Learn how to make elai vadam easily at home. you need not have a stand as well. With step by step pictures for easy understanding.
Elai vadam is one I tasted few times as amma makes, but the time when I realized its taste and worthiness is after my delivery. My mom made it and toast directly over fire and give me along the pathiya saapadu. It will be so light and crisp inspite it is toasted dry over fire. My mom and MIL both makes this but in their own ways. I am posting my MIL’s way as I learnt from her.
My mom makes this elai vadam by dipping the back of poovarasam ilai (I think, if I am not wrong). She dries for very short time and then drop the leaves in batches in boiling water. Then peel it off and dry.
This gives very very very thin, light crispy vadams that melt in your mouth as you bite. My MIL’s version is different but equally gives a crisp vadams, but slightly thicker.
I am a big fan of the appalam they sell in the exhibitions, but very rarely get a chance to go and eat as I am here😪. I remember I ate some 4 years back at Chennai exhibition lastly.
So this vadam tastes very close to that and that’s why I am loving this so much😍. This vadam is so versatile.
No sun to dry vadam that you plan to make at home? No worries, you can dry this in shade. Takes less time to dry too. You are not comfortable to fry in oil? No worries, you can microwave this too. Cool right?
Actually there are elai vadam stands commercially available in stores. But I made use of my idli pot to steam these. If you want, you can buy it, it should be available in saravana stores or rathna stores I guess.
Otherwise you can follow this method. I thank my mami (MIL) when ever I fry this and eat this. It looks like a lot of work, but its not, you will enjoy doing this I am sure, so make it atleast with one cup rice if not 2 cups.
Elai Vadam Recipe
- 2 cups Raw rice
- 2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- First, wash and soak rice for at least 3 hours. Grind with salt to a very very fine batter.
- I ground using my mixie. Grinding smooth is important for crisp texture. Add less water while grinding, then if needed you can add more water to adjust consistency.
- It should be slightly runny than our usual dosa batter. Mix cumin seeds
- Take 3-4 banana leaf and cut into squares so that it can fit your vessel you are going to steam.
- I used my idli pot, placed a idli plate (lower plate) and kept the idiyappam mesh steamer.
- Clean the banana leaf, grease very slightly with oil and pour as we do dosa. This should be thin as much as possible. If thick, adjust water consistency.
- Steam for a minute, while you do in other banana leaves. Takes just a minute. The color will change as shown in the picture.
- Using tong we use to fry papad, take the leaf and peel it, while you steam the next. Repeat the process until you finish all the batter.
- As you peel, you can arrange in a clean white cloth for drying. Do not let it fold while you peel as it will stick.
- Dry in sun or shade or in fan wind. The next day it will be fully dried. But dry for 3 days for safer side. If you have sun, dry in sun.
- Store in container immediately after drying – don’t keep overnight outside.
- Once dried completely, fry in enough oil and drain in paper towel.
- Do not grease with more oil as you cant make round shapes. Do with less oil. No need to grease every time, just 3-4 times once.
- You can use vadhaam tree leaf which is also large enough to steam these vadam.
- If you grind the batter coarse, then it will come out hard crisp.
- If you make vadams thick, then it will not dry easily, you may need sun for drying.
- In case you add more water and make the batter too runny, keep aside for an hour, drain the water that comes over the top and then try making.
- If you don’t have idli pot as I have (using cloth) you can use a big kadai with lid too for steaming.
- If not dried properly then you can try preheating oven for 190 deg. C and spread the vadams inside and leave it as such for ½ hour or an hour. Then store it.
- You can microwave in high for a minute too instead of deep frying in oil.
- Do not make too big, I made big, but I have to break it before frying. Otherwise it gets fried and enlarges big. So its up to you if you can stand and make, make small or make big and break before frying.
1. Soak rice for atleast 3 hours. Grind with salt to a very very fine paste/ batter. I ground using my mixie. Grinding smooth is important for crisp texture.
2. Add less water while grinding, then if needed you can add more water to adjust consistency. It should be slightly runny than our usual dosa batter. Mix cumin seeds.
3. Take 3-4 banana leaf and cut into squares so that it can fit your vessel you are going to steam. I used my idli pot, placed a idli plate(lower plate) and kept the idiyappam mesh steamer.
