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  • Ila Ada and Kozhukkatta – Steamed Rice Delights from Kerala

    Posted on | September 6, 2007 | 39 Comments |

    The house sure feels empty, now that my parents have gone back to India! Three months sure flew by so quickly, I hope they had a nice vacation here. It’s been almost fifteen years since I spent three months at a time with my parents. Well, during college days, I used to go home every weekend, so that doesn’t really count I guess! Even then, its been eleven years!  We had a great time, but I know they were more than eager to get back to their lives back home.  

    Among all the nice things about having them here, the warm and delicious homemade food waiting for us every night was just icing on the cake. I got to taste a lot of my childhood favorites, some cravings only your own mom can satisfy. Two of those favorites she made this last weekend -of which I still have some left in my fridge, trying to make them last by savoring one piece a day- Ila Ada and Kozhukkatta.

    Both have the same ingredients, a dough made of roasted rice flour, and a sweet filling of sugar/jaggery and grated coconut.  Ila ada is made by spreading the batter thin on banana leaves and the kozukkatta is essentially a rice flour ball , both filled with the same sweet mixture and steam cooked. My mom made the kozhukkattas with sugar, and the adas with brown sugar, you can use either one or powdered jaggery in both these recipes.

       Ila Ada




    • 2 cups roasted fine rice flour
    • About 2 cups water
    • A pinch of Salt
    • 2 tsp Ghee(clarified butter)(optional)
    • 1/2 tsp Coarsely ground Cardamom powder
    • 1/2 tsp Coarsely ground Cumin powder
    • For the filling
      • 3 cups Shredded coconut
      • 1 cup finely grated jaggery/brown sugar/sugar (or to taste)
    • For Ada
      • banana leaves cut into rectangular pieces (4″x7″)



    Mix the shredded coconut and the grated jaggery(sugar) for the filling.

    Boil the water, along with a pinch of salt and ghee if using. Reduce the heat and add rice flour, cardamom and cumin powder. Mix well to form a fine smooth dough without forming any lumps. The consistency should be not too loose, the mixture should be thick enough to hold itself when made into balls.


    Remove the dough from fire and form about 6 equal sized balls and keep aside. 

    Divide the filling also into the same number of portions.         

    Place each ball on a piece of banana leaf and flatten it with fingers to spread it as thin as you can on the banana leaf. Place the filling in the center, fold the banana leaf over and press the ends along the edges to secure the filling.

    Steam the adas in a pressure cooker (for about 3 minutes) or use the steamer insert for the rice cooker (about 7 minutes) or a regular stove-top steamer (about 7 minutes)



    Remove the dough from fire and form equal sized balls of desired size and keep aside. (About 12)

    Divide the filling also into the same number of portions.         

    Place each ball in the palm of your hand, and press with the other hand to flatten. Place a portion of the filling in the center of the flattened dough, and mould it back into a ball shape with the filling completely inside.

    Steam the balls in a pressure cooker (for about 3 minutes) or use the steamer insert for the rice cooker (about 7 minutes) or a regular stove-top steamer (about 7 minutes)

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    Category: Desserts, India - Kerala, Rice

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    39 Responses to “Ila Ada and Kozhukkatta – Steamed Rice Delights from Kerala”

    1. Rachna
      September 6th, 2007 @ 7:37 am

      yummmieeeee, the best ones i have had are my mom-in-law’s … and I pigged out on them until the jaggery made my teeth shiver from the super sweetness…. heee… later i begged her to make ulli pakka vada to calm me down… heeee

    2. Happy cook
      September 6th, 2007 @ 7:46 am

      Hi sig
      Adda is my favorite tea time treat when i was at home. Now when i go back to india i ask my mom to make it and i love them.
      She makes the the filling don’t know how to say it ( velayikum)
      I like both the ways, as long it is adda with jaggery and coconut.
      Seeing the adda your mom made i am homesick.

    3. Suganya
      September 6th, 2007 @ 8:14 am

      Beautiful Sig. Magic like this is only possible in the hands of Amma.

    4. Sia
      September 6th, 2007 @ 8:50 am

      beautiful post sig. 15 yrs r indeed long time. we call Ila Ada and Kozhukkatta as Genesale and Kadubu resp in kannada. one of my fav breakfast dishes which we always make for neivedyam for ganesh chaturthi and nag panchami…

    5. Raaga
      September 6th, 2007 @ 8:59 am

      Tell me about cherishing time spent at home Sig… me left in 1997 and in the first 2 years, I visited on weekends… but I so wait for them to come and stay with me :-)

      Lovely recipes. We make something similar to the ila ada… using turmeric leaves :-)

    6. Srivalli
      September 6th, 2007 @ 9:09 am

      excellent dishes sig…I just love these so much…sad that they stay was so short…

    7. indosungod
      September 6th, 2007 @ 11:09 am

      Sig, I know the feeling and the stomach feels it even more acutely.

