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Unnakaya


Unnakai

                       
                    Bananas! my favorite and favorite. I will eat anything that is made of banana. Mom says she ate only banana when she got me pregnant which is why I am a banana girl. Lets talk about this famous Thalassery snack. This is also a Puyappila snack served for grooms by the bride's family. Puyappila Salkaram is the culture of Thalassery that they make lots of different tasty snacks for the wedded grooms .                     It was on the way to my college when I first had this. It was like divine , love at first bite. But then, I lost it for a long long time. Then again one day, my mom prepared this at home and I felt Oh, now I can have them anytime I wish. Now, after getting married , I cannot run to mom asking for Unnakaya so I also started to make. In the beginning it seems to be difficult, but with practice you can be an expert. My Kasargodan neighbor helped me at first. This is something that everyone should try. Lets go for the recipe.

Ingredients :

  1. Not so ripe Plantains (Athikam Pazhukatha Nenthrapazham): 3 or 4
  2. Grated Coconut : 1/2 cup (Scrambled egg can also be used )
  3. Cashew Nuts : 1/2 cup , broken 
  4. Ghee : 4 tbsp
  5. Cardamom Powder : a pinch (Optional)
  6. Sugar : 1/4 -1/2 cup
  7. Oil : For deep frying
  8. Coconut oil : for rubbing palms

Method :

              In a steamer, steam the bananas until they turn soft. Mash the bananas using hands to form lump free mixture. You can use Ammikallu  or a blender. I used blender . While using blender you have to be very careful as prolonged blending will make it ultra smooth and sticky which will be difficult for shaping. So give pulses for 1 or 2 seconds and check for the consistency. It should be thick but not sticky. Even if it turned sticky, dont worry keep it aside for few minutes (see note). In the meantime, lets make the filling. In a frying pan roast coconut in ghee  until it gets light golden patches and nice aroma is released (i.e thenga varukkuka). Mine turned over brown this time. Also roast cashew nuts until it turns golden brown. In a bowl mix sugar, roasted cashews and coconut and cardamom powder. Add sugar more if its less sugary. Now lets begin the main part. Rub oil on your palms. Knead the banana dough and make lemon sized balls out of them. Take a ball on your one hand (make sure your palms are oily) and flatten it by pressing using other hand to form circle shaped as shown below picture.


Now take a 1/2 or 1 tsp of coconut-cashew mixture and place it in the centre of the circle. Next step has to be very careful. Cover the filling from all the sides with delicate touches as it may break.  This is done by bringing all the edges of banana mixture to the top and sealing it. It should be sealed well else the filling will come out . 


Now with both hands, shape it by rolling them in between your palms. (I missed that picture which will be posted later ). Or you can shape it according to your convenience . 



Follow same with all the remaining balls and deep fry them until it is medium dark brown on all sides . Your tasty Unnakaya is ready.  

Notes :

  • If your banana mixture turned out very difficult to shape because of stiffiness, add little All Purpose Flour . This should be the last option as it will alter its original taste.

Unnakaya


  

by Nilofer Ajmal
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