I think I'll break the suspense/no suspense...to be honest I can't wait long to publish my recipe once I have it sitting in the draft...bad obsession?!!This is one of my all time favourite Malabar Snack-Unnakaya which my mom used to make so gorgeously....Yes the name owes to its shape, the shape of 'unnakaya' or the cotton pod....creative, isnt it, whoever has invented the name!We had an unnakaya tree in our garden back home, with the unnakayas hanging like hermits in deep meditation....and their souls at times escaped the pods of their transient existence as light free flowing cotton..... and how I wished they were all the Malabar Unnakayas!!What a scrumptious snack, made of banana....In Malabar area you get this in many of the hotels as a snack...Whenever we passed by the 'Paris hotel' in our place we used to sniff the beautiful aroma of the Unnakaya and would give a longing look at my father...and he would go and get a big parcel of hot unnakayas...My brother and I would be just waiting to reach home to attack the unnakayas,only to be joined by my father! He loved anything sweet!Well many people hesitate to make this Unnakaya at home, for the mess it can create if a little bit careless during the preparation.Just a few tips to avoid the mess: the Kerala banana(Nenthrappazham) that you use should be semi ripe(Karimpazhukka).Too ripe bananas can create a mess.While grinding the modern mixer is very likely to make it more soft,it is better to use a grinding stone, if you have one or even the mortar and pestle will do.Or else while grinding in the mixer,dont add any water and dont overgrind it.If the consistency is not right you can have a real mess with the filling coming out or not being able to mould at all or bananas getting charred. I have had my share of casualties when I tried it for the first time, but has been able to perfect it with time.So much said, here is the recipe:
Indian Banana/Kerala Banana/Nenthrappazham-4(Half ripe)
Salt-a very small pinch
Cardamom powder-1 tsp
Oil-For deep frying
Cut Bananas into 3 pieces.Blanch the pieces in boiling water,till the peel starts separating from the fruit.(Pazham Puzhungiyathu)For a detailed post refer LG's
Now prepare the filling.Beat egg lightly, with sugar and a very small pinch of salt,just enough for scrambling.Heat ghee in a wok.Once the ghee is hot, add cashews, raisins,poppy seeds and saute for a couple of minutes till everything turns golden.Add the grated coconut.Saute it for a couple of minutes and finally add the beaten eggs. Scramble it and mix well with the remaining ingredients.Remove from the fire. Let it cool.
Grease your hands with a little ghee.Make a lemon size ball out of the banana 'dough',flatten it to small discs.Spoon in the egg(2tsp) filling.Close the edges,press lightly and roll it in your hands into the elongated shape of cotton pods(the edges tapering).Now heat oil in a wok.When the oil starts smoking, carefully slip the unnakaya into the oil.Wait for a minute before turning sides.Lower the flame or else the banana will get charred easily.Keep turning the sides till all the sides become uniformly golden.Enjoy the Royal Malabar treat!