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.
Goes well with any rice varieties, I had mine with tamarind rice. Also as such with spicy podi sprinkled over