Elai Adai is a steamed delicacy, very popular in Kerala. Elai refers to plantain leaf and ada refers to the steamed flat rice cake filled with a mixture of grated coconut sweetened with jaggery and flavored with cardamom.
Though elai adai is a family favorite but it is not prepared as often as I would’ve liked to. My grandmother used to prepare it mostly in the summer as she liked to flavor the filling with jackfruit pieces or jackfruit preserve. So the trend has been continuing and by default all of us make it during the jackfruit season. Not that the filling doesn’t taste good without the jackfruit, but it definitely adds to the flavor.
There are different ways of preparing the outer covering. Some use rice flour, some wheat flour and some others even use maida. Today’s recipe is one which has been used in our family for more than 3 generations now. So here comes the recipe:
What you’ll need
For the outer covering
- Raw Rice – 1 Cup
- Idly Rice – 1 Cup
- Salt – a pinch
For the filling
- Fresh Grated Coconut – 1 Cup
- Powdered Jaggery – ½ Cup
- Finely Chopped Jackfruit Pieces – 1/2 Cup
- Ghee – 2 tsp
Plantain Leaves - 6 to 8
- Wash and rinse both the rice for 4 hours.
- Grind into a smooth paste adding water whenever necessary. The batter should not be very runny or very thick. Add a pinch of salt. Mix well and keep aside.
For the filling
- Heat a kadai. Add the powdered jaggery and ¼ cup of water. Let the jaggery dissolve completely. Strain for impurities.
- Pour back into the kadai and bring to a boil on medium heat. Take care not to burn the syrup. Once it reaches one string consistency add the grated coconut, jackfruit pieces and keep stirring.
- Stir until all the moisture evaporates and you start seeing frothy bubbles on the sides of the kadai.
- Remove from flame. Add 2 tsp of ghee, mix well. Let this mixture cool down.
In the meanwhile, prepare the banana leaves.
- Try to select leaves without the middle vein of the leaf. (Also called Tiffin Elai or Elai Cheendu)
- Wipe the leaves with a moist cloth.
- Then place one leaf at a time on the gas flame for about, flipping and turning the leaf so that the leaf is slightly wilted. This step helps in making the parcel easy.
Preparing the adais
- Take a prepared banana leaf. Grease very lightly with ghee.
- Pour a spoonful of the prepared rice batter and spread like a small dosa. Should not be very thin.
- Now place some of the filling to cover half of the dosa.
- Fold the banana leaf from the opposite side. Fold both the sides and the open side as well so as to make a closed parcel.
- Steam cook the prepared parcels for 10 to 15 minutes.
Delicious Elai Adai is ready to eat.
- You could prepare the filling with only grated coconut and jaggery flavored with cardamom powder.
- You could add sliced bananas instead of Jackfruit. Add the bananas at the end, give a good mix and remove the filling from heat.
- You could also add Chakka Varatti (Jackfruit preserve) to the prepared filling and mix well and use.
- The filling can be prepared a day or 2 in advance. It stays good for about 10 days when refrigerated.
Linking this to Kerala Kitchen hosted by Julie.