Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Sweet coconut Bengal gram rice parcels is a traditional snack across Kerala and more around the Malabar region of this state. Sweetened coconut with cooked channa dal and some cardamom which is added to a pan of shallots sauteed in ghee. Yum. I know for many onions or shallots in the sweet dish is totally new and weird, but we love it. Then this coconut dal mixture is parcelled into a rice flour dough and steamed until cooked. The result is the soft sweet rice snack that is both satiates hunger and sweet cravings! 

Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada

First of all, I am feeling terribly sad for the people of Chennai and upset how the media hasn't been fair to the pressing issue and is rather busy with intolerance row... what a shame! I can only pray for them to be safe and sound with family. Imagine even hospitals are impacted. At least now they have deployed army help.

Shouldn't we be grateful for the current technology where communication is made so easy and real time? Even if you are a thousand miles away from family and friends?  But when I miss home terribly, calling them makes it worse. I do call them and do the listener role or keep asking about the whereabouts of everyone. Some days, I call them when I am hit with a sudden craving for a long lost dish, that even mom would wonder where I got the craving from.

Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada

We all associate food with certain memories and that was how this Ela Ada that I am calling Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels (rice parcels) were made in my kitchen. The name Ela Ada means Ela is banana leaf and ada translate to parcels. As I have no access to banana leaf, I am NOT calling this Ela ada. I was resilient to get this done to feel closer to home and for the first time maker, it was challenging to find ways and alternatives to get the desired output. 

But I nailed it close to the real taste and for the first time, F wanted to take them to his work and share with his colleagues.

Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada
(Ragee - the curious cat)

The filling is made easier and quicker if you use soaked lentils and desiccated coconut. You can save the time of grating the coconut😋. Using soaked lentil will take less time to cook in a pot, where you can inspect. If you are using a pressure cooker, please check after one whistle. Also, this is originally made with banana leaf, as I did not have access to get that, I used a freezer bag to help me get it right!  


Updated on 19th June 2017. - Used Baking paper this time and felt this is a lot easier to handle. 


Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada

Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada 

Yields: 12 to 15 Parcels

INGREDIENTS

  • Large freezer bag, baking paper, or if you can get the actual banana leaf, nothing like that... 
  • Steamer, idli maker
For the Filling:
1/4 cup of channa dal (Bengal gram split and skinned) and enough water to cook until done
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (If you are using fresh coconut then add 1/4 cup more)
2 to 3 tablespoon water if you are using desiccated coconut
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter)
1 shallot sliced or half an onion diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
a pinch of salt

For the Dough:
1 and 1/4 cup rice flour
1 and 1/4 cup water or bit more
Salt to taste

Oil to grease the pan and palms

METHOD

Filling:
  1. Soak the lentils for 20 to 30 mins in water. 
  2. You can choose to cook in a pot or pressure cooker. Cook the lentils with water until done, not mushy or overcooked. It should retain its shape. I always use a pressure cooker and cook on high for one whistle, switch off and let it cool on its own.  
  3. In a bowl, add the desiccated coconut and sprinkle some water and mix it. This is to make the dry coconut fluffy and resemble the freshly grated coconut. This will also avoid browning while cooking. Keep this aside for a few minutes. 
  4. Now, you can open the pressure cooker and drain the cooked lentils 
  5. Heat ghee in a pan and sauté the sliced shallot on a low flame ( do not overdo it, just a few seconds will do)
  6. Add the prepared bowl of coconut or the fresh grated coconut and sugar. 
  7. Keep stirring until the sugar is completely melted
  8. Once the sugar is melted, add the cooked and drained lentils and stir well until the mixture is free from sugar water.. it should all come together 
  9. Add some salt and the ground cardamom and mix again 
  10. Taste it and adjust salt, sugar, cardamom as per your taste and cover and keep this aside to cool
Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada

Dough:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the rice flour and salt and gradually add water and mix it until its combined and forms a dough that is easy to handle. It should not be sticky or watery, you should be able to handle it to make balls. The number of balls depends on the size of the parcel that you are planning to make. Smaller balls, a little stuffing, or bigger balls and more stuffing.
Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada

Assembling: 
  1. Cut a baking paper into four squares and use two 
  2. Take one dough ball and make it smooth by rolling between your greased palms
  3. Place it in centre of baking paper square and close it with the other square (so you have the dough ball in the centre)
  4. Use a rolling pin to carefully roll the dough into a round shape (you can move the sheet to get the shape)
  5. Open the sheet and place a tablespoon or more/less of prepared filling on one side of the rolled dough (note: leave some space on the border) and bring back the other end of the sheet to close the parcel. Now you will have a semicircle, half moon shaped ada. Refer to the pictures. 
  6. Press along the edges to ensure there is no opening
  7. Open the sheet and take the parcel and place it on the steamer
  8. Repeat to make as much as parcels your steamer can hold
  9. Steam for 5 to 8 minutes or until cooked. You can check for the firmness of the dough to ensure it is cooked
  10. Store in a hot pack and serve warm with a cup of black tea
  11. To re-heat, you have to steam for a few minutes only, other ways of reheating will make it very dry
Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels | Ela Ada

I am surprised it took me more than 1 and 1/2 years to make this again even though these Sweet Coconut Bengal Gram Parcels was our favourite. It happens I guess.

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