Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ela Ada / Valsan

I am one happy soul, if I get to have something to bite on during tea time with the coffee/tea. If it is homemade then my happiness doubles. During my hostel days, when we would return from college in the evening, it would be time for tea. We would pass by the mess, to peek in and see what would be served as snack with tea. If its Puffs, Banana fritters/Ethakka Boli, Ulli bhajji / Onion fritters etc. we would rush to our room to grab our coffee mug and get back to the mess to have them. If it was plain bun, tiger biscuit etc., which were usually served on friday's then we wouldn't even bother coming down for coffee once we get to our own room, as if it was not worth the effort climbing up and down the stairs to grab it.

My mom used to make something to munch on for snacks so that we could have it during tea time. I remember having these as snacks after we got back home from our play time. And I would then sit in front of the TV to watch Small Wonders (a TV show) while I enjoyed the snack. Luckily I had some banana leaf handy, when I thought about it and I could make them to go with tea. It just melted in my mouth. I then realized, I had to crave this simple ada real bad so that I could appreciate this snack more than how I did, while I was a kid. If you manage to get some banana leaf, this is a must try. You would love it.


  1. 1 1/2 cup of finely ground rice flour - lightly roasted/heated 
  2. 1/2 tbsp of ghee or butter
  3. 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder
  4. 1 cup of shaved jaggery
  5. 3/4 cup of shredded coconut
  6. 1 cup of hot boiling water
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Banana leaves, cut into rectangles
  • In a pan, melt the jaggery with little water. Once it melts, strain it to remove impurities, if any. While it is still hot, add the shredded coconut to it. Mix it well.
  • In another pan, heat the ghee. Once hot, add the jaggery and coconut mixture to it and mix it thoroughly. Let any extra water content dry up. Add the cardamom powder and give it a mix. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl take the rice flour and add salt to it. Mix it well for the salt to spread evenly. Now add the boiling water little by little to the flour while you mix it with a spoon to form a dough. Cover and keep it aside to cool down just a little (about 5 minutes) and is ready to knead with your hands. Knead it to form a smooth and non sticky dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal portions and roll it into balls. Take each ball and place it on a banana leaf. Gently flatten it by pressing on to the banana leaf. Now start working with your fingers(holding together) and spreading the dough evenly on the banana leaf. Drop 1-2 tbsp of coconut jaggery mixture on it and spread it. Fold the entire spread into half just once and press it gently so that they stick together. 
  • Prepare the steamer/pressure cooker to steam cook it. Steam them for about 10-12 minutes. Let it cool down a little. Serve it warm.
  1. Do not pour the boiling water to the flour at one go. It would get difficult to work with and may result in a sticky dough.
  2. Wetting your hands, just a little, would help working with the rice dough. It wouldn't stick on to your hands and would help spread the dough with ease.
  3. I used a light coloured jaggery. You could use a dark coloured jaggery for it and they would look and taste better.
  4. Using fresh coconut would be even more better than the store bought ones. It would make the stuffing more juicier and would taste good. Feel free to add in more coconut as per your desire. More the coconut, more heavenly its gonna taste.


  1. In trivandrum side valsan made with filling of moong dal and jaggery coocnut. I miss this appa used to buy from tea shop.

    1. Filling with moong dal sounds interesting....should try it..

  2. looks delicious.... In my to do list for a long time.... will be trying it soon.... Yours turned out perfectly well...

  3. I am a die hard fan of Ela Ada and I always make sure to have lots of them when we go for vacation. For some reason it doesn't taste the same when I try to make it here, I think its the fresh banana leaf that gives the authentic taste. My Grandma used to bake it in a clay pot over red hot flame. That was something to die for. I miss that so much!!

    1. Baking it in a clay that has to taste far better...grandma's are great cooks isn't it..

  4. Ela ada looks so tempting and delicious dear,superb clicked of my fav healthy snack too :)

  5. Kurae naalayi ithu kazhichittu...... kothiyavunnu...... missing my mommy...... !

  6. Delicious ela this :)

  7. Ellai addai is my favourite snack that my amma or patty make.. You have kindled some fond memories.

  8. love ela ada.. lovely clicks and looks so delicious...

  9. Oh ela ada is my favorite. No fancy cake can come near this one.


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