Ada or Alle Ada is a traditional delicacy made in Kerala. Most Kerala homes have coconut, jaggery and rice flour at home.
It's a staple evening snack at most Malayali homes. Imagine discovering a beautifully made Alle Ada in Mumbai! King's Circle's Café Madras is one such place in the city where it's possible to wipe off platefuls of Alle Ada (Rs 36) after their dosas and other hit fare on the menu.
The sweet dish comes wrapped in a banana leaf
To prepare this sweet, rice flour has to be cooked in boiling water to make a paste that quickens into a dough as thick as wheat atta.
A filling is made from scraped coconut, cardamoms, and — at Café Madras — ripe bananas, cooked in jaggery. The rice atta is spread on a banana leaf; a lemon-sized ball of the jaggery-coconut filling is placed in the middle and the rice dough is folded over. This is then placed in a steamer and cooked. A cup of tea or coffee with the ada, and your evening is blissful.
The Alle Ada at Café Madras is perfect as the rice dough is thin and the filling is not overly sweetened. Try it the next time you're in the neighbourhood.