For the very Keralite in me, who loves chakka, manga, thenga, and vazhayila (Jackfruit, mango, coconuts, and banana leaf) and all things manglish. Ila Ada can be summarized as Kerala in a bowl with banana leaf, rice flour, and jackfruit preserve. Let me make it easy, Ila Ada is a dumpling made of rice flour with some filling cooked in with the goodness of banana leaf.
Eating it took me back home and I enjoyed basking in the memory of good old days when banana leaves and jackfruit were not foreign to us.
Here is the recipe for dumplings in banana leaf.
INGREDIENTS FOR ADA
Rice flour - 3 cups
Water - 4 cups
Salt as needed
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
Chakka Varatti/Jackfruit preserve/Jackfruit jam
Banana leaves to make Ila Ada
In a pot, boil water. Add boiling water to the rice flour. Add some salt. Allow it to stand for a minute. When water is warm, you can start working on the dough with a spoon first and then with your hands. This results in a smooth dough. Now make balls out of the dough. Take a clean banana leaf and flatten the dough to form a flat disc. Now use chakka varatti as a filling and fold the ada along with the leaf. Continue the same process with the remaining dough, making balls, flattening the dough, and folding the banana leaf. Keep all the packed banana leaves nicely tucked in a steamer. Using a steamer, cook this for 14-15 minutes. (The cooking time depends on how thick or thin you made the ada). When it is cooked, open the banana leaves, and serve the adas, fresh, hot or cold.