Thursday, July 31, 2008

Elai Adai - A traditional Kerala special

This is a very traditional sweet made in Kerala. Its mostly kind of a seasonal recipe, since ripe jackfruit is the key ingredient. When jack fruit is out of season, nenthrapazham ( a Kerala speciality banana) or avil (beaten rice/poha) is commonly used. This adai is even offered as prasadam in Thirumandamkunnu temple at Angadipuram near Malappuram dist.

Ela Adai is jaggery+jack fruit+coconut mixture with rice covering ,steam cooked in banana leaves. The banana leaves indeed give a unique flavor to the adai. During the season, jack fruit is preserved as chakkavaratti (jackfruit and jaggery). When fresh jackfruit is out of season, this adai can be prepared using the chakka varatti and coconut mixture for filling.

For the outer covering
Raw rice ½ cup
Boiled rice ½ cup
Salt - a pinch

Inner filling
Ripe jackfruit 1 cup
Jaggery ½ cup
Grated coconut 4 tbsp

If you are using chakka varatti then

Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup
Chakka varatti 4 tbsp (jackfruit jam made with jaggery)

For the outer covering

Soak equal amounts of raw rice & boiled rice for 2-3 hrs. Grind fine adding salt. The consistency should be slightly thinner than dosa batter.

To prepare the filling

Remove the seeds and the hair on the outside of the jackfruit bulbs. Mince it fine. Take a kadai. Add half cup of water and the minced jackfruit. Cook for a while & add jaggery. When the jaggery and the pieces combine well, add the grated coconut. You should get the dough like consistency.

If you are using chakka varatti, first mix grated coconut with powdered jaggery and put it on fire & stir till they both combine and add the chakka varatti and stir for 2 minutes.

Take plantain leaves and cut them to roughly 6”square. Clean & show them over the stove flame for a few seconds to make them flexible.
Spread 2 tbsp ground batter on the leaf like a thin dosa. Since I had to grind the rice before the required soaking time, you can find grains of the parboiled rice in my batter. But it did not affect the taste.

On another leaf, spread 2 tbspn of the filling
and then invert the leaf over the spread batter. Carefully lift the leaf and fold the adai like a packet.

Steam adais in the pressure cooker or idli steamer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot or cold. This tastes best when served cold.