Ela Ada/Ilai Adai

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Cooks in : 40 min Serves: 2 people

Ela Ada is a Kerala delicacy, consisting of parcels made out of rice flour dough with sweet fillings, steamed in banana leaf and generally served as a snack or breakfast item. Replacing the rice flour with millet flour makes it more nutritious. I used sorghum/jowar flour for this recipe.


For Dough:
  • 1 Cup Sorghum/Jowar Flour
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Oil

For Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup Grated Coconut
  • 1/4 Cup Jaggery Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tsp Ghee
  • 1/4 Tsp Cardamom Powder


  1. In a 2 Ltr Pressure cooker, add water salt and oil. Close and cook for a whistle. Turn off heat.
  2. Remove pressure manually and mix in jowar flour. Make sure no dry flour is left out.
  3. Close the lid with the weight on. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, for the filling, heat a pan, add jaggery and water. When it starts boiling, add grated coconut and cook till it becomes a thick mass. Turn off heat and mix in cardamom powder and ghee.
  5. After 15 minutes, open the cooker and knead the dough briefly after greasing the fingers.
  6. Divide into small lemon size balls.
  7. Take 2 small banana leaves without middle vein (called as tiffin elai) and wipe with a moist cloth.
  8. Heat a tawa and place the leaves one by one so that they are slightly wilted. This step protects the leaf from tearing while folding the parcel.
  9. Now grease the leaf and place the dough in the centre and pat to make small disc. Let it be thin.
  10. Place a table spoon of filling one side of the disc. Moisten the edges with water and fold the leaf from the opposite side.
  11. Steam the parcels for 10 minutes.
  12. Carefully remove the ada from the banana leaf and serve.


  1. This method of making dough is called Autolysis .
  2. Ragi and Bajra flours can also be used for this recipe.
  3. Water quantity may vary according to the moisture content of the flour.

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