Aug 1, 2011

Ela Ada / Patholi

Ela Ada (Patholi in Konkani / Saraswath Cuisine )

Ela Ada is traditionally a popular snack in all communities and regions across Kerala. Its taste at the same time simplicity makes it the best choice for all occasions when one think of a traditional snack. Ela ada can be made with a variety of fillings - like coconut and jaggery, flattened rice ( aval or poha) etc - each with minimum ingredients.

A simple variety of Ela Ada / patholi is featured here. All one need is rice flour, jaggery and a banana leaf. It makes a dish which is very delicious in taste.

Makes : 6 - 7
Serves : 3


1 cup ( 200 g / 8 oz ) raw rice flour - preferably fresh
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ghee
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon extra oil
1 banana leaf ( washed and cleaned ) ( Cut banana leaves into 15 cm x 15 cm square pieces). One can make approximately 8 pieces from a banana leaf of normal size.

For the filling :

1 cup (100 g) grated coconut
1 1/4 cups jaggery (melted and sieved)
2 pinches of cardamom powder

Mix all the ingredients well and keep aside. Do not sprinkle water. It should be a thick coconut - jaggery mixture.


Boil water in a thick bottomed vessel / saucepan. Add salt and ghee. When water (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups - not more than 1 3/4 cups) starts boiling add rice flour and mix well. Rice flour should be well mixed with water. Stir continuously. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Add 1 teaspoon oil to the rice dough and knead well. Divide into 6 - 7 lemon sized portions.

Clean banana leaf. Smoke this leaf on flame for a few seconds so that it becomes flexible and easy to fold.

Cut banana leaf into 7 - inch square pieces.

Take a piece of banana leaf. Keep a lemon sized rice dough portion over it. Keep another piece of banana leaf smeared with oil (with oiled portion facing down) the dough. Press evenly to form a thin circle of rice dough of approximately 10 - 12 cm diameter. Carefully remove the leaf on top. Now one will see a thin circle of rice dough. Keep 2 teaspoon coconut - jaggery mixture in it length wise along its centre. Fold into semi circle and seal the edges tightly - such that the outer covering is the banana leaf which was placed initially.

Repeat this process for the remaining dough / filling.

Arrange these raw Ela ads / Patholi in a flat steel bowl and steam in a pressure cooker ( without weight) for 15 - 20 minutes on a low to medium heat or till done. One can notice a color change in banana leaf.

Serve hot. Once the banana leaf is peeled, one will get a nice aroma of melted jaggery.

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