Ada Pradhaman is a sweet delicacy of Kerala which is made using ada (rice flakes). Usually the Ada Pradhaman is prepared using jaggery to sweeten it and it is customary during Onam festival and is also served in the wedding ‘sadya’ as payasam.
The pradhaman is slow cooked to a get a creamy consistency. The ada is nothing but small pieces of rice flakes that is readily available in stores. Years back the ada was prepared at home. The Pradhaman acquires a color according to the type of jaggery used. There is also another payasam made with milk and ada called ‘Paalada’
Our recipe here is made with jaggery and coconut milk. I have also used some milk along with the coconut milk. While adding milk to boiling jaggery it sometimes curdles. It is important to remember to add warm or hot milk and keep stirring for sometime to prevent curdling.
When we lived in Kerala, I always used coconut milk prepared by pressing grated and ground coconut, but after shifting to Bangalore I find it convenient to use ready to use coconut milk that is available in all grocery stores.
I first learnt to make this from my mother-in-law, remember how she made even the ada at home. I also learnt to make thin coconut milk and thick coconut milk. Now I have become lazy and prefer using ready made ‘ada’ and ready made ‘coconut milk’ . And besides if there is one chore I hate, it is grating coconut. I am always pleading with someone to do it for me especially when the ingredient demands grated coconut. For other uses I just cut chunks of coconut out of the shell with knife and grind accordingly.
Haven’t we deviated from the topic of this post – the Ada Pradhaman. The Thali (lunch or dinner spread comprising of variety of dishes) of Kerala is called a ‘Sadya’ and is traditionally served in a plantain leaf. The final serving after the main course is dessert which consists of two to three varieties of payasam. The ‘Pradhaman’ being one of them. Instead of ada other ingredients like broken wheat or lentils are used, rest of the preparation is the same.