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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chakka Kumbilappam (Step by Step Pics) | Vazhana Ila Appam | Edanayilappam | Cone Shaped Steamed Jackfruit Dumplings


How many of your kids help in kitchen chores? My kids do help me out sometimes and invariably I make sure that they atleast put their plates in the kitchen after every meal and clean up their side of the table(like picking up the left out food scraps and throwing in the trash). This is not to ease my job but to develop a sense of responsibility and sense of cleanliness in them. Yesterday, my elder one finished his dinner and forgot to pick up the food scraps. When he came over to the kitchen, I was busy there. All of a sudden he remembered that he forgot to pick the scraps, so he tells me, 'Amma, I finished eating but I think my table is still eating.' All of us laughed at his instant excuse.
Jackfruit (chakka) is a common fruit available in abundance in Kerala which has lost its charm over the years. However, recent studies show that jackfruit is a fibre rich healthy fruit that has many embedded nutrients too. It has anti cancerous properties and anti inflammatory benefits. Raw jackfruit cooked is even best for diabetics as it has a low glycemic index compared to rice and wheat.Today's recipe is another traditional appam made from chakka.This is made using vazhana ela / edana ela / Indian bay leaves which are fragrant and long leaves.These leaves are folded in the shape of a cone ,sealed with a coconut leaf steam or eerkil and the dough is filled in to these and covered with the left out leaf corners.These are then steamed which makes it even more guilt free and healthier. The ultimate product is a delicious kumbilappam(steamed cone cakes) with the fragrance of vazhana ela or edana ela.



We have these leaves in our backyard at home and so it becomes easy to pluck it up anytime. If you don't find these leaves then you can always use banana leaves or parchment paper as an alternative. These are very healthy after school snack for kids and they feel full too. There is no use of oil and this recipe makes use of jaggery instead of sugar which makes it guilt free. I have seen these lined up in the frozen aisle of Indian stores in US and used to get over soon. But they lose the fragrance and tastes by the time it  reaches there. You should definitely make it a point to try atleast when you come home or visit Kerala by any chance. Do try these out and enjoy !!


Preparation time ~20 mins
Cooking time ~10-12 mins
Serves ~8-9
Ingredients
cooked jackfruit(chakka) 1 cup or chakka varetti 3/4 cup
grated coconut 1/2 cup
roasted rice flour(idiyappam podi/ ari podi ) 3/4 cup-1 cup
cumin powder / jeerakam podi  1/2 tsp
dry ginger powder /chukku podi  1/4 tsp
cardamom powder/ elakka podi   1/2 tsp
jaggery /sharkara  1/2 cup-3/4 cup
water 1/4 cup

vazhana ela/ edana ela/ bay leaves 8-9


Method

  • De seed the fruit and keep aside. Slice them in small pieces and put in a pressure cooker with 1/4 cup water and cook for one whistle on high heat. Wait till the pressure is released, remove in a plate or bowl.OR If you are using chakka varetti, then directly add to the plate and mix with other ingredients.
  • Clean the vazhana ela or edana ela under running water and then wipe with a paper towel or clean cloth. Make a cone and prick it with a coconut leaf steam (eerkil) or toothpick.
Vazhana Ela (Edana Ela)
  • Add about 2tbsp of water and boil in  a pan with jaggery. When melted,strain and remove impurities. If you are using chakka varetti,then adjust the jaggery quantity as per sweet tooth as chakka varetti already has sweetness. I have just mixed the melted jaggery with cooked chakka and not used chakka varetti.This works out fine too, you can see the pics for more better understanding.

  • Add the other ingredients listed except water and  vazhana ela, mix well. The dough shouldn't be very tight nor very loose. 
  • Fill the prepared cones with the dough and cover the top with left out corner of the leaf.
  • Place it in  a steamer filled with water. Steam the appams for 10-12 mins or check with a tooth pick by pricking in the center of a appam,it should come out clean.
  • Remove on  a plate and serve warm.

NOTES
* If you don't get hold of edana ela or vazhana ela then you can use banana leaves or parchment paper as an alternative. But in that case, you can't make a cone out of it but can always spread like a ragi ela ada or ela ada.
* The dough shouldn't be very tight neither too loose then only the appams turns out soft.
* This appam is also called Therali appam in some parts of Kerala popularly made during Attukkal Pongala. In that case, the making differs slightly. Place cylindrical shaped dough in one corner of the leaf( the tail end not the stem part).Roll over the leaf on the dough and place another cylindrical shaped dough and roll over to close the leaf using the corner stem. Just insert the stem in the leaf and close. Both sides of the dough are exposed like a cylinder. Place in a steamer and steam like above process.
* Also if you don't get hold of chakka, you can always use plantains instead of chakka.Boil and mash the plantains and remove seeds. OR You can make it plain using just coconut, jaggery and rice flour too to make plain kumbilappam.