Ela in Malayalam means leaf, so this is a sweet appam made in a leaf. This is made using a turmeric leaf, which gives the appam a unique taste. This, mind you is an acquired taste. I remember the first time I had it was when a family friend gave it to us and we absolutely couldn’t have it...only my parents ate it then. But then later we (sis and I) also developed a taste for it over the years and now we just love it.
This appam can also be made using banana leaves but of course sans the lovely turmeric flavour. Here is the recipe...
2 cups rice flour,
Salt to taste,
1 tsp oil,
3 cups of water
For the Filling
1 cup grated fresh coconut,
1 cup powdered jaggery,
1 tsp powdered green cardamom seeds
For the Assembling & Steaming
Boil the water and add the salt and oil.
Switch off the heat and add the flour to this water. Stir well with a spoon and once it is bearably hot knead it into a dough. You can add a little more water if required.
Melt the jaggery with a little water and mix in the coconut and powdered cardamom seeds. Let cool.
Make ping-pong sized balls of the dough. Divide the filling into the same number of portions as the dough balls.
Wash the turmeric leaves and wipe them clean.
Take a dough ball and roll into a disc. Place this disc over the turmeric leaf.
Place one portion of the filling in the centre of the disc and fold it over along with the turmeric leaf to form a semi circle. Press the edges together.
Prepare the other appams similarly and steam them for about 15 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.