Feb 20, 2010

Jackfruit Ada / Cake ( Ponsa Patholi in Konkani / Saraswat Cuisine )

Jackfruit Cake / Ada ( Ponsa Patholi in Konkani / Saraswat Cuisine )

On my daily rounds in the market today, I came across a ripe jack fruit, which I was seeing after a long gap ( its not jack fruit season yet and they are arriving in market in a trickle). Immediately the idea struck in my mind to prepare a “Ponsa Patholi” - which my son is fond of. The banana leaf was also available nearby.
This is a dish relished by all Cochin GSB’s during the jack fruit season. When I was a kid, this was prepared during week ends or holidays only so that the whole joint family will take part in preparing this - including the kids - right from ripping apart the ripe jack fruit to finishing the dish. It was great fun. More over, those days, jack fruits were available every where ( unlike today - when they are sold in counts of bulbs - but it saves the cleaning part).

It was a pleasant surprise to see something similar being prepared in Malaysia( especially East Malaysia - Sarawak and Sabah). The method and taste is some what similar, but they use sticky rice.

Makes: 8 - 10 Ada / Patholi


2 cups raw rice
3 cups water ( for soaking rice )
Approximately 15 bulbs of ripe jackfruit with seeds removed and the flesh cleaned
1 1/4 cup grated coconut
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup melted jaggery ( cubes can also be used, Better to melt and clean it)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 big banana leaves


For batter:

Wash and clean rice. Soak in water for 5 - 6 hours. Drain out water completely.

Chop jackfruit and keep aside.

Mix rice, grated coconut, chopped jackfruit and melted jaggery together and grind to a thick and coarse paste in grinder (preferable - as the paste can be ground in a single go and with minimum water) or mixer ( in batches). Sprinkle little water while grinding. Final color of the batter should be light brown. Add cardamon powder. It is necessary to get a thick paste consistency to prepare this in the banana leaf. Add more jaggery if one needs this to be sweeter.

For Jackfruit Cake / Ada:

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

Cut banana leaves into 7 - inch square pieces.

Keep 2 tablespoon batter in the centre of the banana leaves. Fold and keep in a container. Repeat the process to make 6 - 8 adas or to the limit of the vessel. Arrange the Adas in a steel bowl and steam in a pressure cooker ( without weight ) or in a steamer for 25 - 30 minutes on medium heat. Allow this to cool. Remove the banana leaf covering and consume the ada.

If banana leaf is not available, pour the ada batter in a steel bowl (grease the vessel with little oil before pouring the batter) and steam in a pressure cooker or steamer for 30 minutes on a medium heat. For even cooking, the batter thickness should not be more than 1 - 1 1/2 inch (from the base of the pan / bowl). Later, allow to cool, cut into pieces of desired sizes and remove from the vessel.

Another modification is to shallow fry the ada. Remove the banana leaf of the Ada, cut into smaller pieces and shallow fry with ghee. This will make them tastier. This is called “Bhajjille Patholi” in Konkani.

Bhajjile Patholi / Shallow fried ada

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