I know it is.. Unnakai is a spindle shaped sweet dessert made of plantain. It is originated from the the Malabar region of India, and is often eaten at weddings, Iftar and other festivities
The very first time i heard about Unnakai from LJ. I used to wonder how does it taste. And then I had to wait for months. This is not available in any of the shops or restaurants over here. One fine day she only prepared this and got it for me. It was soo yumm. It was a kinda surprising for me to see steamed and mashed plantain can form a coating like potatoes.
Last weekend LJ prepared this again. And I captured the pictures, learned the recipe and enjoyed the sweet bites :).
- Plantain/Ethapazham – 5 ripe
- Coconut – 1.5 cup
- Cashew nut – 10 nos broken into small pieces
- Raisins – 15 nos
- Egg – 1
- Ghee – 1 to 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 4 tbsp or 1/4 cup (you can reduce this if required)
- Oil to shallow fry or deep fry
You have to
- Wash the bananas, steam the plantains (Pressure cook for 2 whistles) and skin them(fork in and see if it is soft or not, else pressure cook for another 1 or 2 whistles or steam it for 15 minutes more)
- Cut lenghtwise and remove the black seeds. Now mash it using a fork to a soft texture which is similiar to mashed potatos.
- If the plantain is too thick even after steaming, you could cut it into small small pieces and mince it in a grinder(3-4 sec). But make sure not to grind so long, because it may become a paste) and add 1 tsp ghee to it.
- If the plantain is not sweet you can add 1 to 2 tbsp of sugar.
- Keep this mix aside.
- Beat Egg and 1 tbsp sugar in a small bowl
- Now heat 1/2 to 1 tbsp ghee in a non stick pan in a medium flame.
- Fry the cashew nut to golden brown, strain and remove from the ghee and keep aside.
- Fry the raisins in the remaining ghee to golden brown and keep aside.
- Add the remaining 1/2 to 1 tbsp ghee and add the coconut, 3 tbsp sugar and saute it till light brown.
- Now form a well and add the beaten egg and mix the coconut mixture till it spread evenly and mixture turn dry.
- Add in the fried cashews and raisin. Mix well keep aside.
- Oil your palm and take a lemon sized ball of the mashed banana mixture.
- Flatten it to a thin sheet.
- Add upto 1.5 tbsp of coconut mixture
- Cover and seal it to form a spindle/cylindrical shape.
- Repeat the same with the rest of the banana mixture.
- Now heat oil in a pan in medium flame.
- Shallow fry the stuffed banana pieces till all sides are golden brown
- Once it is done, strain and keep in on kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil.
Unnakkai turns out depending upon the quality of the plantain.
Now there are cases where the plantain will be more softer than the texture of mashed potato.(after the first 2 whistles). That case you can add in rice powder and mix well to get the texture of mashed potatoes.
Some will not turn soft even after 2 whistles. In that case you could steam it for another 10-15 minutes. If still it is hard, seed them and use the grinder to mince it. But make sure not to make it as a pulp. All we want is the plantain should be like a mashed potato. Else the binding will break and oil will get inside.
Variations are made to this recipe.
1. You can exclude the egg.
2. You can add chopped dates in the coconut mixture
Few old pics