Ela Ada (Patheli in Konkan / 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 / patheli is featured here. All one need is raw rice paste, jaggery and a banana leaf. It makes a dish which is very delicious in taste. Here’s new recipe of Ela ada !!
For the Coconut Filling (always make coconut filling first):
8 tablespoon grated coconut
4 - 5 tablespoon (or to taste) melted and sieved jaggery (jaggery should be thick in consistency). Please do not use jaggery syrup.
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
In a bowl, mix grated coconut, jaggery and cardamom powder. Mix well with finger tips and make a thick mixture.
For the outer covering:
1 cup / 200 ml / 8 oz silky raw rice (ponni rice)
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon oil
Extra 3 teaspoon oil
1 big size banana leaf or 2 small size
Wash and soak rice in 2 cups in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain out rice and reserve water. In a mixer bowl, make a smooth of soaked raw rice with ½ cup water (just to cover rice). Transfer this paste into another bowl and mix it with remaining water (in which the rice is soaked), salt and oil. Consistency of the raw rice batter should be thin in consistency.
Transfer this mixture to a wide non stick pan and cook on a low to medium heat for 12 - 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens / leaves from the sides of the pan / difficult to stir and form a soft ball. At this point switch off the heat. Keep aside to cool for 10 - 12 minutes. Then knead well with 1 teaspoon oil and make a soft dough without any lumps. This rice flour dough is very soft and it’s very easy to make ada. Divide this dough 7 portions and make lemon sized balls. Cover rice balls with a clean wet towel. Then it won't be dry and easy to spread it well (like a medium thick puri).
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 (required 8 nos).
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 it evenly to form a thin circle (like a puri) 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 (One can make perfect round shape with the help of an inverted lid). Keep 1 tablespoon (please do not fill too much) coconut - jaggery mixture in it length wise along its centre. Fold it 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 / Patheli in a flat steel bowl and steam in a pressure cooker ( without weight) / steamer / pedavan / rice cooker for 15 - 20 minutes on a low to medium heat or till done. One can notice a color change in banana leaf.
Serve hot / warm / cool. Once the banana leaf is peeled, one will get a nice aroma of melted jaggery.