spirit, creating cherished memories and strengthening bonds. 
    Ela Ada's presence during these special occasions reflects the rich cultural heritage and values of Kerala. It embodies the spirit of joy, abundance and tradition, making it a beloved sweet treat that is cherished and enjoyed by all. 

    "Nourishing Delight : Health benefits of Ela Ada That Make It A Wholesome Treat"

    Ela Ada not only delights of taste buds but also offers several health benefits. Here are some reasons why Ela Ada an be considered as a nourishing meal

    1. Nutritional Goodness: Ela Ada contains ingredients like rice flour, coconut, and jaggery, which contribute to its nutritional value. Rice flour provides carbohydrates for energy, while coconut offers healthy fats, dietary fiber and essential minerals such as potassium and manganese. 
    2. Natural sweetness: The sweetness in Ela Ada primarily comes from jaggery, which is a natural unrefined sweetener. Jaggery is a healthier alternative to processed sugar as it retain more of its natural nutrients, including iron, calcium and antioxidants. 
    3. Rich Fiber: Ela Ada contains coconut which is a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber aids in digestion, promotes a feeling of fullness and helps maintaining bowel regularity. It also supports a healthy gut and can contribute to overall digestive well-being.
    4. Antioxidant Potential: Jaggery used in Ela Ada is known to possess antioxidant properties due to the presence of phenolic compounds. Antioxidants help in neutralizing harmful free radicals reducing oxidative stress and promoting overall cellular health. 
    5. Sustained energy release: The combination of carbohydrates from rice flour and the presence of healthy fasts from coconut in Ela Ada provides a balanced source of energy. This can help sustain energy levels and keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods. 
    6. Gluten-Free Option: Ela ada made with gluten-free rice four is suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It allows those following a gluten-free diet to enjoy a traditional and delicious treat without compromising their dietary needs.
    It's important to remember that while Ela Ada offers health benefits, moderation is Key. Enjoy Ela Ada as a part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle to make the most of its nutritional value while savoring its delightful flavors. 

    Perfect pairing : Accompaniments That Complement the Flavors of Ela Ada

    Ela Ada is a delicious treat on its own, but it can be enhanced further by paring it with complementary accompaniments. Here are some delightful options to enjoy alongside your Ela Ada:

    1. Coconut Chutney: Serve Ela Ada with a side of freshly prepared coconut chutney. The creamy and mildly spiced chutney made with coconut, green chilies, ginger and tempered with mustard seeds adds a refreshing contrast to the sweetness of the Ela Ada. 
    2. Cardamom-infused milk: Pair Ela Ada with a warm cup of cardamom-infused milk. The aromatic flavours of cardamom complement the delicate sweetness of the Ada, creating a comforting and satisfying combination. 
    3. Filter coffee: For coffee lovers, a cup of traditional South Indian filter coffee makes an excellent accompaniment to Ela Ada. The rich, aromatic coffee with a hint of sweetness beautifully complements the flavors of the Ada. 
    4. Banana slices: Enjoy Ela Ada with slices of ripe banana. The natural sweetness of banana enhances the overall taste and texture of the Ada, crating a delightful combination. 
    5. Vanilla ice cream: Indulge in a fusion of flavours by serving Ela Ada with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. The coolness and creaminess of the ice cream complement the warm and sweet Ela ada, resulting in a delightful contrast.
    6. Ghee: Drizzle a small amount of melted ghee over the Ela Ada before serving. The richness of the ghee adds a luxurious touch and enhances the flavor of Ada, making it even more enjoyable. 

    Remember, these are just suggestions, and you can get creative with your accompaniments based on your personal preferences. Paring Ela Ada with the right accompaniment can elevate the overall dining experience, offering a delightful balance of flavor and textures. 

    From Ela Ada To Elayappam: Unveiling the Many Names of this Delightful Treat

    Ela Ada is primarily known by its traditional name, but it may also be referend to other regional names or variations. Here are some alternate names of Ela Ada:

    1. Elayappam: This is another common name of Ela Ada, particularly in certain regions of Kerala.
    2. Vazhanayappam: In some parts of Kerala, Ela Ada is known as vazhanayappam, emphasizing the use vazhanayila or fresh bay leaves as outer as the wrapper.
    3. Vazhayila Ada: This name highlights the use of banana leaves (vazhayilla) as the outer covering of the Ada.
    4. Illai adai : Ilai adai is a Tamil Name for Ela Ada,  with "ilai" referring to banana leaf and "adai" indicating the dish. 
    5. Patholi: In the coastal regions of Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra, Ela Ada is known as Patholi. It is prepared similarly to Ela Ada but may have slight regional variations.
    6. Patholi: This is another name used in certain parts of Maharashtra to refer to the sweet dish made with rice flour and coconut-jaggery filling wrapped in banana leaves.
    These names may vary across different regions and communities, but they all generally refer to the same delightful dish of rice flour dough filled with a sweet coconut-jaggery mixture and wrapped in banana leaves before steaming. 

