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Elai Adai or Patolyo

South Indian sweet of rice packets filled with jaggery, sweetened coconut and jackfruit filling steam cooked in banana or turmeric leaves.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 5 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 patolyos


  • 8 to 10 tender turmeric leaves or banana leaf pieces

For the outer covering:

  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup powdered jaggery
  • 1/2 cup chakkavaratti (jackfruit jam)
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 5 pods powdered cardamom


  • Note : If you don't use the Chakkavaratti or jackfruit jam) please increase the jaggery used from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.
  • Soak the rice in water for about 4 hours, drain the water and then grind to a smooth paste using enough water to have a somewhat thick batter (like for pancakes). Add the salt and keep aside.
  • Put all the ingredients in a pan on the stove, adding a couple of tbsps of water. Over medium heat, keep stirring the mixture for about 2 minutes, till the jaggery has dissolved and the mixture is moist and comes together. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
  • If you are not using the Jackfruit jam, use 3/4 cup of powdered jaggery and proceed with the recipe. You may need to use less if the jaggery you're using is on the sweeter side.
  • If you are using banana leaves, cut the large leaves into roughly 6" by 6" pieces. Then place each piece over the flame of your gas stove (a few seconds) so that the leaf just wilts. This will make the banana leaf flexible enough to fold without tearing.
  • Then proceed as for the turmeric leaves. After folding once, you may fold the open ends and the sides to form a sealed packet, which cannot be done with the turmeric leaves.

Instructions for making Elai Adais or Patolyos :

  • Using a spoon, pour a small quantity of the batter on the centre of the turmeric leaf and spread it into a somewhat thin circle (see the picture). Place some filling in the centre of the batter and carefully fold the leaf along its centre such that the leaf folds over itself. Place carefully in the steamer, taking care the batter does not leak. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling.
  • Place the Elai Adais/ Patolyos in a steamer and steam cook for about 12 minutes, till the rice layer is well cooked. Take out and allow to cool till just warm. Serve.
    Patolyo 2
  • When you peel off the leaf, the rice covering should be thin enough to see the dark coloured filling. It is important that the rice batter is not applied very thick or your Elai Adai/ Patolyo will taste more of the rice than the filling. This recipe makes about 8 to 10 Elai Adais or Patolyos.