- Submitted by Dahlia
(Jackfruit Steamed Cakes, Chakka Elai Ada)
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Chakka appam is a traditional tea time snack made with ripe jackfruit, jaggery, coconut and homemade roasted rice flour. The dough made is steamed in therali leaves or banana leaves. This is popular in God's own country, Kerala and in parts of Tamilnadu. It is known by several other names in different like Elai Adai, Kumbaliappam, Chakka Ada, Ila Ada, Elai Kozukattai, Chakka Kolukatta etc. I made this for a cooking competitions where the theme was 'Rice and Jaggery'.
These days many of the traditional recipes are getting lost. Kids don't enjoy these dishes anymore. The fact however is that these are some of the healthiest of snacks that can be made at home. Not only does it have all homemade healthy ingredients but also its steamed. So I encourage everyone to make such dishes for your children from the young age. This way we not only pass on our traditional dishes to them but also encourage our whole family to eat clean. Without further ado, let's get into the process of making this Chakka Appam.
Recipe for Chakka Appam
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- Roasted rice flour - 1.5 cup
- Jackfruit (crushed) – 1.5 cup
- Jaggery – 3/4 cup
- Grated Coconut – 1/4 cup
- Hot water - about 1/2 cup
- Banana leaf - 8 pieces
- Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Cardamom - 4
- Salt - a pinch
- Remove the seeds in all the jack fruit pieces. Take the flesh in a blender, puree it coarsely.
- In a small pot, take jaggery with 1/2 cup water and heat until it melts completely. Then strain it to remove any impurities.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan with ghee, add the crushed jackfruit and fry for 3-5 minutes on low flame.
- Add melted jaggery syrup and mix well. Cook until jackfruit becomes soft and the mix thickens. It takes about 10 minutes.
- Add grated coconut, cardamom powder and a pinch of salt to this. Combine well.
- Now add the roasted rice powder. Mix everything till it gets well combined. Switch off and keep it covered for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, cut banana leaf into small squares. Slightly wilt them in open flame to make it soft and pliable.
- Apply some ghee on a leaf and place small round dough in the centre.
- Spread it with your fingers to form a 1 inch circle. Fold the banana leaf into half to form a wrap. Do the same with the rest of the dough.
- Arrange it in a steamer or idli pot. Cook on medium flame for 20 minutes or until banana leaves becomes darker.
- Once it is cool enough to touch, remove the wrapper and enjoy with hot tea.
Detailed Steps to make Chakka Appam
Puree the jackfruit flesh. Melt the jaggery with 1/2 cup water, strain for impurities and set aside.
Heat ghee in a pan, add the crushed jackfruit and fry for 3-5 minutes on low flame.
Add jaggery syrup, mix and cook for 7-10 minutes until the mix thickens. Add grated coconut, cardamom powder and a pinch of salt to this.
Next add the roasted rice powder. Mix everything into a smooth dough.
Switch off and keep it covered for 5-10 minutes.
Cut banana leaf into small squares, and slightly wilt them in open flame. Apply ghee on the banana leaves and place a small round dough in the centre.
Spread it with your fingers into in 2 inch circle.
Fold the banana leaf into two and seal all sides to form a wrap.
Similarly prepare all the appams.
Place it in a steamer and cook for 20 minutes.
Once it is cooked, you can smell the aroma of jackfruit. The banana leaves colour also would have changed.
Once it is cool enough to touch remove the wrapper and enjoy with hot tea.
Serving Chakka Appam
- Enjoy these appams with a cup of ginger tea or black tea (kattan chaaya).
- In my grandmas house, chakka appam was wrapped in terali leaves which has a unique aroma. This is not easily availability in cities, so banana leaves are the next best option.
- Also, instead of jaggery, my grandma used to use palm sugar ( karupatti). This gives a slightly different colour and taste. Below is the picture of chakka appam made by my mom using karupatti in therali leaves. This is also called Kumabaliappam.
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