Hope all of you who celebrate Onam had it in a grand way. This Onam, I wanted to make the most favored payasam of Kerala - Palada pradhaman. Now a days making palada isn't a big affair when you can have ready made ada packets off the shelf from stores. But I wanted to try it from scratch i.e prepare ada at home.
Traditionally the batter is spread on banana leaf and is rolled and tied with the string from the leaves itself. Then these rolled leaves are dropped in boiling water and cooked. The adai is peeled from the leaves and cut into pieces. I was thinking of doing it the same way. But I haven't seen this myself and all I have is the theoretical knowledge of it. Just before making, called my amma to clear my doubts. My sister picked up the call and I said the reason for my calling and she was like I am enough to clear your doubts. And she told she she has made ada twice from scratch. She suggested me to use the vadam stand which will be easier to manage.
Preparing the ada
Raw rice flour - 1 cup
Salt a pinch
Soak rice for 5 hours or overnight.Grind to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt. The batter should not be very runny. While grinding the rice, take care not to add to much water and end up with a runny batter.
Spread the batter slightly thick on the greased plate.
Steam for 10 minutes. Remove the ada from the plate and cut into four.
Score into strips and chop into tiny bits.
By this time, the ada would have dried a bit and it will not be sticky. Transfer the bits to plate.
Repeat the steps with the remaining batter and store the ada in the refrigerator if you are not using it right away. If you have good sunshine, you could sun dry it and store in an air tight container for a long time.
The ada measured to 1 cups heaped.
To prepare the palada pradhaman
Ada - 1 cup heaped
Sugar - 2 cups
Milk - 2 litres
Usually, the ada is cooked in a mix of water and milk , till it turns soft. Then milk is added in installments and cooked till it is thick and then sugar is added to it and it is further cooked to attain a creamy consistency. All this will take loads of time. So I tipped all the ingredients to my 7 litre cooker and pressure cooked for one whistle and kept the heat in lowest flame and continued for another 15 minutes. By then the pressure had build up inside and milk started coming out of the pressure vent along with the whistle. I switched off the heat and left if for half an hour.
Opened the pressure cooker and went on to cook till it had a creamy consistency which took nearly an hour on medium heat. Cooking in the pressure helped to get that pink color which intensed on further cooking and could cut down the cooking time and constant stirring. Leave it for an hour or so to let the pradhaman mature the flavor further. The test for doneness is when you pour a ladle of the pradhaman on a plate and draw a line it should not join immediately.
Tasting just one spoon of the luscious pradhaman will make you forget all the work that went into it.