4. Clean the banana leaf, grease very slightly with oil and pour as we do dosa. This should be thin as much as possible. If thick, adjust water consistency.
5. Steam for a minute, while you do in other banana leaves. Takes just a minute. The color will change as shown in the picture. Using tong we use to fry papad, take the leaf and peel it, while you steam the next. Repeat the process until you finish all the batter.
6. As you peel, you can arrange in a clean white cloth for drying. Do not let it fold while you peel as it will stick.
7. Dry in sun or shade or in fan wind. The next day it will be fully dried. But dry for 3 days for safer side. If you have sun, dry in sun.
8. Store in container immediately after drying – don’t keep overnight outside. Once dried completely, fry in enough oil and drain in paper towel.
Goes well with any rice varieties, I had mine with tamarind rice. Also as such with spicy podi sprinkled over
helloo.. thanks for this recipe..I like these vadams and plan to make it soon. However, I dint understand the steaming part much...sorry for that but it would be nice if you could elaborate the steaming part? you have suggested that if idlipot like yours is not available then big kadhai with lid could be used. how to use the alternative which you have suggested?
My mom will also add green chilli paste to this....
Wow! you post remind me of my childhood.. My mom does it every summer 🙂
Hello.. Thanks for the recipe. Can you please let me know, if the ground batter needs to be kept out for fermenting before steaming.. ?
My mom makes in similar way and steams in vadam stand...I love to eat it before drying...mom makes few just to eat like that...they will be little thicker..abd we call it ganatha vadam 🙂 missing it
Do we need to directly place the banana leaf on Kadai ? Close and steam for a minute. I quite dint understand if we need put some cloth or water in the Kadai
Nice one raks.. i am posting this soon as i just finished the shot 😀
Excellent. Thanks for sharing...
Great work!!! Love elli vadam.
I love your photos. You have talents lady 🙂
Fill big kadai with little water. Keep a small but broad cup in it. You can fill it with water too to avoid that small cup doesn't float. Keep a plate over this cup. Place your leaf with batter over the plate and close it to steam.
It's fine if you have doubts I will be happy to clear 🙂
We usually don't ferment the batter. Its not necessary
Pls refer my reply to the first comment.
Here in US I don't get much sunlight .you suggested drying inside home .for how many days can I keep it inside with fan on.
I cant get any banana leafs here, still want to try them . Can you tell me with what i can replace the banana leafs?
I cant get any banana leafs here, still want to try them . Can you tell me with what i can replace the banana leafs?
My grandma do this elai vadam exactly as urs, but she'll add green chillies..Makes me nostalgic.
Lovely post. I love this to the core...
wow!!! wow!! awesome pictures dear!! luk so yumm and delicious!
Very nice Raks . Hard worker you are.
Lovely pics. Tempts me to make. These are used as postpartum food as it is filling and safe. Sutta vadam (without frying) will be given in between meals along with Pathiya samayal during first few weeks of postpartum. My mom used to prepare and keep it ready ahead of the delivery time for her daughter. It is an annual preparation in most of the houses even now. Poppy seeds are also used like cummin. Nothing like making at home. As kids we used to eat the torn vadams while helping our mom. Peeling out in full shape was not that easy then.
What a coincidence??I just finished doing it and thought of relaxing sometime in front of computer and opened your site. My mom keeps the batter out overnight(if doing next morning) to ferment. And she use Til seeds in place of cummin. We have vadam stand and it is easy as we can make six to seven vadams in one set. And ofcourse there is always fight for the torn vadams. As kid, I used to fight with my mother and now my daughter fights with me for them.
Any large food safe leaf will be okay
Raji, can you skip steaming part... like your koozh vadam, can this be directly put on a wet white cloth and dried under sun once batter is done?
Reason for asking that is I am from ME, I dont get any kind of leaves here but get ample sunlight.... wanted to give a try
super inviting dear
It wont come thin Manju. So try finding any food safe broad leaf. Like arbi leaves atleast?
wow tis s jus awesome.such a huge task involved.. u hv made it perfectly..i love tis ones sold in exhibitions..
