My husband loves eating. Oh no, he does not have hyperphagia. He just likes to try new delicacies. I developed this habit of making something new to please his unquenchable appetite. Yesterday, I got this “Unnakaaya” recipe from cheenachatti.com. Well, unnakaaya is a sweet snack from North Malabar, mainly Kannur. During earlier days, this snack was prepared during festive occasions, especially Id. Nowadays, people from other parts of the state had developed a liking for this delicious snack and one may find it in the menu card of many of the restaurants across Kerala.
I had never tasted this snack before, has not seen anyone making them. But, I decided to try this recipe. Since it was my first stint with unnakaaya, I decided to use one plantain banana. I won’t tell it was 100% successful. The banana which I used was slightly overripe. The recipe actually calls for just ripe bananas. If you use, over ripe plantains, it will become difficult to flatten the mashed banana and stuff the filling. The filling came out good.
- Plantains should be just ripe enough, not over ripe. You should get a thick dough consistency when boiled and mashed.
- The quantity of sugar can be varied according to the sweetness that you prefer.
- Can substitute cashew nuts with almonds.
Plantain - 1
Coconut, grated – 1/2 cup
Ghee – ½ - 1 tbsp
Cardamom, crushed - 2
Cashew nuts, chopped - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 2 tbsps
Aval (Flattened rice / Rice flakes) - 4 tbsps
Sugar - to taste
Oil/ghee/butter to fry
Boil the banana, peel the skin and mash well and keep aside. Heat ghee in frying pan and stir-fry cashew nuts and raisins. Gradually add coconut. Add sugar to the mixture and stir well. Add aval / rice flakes / flattened rice. Mix well. Remove from the stove and allow it to cool. Mix cardamom powder.
Apply little ghee on palms. Divide the mashed bananas into evenly sized small balls.
Flatten a little and stuff the filling mixture carefully inside and seal both the ends and give a shape of a cylinder. Prepare all the unnakaayas and keep it ready for frying.
Heat the oil/butter/ghee in a deep bottomed pan and deep fry the bananas till light brown in color. Serve them hot.