      Ila Ada and Kozhukkatta, they sure look wonderful, love them both but never get down to make them.

    8. Jyothsna
      September 6th, 2007 @ 11:51 am

      I’m terribly homesick seeing this! Why do you do this to me? Ila ada with coconut and jaggery….Have to get ilas again now to make them!

    9. Asha
      September 6th, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

      Can I do this in foil or parchment paper.I know banana leaves adds flavor if I get it.It looks great Sig,good job!:)

    10. Gini
      September 6th, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

      Sig, you know how to stir up nostalgia. Kozhukatta are my favorite. Ila ada with the chakka filling..mmm.
      I am sure your parents had a good time.

    11. Richa
      September 6th, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

      oh! ur parents have left, you poor baby! I know it is so painful for a few days, but then u have these lovely treats to keep your spirits up! anything made by moms is the best :) take care sweetie!!

    12. sra
      September 6th, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

      Great pictures, Sig, that ila ada radiates softness! I’m sure your parents had a nice time just being around you!

    13. Mishmash !
      September 6th, 2007 @ 3:17 pm

      :( :(

    14. bee
      September 6th, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

      the banana leaf flavour makes them taste quite special. enjoy them while they last, sig.

    15. Rina
      September 6th, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

      Hi Sig,
      Thanks for sharing the treasures from your mom. I’ve tasted these a few times but now I think I’ll to make them myself.

    16. bhags
      September 6th, 2007 @ 5:56 pm

      15 years seems to be a long time…there sure must have been memories to last forever….mom’s cooking has magic in it and enjoy them till they last

    17. shilpa(Aayisrecipes)
      September 6th, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

      Ohh your parents left?? I know how you must be feeling. I am still not able to adjust, but they definitely feel good when they go back.
      We make patholi which is on similar likes as Ila ada, we use turmeric leaves instead of banana. Its so tasty. I could almost smell the freshness of them from your pictures :) .

    18. Manasi
      September 6th, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

      Ooooh Lovely!! we make ukdiche (steamed) modak like his! Oh how i miss those!!!

    19. musical
      September 6th, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

      Hey Sig, Moms are the best na :) . its true, there are some cravings that only the food cooked by Moms can satisfy! Enjoy the goodies, sweetie. I love kozukkatta a lot!


    20. Rajitha
      September 6th, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

      what the mouth is watering..both my favorites in one blog!! not fair sig..not fair ;( you lucky girl…waaahhhh…

    21. Sukanya Ramkumar
      September 6th, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

      Hi Sig….this is so traditional….I has turned out great….Lovely recipe….

    22. Cynthia
      September 7th, 2007 @ 1:10 am

      Yes, I imagine that the house must seem empty :( soon you’ll return to looking forward to their next visit.

    23. Sandeepa
      September 7th, 2007 @ 1:44 am

      That’s ben a long time, both the parents and you must have enjoyed time with each other.
      The Ada and the other one look very good, you have so many dishes with rice flour !!!

    24. Nags
      September 7th, 2007 @ 4:21 am

      aah out come the kerala recipes.. nice nice :) we too made the kozhukkatta this tim ewhen we were home on vacation.. my bro loves it :)

    25. Shella
      September 7th, 2007 @ 6:55 am

      Its been ages since I had any of these. Makes me wanna cry!! Boohoo.

    26. sunita
      September 7th, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

      Hey Sig,i know what this taste like…would you believe it, we make a similar one as well…love them.

    27. Padma
      September 7th, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

      Sig I loved it completely when I first tasted at my friend’s place….
      Adda is really very tempting my senses, wish I was ur neighbour… :(

    28. Susan
      September 7th, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

      Wow, has it already been three months? Where does the time go? I’m sure your parents left with many special memories. My parents recently visited (only for a week), and I’ve been missing them since they left. Take care, Sig! :)

    29. Shantanu
      September 8th, 2007 @ 7:24 am

      Brings back old memories. I remember eating a lot of this at a childhood friend’s house, but didn’t know what it was called. Love it!

    30. Bharathy
      September 8th, 2007 @ 3:45 pm

      Yummmiee..My favourite here!!
      …sig you are soooo sweet and homely here..
      Cuuuute round up for lychees!!:)

    31. Sheela
      September 10th, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

      two of my favorites! now look what you have done! made me all home-sick wishing my mom is visiting me making these dishes for me… :-)

    32. Sharmi
      September 10th, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

      I have had this but the frozen version. would love to try at home.
      looks awesome.

    33. roopa
      March 19th, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

      I was trying to find a step by step on net to make these, u know something? my husband is from trivandrum, and when I told my fil about ada, he thought I was referring to adai dosa and same happend when he told me “ada dosa” I thought maybe he was referring to the shape of this ada and telling dosa :) ) But it became clear when he made it:) I then was surprised at the different meanings a word has in different parts of the same state :)

    34. anjali p
      June 18th, 2008 @ 5:21 am

      :smile: :smile: :smile: :smile:

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