07 January 2014

Ela Ada Recipe | Ila Ada Recipe | Vazhayila Ada Recipe|Ilayappam|Elayappam Recipe


Wrapped in green,
Pure white skin,
With a brown-y in,
She is called "Ilayappam"/"Ela Ada",a popular Kerala tiffin....

Ada/Ela Ada/Ila appam/Elayappam/Ilayappam/Ila Ada/Vazhayila ada/Valsan - as they are fondly called in different parts of Kerala ,is one of the popular and staple traditional breakfast recipe or an evening snack from God's own Country,Kerala.

Ela Ada is a South Indian sweet delicacy from God's own country,Kerala.

As the name ela Ada,this food item is prepared - wrapped in ela\ila\leaves ,the Banana leaves exclusively here,which infuses a distinct Earthy and natural one-of-a-kind flavor and aroma into the adai ,the dish- that,especially a true Mallu (shortie of Malayali,natives of Kerala) enjoys the most and anyone living far away from their native place especially abroad ,will get a nostalgic kick on their palate and memories ,once this food is steamed covered in banana leaves with a crunchy sweet fillings of grated coconuts and Jaggery/sugar/fruit fillings...


The aroma itself will make you "suffer" (a sweet one), waiting patiently for the Ela Ada/ilayappam to get steamed and cooked well...and when it is...it's like a surprise gift wrapped inside those Banana leaves,you just can't wait to open ...and when you do,it's like opening a novel and as they say,"Do not judge a book by its cover" - by now,the Banana leaves might have wilted ,looking pale and lifeless,but best is yet to come.. Time to turn the edible page....

Once you peel off this green-y cover,the Banana leaf , it will be the beginning of a sweet love story and you can't help but get carried away to a la la land of sweet nostalgia - (for me) those early mornings ,amma busy in kitchen,clinking of utensils,an aroma that will wake you up no matter how "I-am-not-a-morning-person" type you are, that Earthy-humble-homely aroma injecting in your nostrils gradually from those Banana leaves that once swayed at your home's backyard,and you are in an edible trance,you know,it can only emerge from something quite simple,humble ,as sweet as an Vazhayila Ada/Ela Ada ..


One bite ,and you will be thankful that you are a true Malayali 😊....and then you know, why do you see the God's own country,Kerala ,fringed with those Banana trees and Coconut trees....and you'll eventually thank them too ...I don't know about you but I certainly do when I don't get Banana leaves here that easily..It's an hide and seek game ....though I found out an alternative by steaming it covered in aluminium foil but then it lacks the true essence of those precious Banana leaves ...O dear Banana tree,I thank thee !!!🙇🙌


To those who don't know how to make it,I betcha, you are dying (well..not literally ,God forbid) to know how to make'em ...

And ,I am going to show you how to make an authentic Ela Ada Kerala style/Ila appam/Elayappam/Ilayappam/Ila Ada/Vazhayila ada/Valsan recipe in TWO ways -Ela Ada with Banana leaves and Ela Ada without ela/Banana leaves.


So,this is how I make Ela Ada Kerala style at home :- 

Ela Ada/Ilayappam


Roasted Rice flour - 2 Cup
Water - 3 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Oil/ghee - 1 teaspoon
Grated coconut - 1-2 cups
Jaggery , grated or powder -  3/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2- 1 teaspoon(optional)
Cumin seeds -1 Teaspoon(optional)
Plantain/Banana leaves as needed
Aluminium foil 


Pls watch the Ela Ada recipe video that will guide you step by step how to make ada properly especially the dough .


  • Boil water. Keep 1/2 cup water aside.
  • Add salt ,oil/ghee and lower the flame ,then add roasted rice flour little by little and stirring in between so that rice flour absorbs all water ,forms kind of lumps and not paste.
  • Turn off the flame.Allow it to cool a bit but should be warm enough,comfortable for the hand to knead it into a dough later like the chapathi dough.
  • Prepare the coconut -Jaggery mixture by heating 1/4 cup of water and melting the jaggery into it or use grated jaggery directly .Add the coconut into it and on low flame let the mixture get thickened.
  • Add the cardamom powder and cumin powder,give a stir.Put the stove off.
  • Take rectangular pieces of Banana leaves and make small balls out of the dough and place it on each Banana leaf.
  • Flatten it on the leaves and stretch the edges using fingertips dipped in water (for easy stretching and shaping ) as thin as possible.
  • Put 3 tablespoons of coconut-jaggery above mixture into the center ,spread a little and fold it (including the leaf) into half and fold the edges of the appam/ada well to seal to prevent leaking.
  • Continue the same process with rest of the dough,mixture and Banana leaves.
  • Steam it for 5 minutes from high to low flame or till it is cooked well.
  • Put the stove off and allow it to cool a bit .
  • Serve it warm for the best taste and carefully remove the banana leaves and EAT.
  • Ilayappam/Vazhayila Ada is ready !!
  • Half cup of water while boiling is set aside to make sure the water is enough to make the rice soaked in and the flour is not dry but completely wet and absorbed so that it can be kneaded later on into dough properly.
  • You can also use plain sugar instead of jaggery for a simple yet quick version of elayappam recipe..or Any fruits like jackfruit,mango etc etc for an exotic/tropical ela ada ;)


Little rice ,little coconut,little jaggery,banana leaves sums it up -"Proud to be a Malayalee !" - An Ela Ada die hard fan...