August 1, 2008

Elai Adai - A traditional Kerala special

This is a very traditional sweet made in Kerala. Its mostly kind of a seasonal recipe, since ripe jackfruit is the key ingredient. When jack fruit is out of season, nenthrapazham ( a Kerala speciality banana) or avil (beaten rice/poha) is commonly used. This adai is even offered as prasadam in Thirumandamkunnu temple at Angadipuram near Malappuram dist.

Ela Adai is jaggery+jack fruit+coconut mixture with rice covering ,steam cooked in banana leaves. The banana leaves indeed give a unique flavor to the adai. During the season, jack fruit is preserved as chakkavaratti (jackfruit and jaggery). When fresh jackfruit is out of season, this adai can be prepared using the chakka varatti and coconut mixture for filling.

For the outer covering
Raw rice ½ cup
Boiled rice ½ cup
Salt - a pinch

Inner filling
Ripe jackfruit 1 cup
Jaggery ½ cup
Grated coconut 4 tbsp

If you are using chakka varatti then

Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup
Chakka varatti 4 tbsp (jackfruit jam made with jaggery)

For the outer covering

Soak equal amounts of raw rice & boiled rice for 2-3 hrs. Grind fine adding salt. The consistency should be slightly thinner than dosa batter.

To prepare the filling

Remove the seeds and the hair on the outside of the jackfruit bulbs. Mince it fine. Take a kadai. Add half cup of water and the minced jackfruit. Cook for a while & add jaggery. When the jaggery and the pieces combine well, add the grated coconut. You should get the dough like consistency.

If you are using chakka varatti, first mix grated coconut with powdered jaggery and put it on fire & stir till they both combine and add the chakka varatti and stir for 2 minutes.

Take plantain leaves and cut them to roughly 6”square. Clean & show them over the stove flame for a few seconds to make them flexible.
Spread 2 tbsp ground batter on the leaf like a thin dosa. Since I had to grind the rice before the required soaking time, you can find grains of the parboiled rice in my batter. But it did not affect the taste.

On another leaf, spread 2 tbspn of the filling
and then invert the leaf over the spread batter. Carefully lift the leaf and fold the adai like a packet.

Steam adais in the pressure cooker or idli steamer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot or cold. This tastes best when served cold.


  1. Nice blog. Thats all.

  2. Elai adai soooooo delicious and mouthwatering....Thanks for sharing traditional kerala special.....

  3. Iam craving for some right now...I've had this in my draft for so long...still haven't got around to posting. My mother usually makes a mixture of jackfruit and jaggery, cooks and then freezes it. So we get to enjoy ela adai all yr around....we only have to add grated coconut and heat it just before making adai. Tastes better than chakkavaratti.

  4. sireesha, thanks.

    jayashree, freezing cooked jackfruit+jaggery mixture is a good idea. Agree with you it tastes better than chakkavaratti.

  5. Steaming in banana leaves, what a delicous tradi sweet! I love neydram pajam, i imagine the taste with jackfruit :) Drooling

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  7. I really wanted to eat the adai out of your blog:) I make it with chakkavaratti.

  8. Looks too good..Never had this..

  9. Wishing You Happy Friendship Day !!

  10. I love Elai Adai, especially chakka varatti. Your post brought back a lot of memories. We make ada with a slightly more thick batter and pressed into a round thick roti with fingers, and then the filling is also spread on top of the rice batter. Adai can aslo be made with wheat, ragi etc with similar filling:-) Happy Friendship Day.

  11. Elai adai so delicious and mouthwatering..Thanks for sharing traditional kerala special. nice click & fantastic entry...

  12. Belated happy friendship day dear

  13. cham, do try it when u get all the ingredients at hand...

    confused, thanks for your lovely comment. do try making the filling in place of chakkavaratti... it will be more tastier.

    divya, thanks. Please try ,I am sure you will love it.

    sireesh, thanks and belated friendship day wishes.

    shreya, I once tried the dough method you have mentioned with nenthrapazham stuffing. Noted your tip to use wheat/ragi..

    sk, thanks. Belated friendship day wishes to you too..

  14. Oh i love that jackfruit filling - i only had the frozen one that we got here - not impressive but making it from scratch must be pure bliss.

  15. We fact, just love this Jayasree.
    In fact, I've brought some "chakka varatti" on my last trip home.:)

  16. this looks so authentic nd delicious,..hvent been to kerala ,..but will visit soon,..both for the natural beauty of the place and ya food,..;-)

  17. ur ellai adai is mouth watering...
    no go i have started craving for ellai adai.. have "chakka varati " in fridge.. will make it soon..

    back at home my mom used to make them for me..

    by the way this is first time peep to ur blog.. will visit often from now...
    do visit mine when u find time..and leave ur comments and suggestion..

  18. Hi Jayasree, I've had the ready-to-eat version of this. Needless to say, yours looks way more luscious!

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  20. elai adai. a favorite of mine. not a single vacation of mine has been complete without it... lovely step by step instructions. would really love to make it, if i could get some banana leaves and chakka varatti.I dont get fresh jack fruit either. thanks for sharing

  21. Laavanya, thanks. Nothing can beat the fresh home made ones.

    Aparna, With chakka varatti in store, we can have elai adai and chakka pradhaman , anytime of the year.

    priyanka, thanks. You are welcome to God's own country. I am sure you will keep coming back.

    Rashmi, thanks. Welcome to my blog. Do make it and enjoy the bliss of eating home made ones. Hope to see you more here.

    sra, thanks. Do try making it from scratch if possible. You will like it more.

    Aartee, thanks. With out banana leaves, elai adai won't taste the same isn't it. Those leaves impart a unique flavor to the adai.

  22. This is my favorite dish during school days. My kerala friend used to bring this to school. Delicious. Viji

  23. Thanks Viji akka for stopping by.

  24. Thylam...really nice presentation. The pictures took me to my childhood while helping my mom to paste the floor on banana leaf...and I remember mom used to scold me for....and still it happens with my beloved...would you able tell me for what? :-)

    Serikyum kothiyavunnutto....I'm coming this weekend and I will vist you to have few ADAs and will pack some to Hyd...serikyum :-)


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