Elayada is a popular traditional snack across all the regions of Kerala. This is mainly served on “our Traditional Festival- Onam”. It is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam- i.e on the month of August or September. The Onam Carnival lasts ten days starting from Atham and the tenth day, Thiruonam is the most important of all. Elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers all are a part of this dynamic festival. Some of them are Vallam Kali, Pulikkali, Pookkalam, Onatthappan, Thumbi Thullal, Onavillu, Kazhchakkula, Onapottan,Atthachamayam etc.
And this is the Pookalam (flower carpet) which P and I had put for last year… Our first Onam together <3
Story goes that during the reign of mighty asura (demon) king, Mahabali, Kerala witnessed its golden era. The state was happy and prosperous and king was highly regarded by his subjects. Apart from all his virtues, Mahabali had one shortcoming. He was egoistic. This weakness in Mahabali’s character was utilized by Gods to bring an end to his reign as they felt challenged by Mahabali’s growing popularity. However, for all the good deed done by Mahabali, God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people with whom he was so attached. It is this visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. People make all efforts to celebrate the festival in a grand way and impress upon their dear King that they are happy and wish him well.- Adapted from onamfestival.org
Rice flour – 1 1/2 cups
Warm water – 1 cup and as needed
Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
Plantain leaves – Cut into small rectangular/square shapes
For the filling: Coconut – 1 cup grated, Jaggery – 4-5 pieces or more if you want to the filling more sweet; Cardamom powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Make the rice dough by mixing rice flour, water and salt. The dough should be looser than the ‘chappathi’ dough.
For the filling, the jaggery is melted in a saucepan with a little water and when done, it is allowed to cool. Once the jaggery is cooled, the grated coconut and cardamom powder are added and mixed well.
Take one piece of plantain leaf and show it over a burning stove just to warm it for a second or two at each side. The green color of the leaf will turn into a slightly darker color. We should be careful not to allow it to burn or turn to black. Repeat the same for the other leaf pieces. This is done so that the leaves when folded won’t get torn.
For making ada, take one piece of leaf, brush it with one or two drops of oil. Place one big spoon of dough in the middle and spread it across the leaf using finger tips and flatten into a thin layer. If the dough starts to get sticky, just dip the finger tips in water or oil. The filling is placed in one half and then folded. Repeat the process for making more of them.
In a steamer, place these folded adas carefully. Don’t over crowd them. Fill the steamer with some water and close the lid and once you see the steam coming, turn the heat to medium-low and steam for 5 – 7 more minutes. Carefully open the steamer and transfer those wonderfully smelling adas into serving plate.
The filling can be made with a lot of variations,by adding bananas to them, or using sugar instead of jaggery or using just coconut and adding a little more salt to the dough or with whatever you can come up with, from sweet to savory to spicy… 🙂
Needless to say, P loved my Maiden venture!! 🙂 🙂