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Friday, August 07, 2020

Ethakka Kumbilappam | Steamed Plantain Cones

Kumbilappam is a famous treat for Keralites made using vazhana ela or edana ela. The edana or vazhana ela has a special flavour or aroma, and this gets imparted to the appam as it gets steamed. Vazhana ela or Edana Ela is popularly called 'bay leaf' in English. Any regular kumbilappam is made of rice flour, jaggery, grated coconut, but there is always scope for trying this out with different fruits like jackfruit(chakka) or plantain (ethakka). I have already posted the recipe of chakka kumbilappam in my earlier post, please do check.

The making of kumbilappam is not a hard task, but the availability of the leaves to wrap or make cones is a concern. I have these leaves in my home and so get it whenever we go home and freeze them in ziplock covers, stays good more than six months. Thaw and clean the leaves to shape in cones once you take out from freezer. However, the aroma of fresh leaves reduces in the freeze up ones and fresh ones have a unique aroma of its own. These are a guilt free snack that can be made at home, oil free and filling too. This time I tried making these with some nadan ethakka (over ripe plantains) and it really tasted delicious. The dough of kumbilappam should be loose to get soft steamed ones. So don't add more rice flour to make the dough stiff. Also, the ratio of rice flour to plantains should be 1:2 to get the right texture. All loved to snack ethakka kumbilappam with a cup of tea, you can also try these in banana leaves or aluminium foil wraps if there is no scope for fresh leaves. Check the recipe below :) 

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 7-8 kumbilappam
ripe plantain / ethakka 3
rice flour / ari podi roasted 1 cup
cumin powder / jeeraka podi 1/2 tsp
cardamom powder / elakka podi 1/2 tsp
jaggery / sharkara 1/3 cup
water 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup
grated coconut 1/2 cup
salt, a good pinch

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  • Wash and cut the plantain in half. Steam cook the plantain pieces nicely or steam for 8–9 minutes and then mash the plantains. If seeds are big, remove seeds by scooping it out and mash.
  • Melt the jaggery with 1/4 cup water, strain and keep aside.

  • In a bowl, add the grated coconut, rice flour, elakka podi (cardamom powder), roasted cumin powder and salt. To this add hot melted strained jaggery syrup. And prepare a dough with mashed plantain. The mix shouldn't be very tight, as the cooked kumbilappam will also turn hard and not soft. Add water (approx. 1/2- 3/4 cup) to make the dough, add as needed. The dough should not be like chapathi dough, much looser than that.
  • Check the sweetness of the dough, it should be sweeter than required, then only it will be perfectly sweet when steamed.Steaming reuces the sweetness.
  • Prepare the edana ela cones using tooth pick or coconut leaves stem (eerkil). Fill each cone with the prepared mixture and place in a steamer. Steam, cook for 8–10 minutes until done.
  • Remove from steamer and serve warm with tea, remove the leaf wrap and enjoy.

* Use fully ripe or over ripe plantain for best results.
* Use room temperature water to prepare dough and add as much as required.
* Always use rice flour to plantain in the ratio of 1:2 that is plantains should be more compared to rice flour. Then only kumbilappam will be soft.
* As we are kneading the rice flour not with hot water, it's recommended to add hot strained jaggery to the rice flour and mix.
* Check the sweetness of the dough, it should be sweeter than required, then only it will be perfectly sweet when steamed.Steaming reuces the sweetness.

* Ethakka Puffs (Sweet Puffs)


Angie's Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

wow What an exotic recipe! I don't think I have ever had anything like this...fascinating!

Gloria Fernandes said... Best Blogger Tips

that looks so good..lovely pics

Let's Curry said... Best Blogger Tips

I have grown up feasting on these kumbilappams,we shared our neighbourhood with a very kind kerala family. Your step by step instructions are helpful in recreating these. Thanks

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

That’s so nice to have a good neighbor around. Thanks for dropping by my space :)