    Diving Deeper into Ela Ada: Uncovering Further Details and Cultural Significance

    Here are a few additional information about ela ada
    1. Regional variations : While the basic concept of Ela Ada remains the same, there may be slight regional variations in terms of the filling, flavours and cooking techniques. Different regions and communities within Kerala may have their own unique method of preparing and enjoying Ela Ada. 
    2. Seasonal specialties: Ela ada is often associated with specific seasons or festivals in Kerala. For example, during the monsoon season, a variation called Thumba Ada is prepared using colocasia leaves instead of banana leaves. It showcases the adaptability and creativity within the Ela Ada Tradition. 
    3. Handmade with Love: The process of making Ela Ada is often a labor of love. It involves hand-rolling the rice dough, carefully shaping and filling each ada and wrapping then in banana leaves. This handmade touch adds an extra layer of authenticity and craftsmanship to the dish.
    4. Cultural Significance: Ela ada is not just a culinary delight but also carries cultural and nostalgic significance for many people from Kerala. It is associated with memories of festive gatherings, family bonding, and traditional culinary practices that have been passed down through generations. 
    5. Steaming time: The steaming time for Ela Ada Can Vary Depending on the size and thickness of Ada. Typically, it takes around 10-15 minutes for the Ada to cook through, but it's essential to check for doneness by gently pressing the ada. When it feels firm and cooked, it is ready to be enjoyed. 
    6. Fusion creation: Ela Ada's versatility allows for innovative and creative fusion creations. Some culinary enthusiasts experiment with different filings, such as chocolate, fruit jams, or even savory ingredients like cheese and herbs, to add unique flavor and twists to the traditional recipe. 
    7. Serving temperature: Ela Ada can be served warm or at room temperature, depending on personal preferences. Warm Ela ada offers a delightful contrast between the soft outer layer and the warm, gooey filling, while room temperature ela ada allows the flavors to meld and develop further. 
    8. Popularity Beyond Kerala: While Ela Ada is a beyond traditional delicacy in Kerala, its popularity has spread beyond the states borders. It is now enjoyed and appreciated by people across Indian and even internationally, showcasing the widespread appeal of this delectable treat.  


    Heavenly Harmony of Ingredients: Exploring the Essential Components of Authentic Ela Ada

    Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe

    Preparation time : 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Total time : 25 minutes

    Kerala's Scrumptious Banana Leaf Delicacy


    For the dough
    • 1 cup rice flour
    • 3/4 to 1.25 cup water 
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 teaspoon oil

    For filling

    • 1 cup coconut 
    • 3/4 cup jaggery
    • 1 teaspoon ghee
    • 1/4 teaspoon jaggery powder

    Other ingredients

    • Banana leaves
    • Water

    Step By Step Guide to Make irresistible Ela Ada: A Visual Tutorial With Detailed Instructions And Pictures.

    1. Making the dough :: Place one sauce pan with water and place it on the stove top over high heat. Add a table spoon of oil and a pinch of salt to the water. Bring the water to rolling boil.
      Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe

    2. In a mixing bowl, take the roasted rice flour
      Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe

    3.  Gradually add water, little by little, and mix with a spoon or wooden spatula. Set aside.

    4. Melting jaggery for the filling : In a saucepan or a deep-bottomed pan, take the grated or chopped jaggery. Place the pan on the stove over low heat. Stir the jiggery continuously as it begins to melt. Keep stirring until the jaggery completely dissolves and form a syrup-like consistency. 
      Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe
    5. Kneading the dough : Knead to form a soft and pliable dough. the dough should hold its shape with being too dry or sticky. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
      Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe

    Prepare the coconut-jaggery filling :

    1.  Once the jaggery has melted, sieve the syrup through a strainer to remove impurities.  Add grated coconut, ghee and cardamom powder to the pan.  
      Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe

    2. Stir continuously until the jaggery melts and mixture thickens to a sticky consistency. Remove from heat and let the filling cool completely.
      Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe

    3. Wrapping the Ela Ada : Take a small portion of the rice dough.
      Ela Ada Recipe | Elayappam Recipe | Ilayada Recipe

    4. Flatten it with your hands on a greased banana leaf square. 
      Hand spreading rice dough on a banana leaf to create the base for ela ada

    5. Place one or two tablespoons of the jaggery coconut filling in the center of the flattened dough.
      Two tablespoons of jaggery coconut mix being carefully placed on the rice dough on a banana leaf

    6. Fold the banana leaf in half, covering the filing completely. Gently press the edges of the banana leaf to secure the batter to prevent any leakage.
      The banana leaf folded in hlaf, enclosing the jaggery-coconut filling, with gentle pressure applied to seal the eds of ela ada

    By following these steps, You'll ensure that the rice dough is evenly spread on the banana leaf, the filling is well-placed, and the edges are securely sealed resulting in delicious and well formed ela ada.

    1. Steaming the Ela Ada : Prepare a steamer by filling it with water and bringing it to a gentle boil. Arrange the wraped ada in the steamer, leaving some space between them for even cooking. Steam the ada on medium heat for about 5 - 10 minutes or until they are cooked through.  
    2. Cooling and Serving: Once steamed, carefully remove the ada from the banana leaves and let them cool slightly. Serve the ada warm or at room temperature as a delightful snack or dessert. Enjoy the delightful flavor and texture of Ela Ada with roasted rice flour. 

    Happy cooking


    Post a Comment