This is another of the payasams (dessert dish). The ada refers to the pieces of rice batter and the pradhaman, the sweet coconut milk in which they are put.
The word pradhaman means the first one. So, it’s quite likely that the Ada Pradhaman is so called because it is No.1 among the payasams. These days, home-made pizza doesn't usually include home-made pizza base. Similarly, when the pradhaman is made at home, the ada is often bought. However, homemade ada is very soft and well worth the trouble of making.
Raw rice - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Coconuts - 2
Jaggery - ½ kg
Cashews - ¼ cup
Raisins - ¼ cup
Cardamom - 6
Ghee for frying
Method of preparation
Making the batter for the Ada
Soak rice for an hour, and then strain well and dry in a piece of cloth for two hours.
After that, grind it to fine powder and sieve through a fine sieve.
Now add 2 teaspoons of melted ghee, 2 tsp of sugar and medium hot water to get the consistency of chapathi batter... or cookie batter.
Making the Ada
Take plantain leaves and cut them into 6" squares roughly. Hold them on the fire for a few seconds to make them flexible.
Boil plenty of water in a big broad vessel. Take lime-sized portions of the batter and spread on the back side of the plantain leaves. Immediately drop in the boiling water.
Do this till all of the batter is used up. When the ada are well cooked, they float.
Alternately, you can steam them 3 or 4 at a time in a steamer. Remove, strain and scrape out the adas and wash in plenty of water; changing the water three or four times to remove the stickiness. Chop fine.
Making of Ada Pradhaman
Grate the coconut and keep ¼ cup of the first milk, 1 ½ cups of the 2nd milk and 2 cups of the 3rd milk ready.
Heat up a vessel and add ¼ cup of ghee and fry the cooked ada well. Then add the 3rd milk, jaggery and sugar and boil on a medium flame for 10 min.
Add the 2nd milk and boil for 5 min. Add the first milk and remove at once from the stove; stirring thoroughly. Add 1 tsp of cardamom powder and mix well. Add fried cashews and raisins.
Now, if you're an amateur cook, you may just be wondering what all this first milk, second milk, third milk business is all about it. It’s quite simple, really. The first milk is the milk extract that you strain out from the coconut the first time you beat it in the mixer with water. You shouldn't use too much water this time. Then, the coconut from which the first milk has been extracted is beaten in the mixer again with more water to get the second milk. Put that aside and then extract the third milk.
Recipe by Ms. Lyla Venu Kumar