Hi, I have started looking into your recipes recently.I have always been lazy about cooking and was not so much attracted to it.But, I must say this.. that your recipes and pics have inspired me to try cooking and enjoy it. You have a gift of explaining things.. keep going..
super.. looks perfect 🙂
Today i made this .But i searched in NTUC and wet market where we usually get Banana leaf but efforts were futile.i did not want to spoil my spirit as i had soaked the rice.Used an aluminium foil and folded into pleats to get the lines as in the leaf , applied oil and made as Raks explains.Then after using twice the foil got torn so i greased the idli thattu and made small ones so ten in one go.Both methods easy to peel.Yet to fry.Thought this will help many who cannot get banana leaf
For all NRI's....Whenever you visit chennai, get one vadam plate set with stand and take it with you. Since the stand is foldable, it will not occupy much luggage space too. You can use any appropriate vessel which you have with you. It might look like a huge task but once you start making, you will feel its quiet easy. And the end product is fresh, yummy, home made vadams 🙂
Hi i ve tried it now, theyare coming a little thick ,what should i do. ?
I appreciate your effort 🙂 Banana leaf is available where ever they keep coriander leaves and other leafy vegetables. If not in fair price, you can buy 1 or 2 in wet markets and little India.
You can also use a small flat plate 🙂
Thank you for your valuable suggestion 🙂
add water.. take little quantity and spread it like dosa
Thanks for replying
Dilute with little water.
Thanks but that day i couldn't get.But i made this and came out well.Next time i will buy the leaf and then soak the rice .
hi my elai vadam has come out very well .thanks a ton
Hi Raji, I live in Brunei.. where we have lots of sunshine and banana leaf too ! This inspired me to do this and now reliving you the good old tradition of my joint family. Reminds me of my amma and tq for making it so simple.
Luv the first click very much, vadam super kalakita poo
hi raks,can we add soaked sabudhana to this batter?
Wow! Beautiful! I have done this and it will taste heaven with Milagu Rasam!
You can 1 spoon of Lemon juice for sourness, if you like.
My MIL used to make this vadams by adding Green Chillies, Tomotoes and Lime Juice.
Hi, Followed your steps for Elai vadam and it came out really well:) very happy 🙂 thank you 🙂
I AM gonna try making it over the weekend 😀 i Love trade fair appalams. will it taste similar, ?
Not the same, but sure delicious and similar.
Thanks for the super recipe,
Kaveri, even my husband likes to eat it before drying. Can u tell me if anything else needs to be added to eat this before drying?
Hi Raks . Approximately how many we can make from 2 cup rice ? Just to get an idea before doing it .
30 🙂 I have mentioned in the recipe below the title / above ingredients.
Thanks so much 🙂 . Never noticed that part . Always after reading the introduction part I directly dive into the ingredients and method 🙁 . From now on I won't miss any 🙂
You can add sesame seeds or jeera little.but without fermentation the taste won't be nice.
June now I saw this recipe. You left important point. We should keep the flour at least 3 days after grind. Becsuse that sour taste is very important.
3 days???!!! This is the exact way my mom and MIL follows. May be yours is different version.
Stainless steel plates can also be used.
It can also be fermented overnight and also grind green chilies for additional taste. Jeera can be replaced with Ajwine.
Have you tried eating it HOT? It will be delicious. Sometimes, I make it for night tiffin! appadiyae saapidalaam...
While using stainless steel plates, will the batter stick to the plate? will it be easy to pull it off the plate after steaming?
shall i use parboil rice instead of rawrice?
Hi....i made elai vadam....after dried properly....i fried...vadam color turned dark brown...taste was good...no burnt taste. ..i thought due to over heat of oil....next time very carefully i fried then also result was same....pls tell me what gone wrong....the rice was raw rice...grinded very nicely..... thanks in advance
It could be the rice variety you used. Try other variety and see. Other than that, while grinding, if the mixer got too much heated also it happens I guess.
Can we add sabudana. Soak it separately and grind with rice. For post natal requirement omam can be added.
Sure. Yes omam is a nice addition!
I made the vadams...they were gorgeous..thank you
Can these vadams be made wit pulungal arisi...parboiled rice...???
Yes we can, during postpartum food, they make with parboiled rice only
I do not have time or strength to make it at home. where is it commercially available (good ones) for delivery (Chennai)
Search in Facebook groups, I don't have any idea about this.