Unnakaya, also known as Kai Ada, Unnakka and Kai Porichathu, is a spindle-shaped sweet made using sweet plantains (kerala banana or nendra pazham) and stuffed with sweet coconut. This is a speciality of North Kerala or the Malabar region and is quite popular in that part of the state. This is widely prepared during occasions like weddings and iftar time.
Unnakaya’s characteristic spindle shape sets it apart from many other sweets prepared using the nendra pazham. This variety of Kerala banana remains firm even when it ripens and hence is used to prepare many different varieties of sweets like the pazham pori and even the nendra pazham pradhaman. Steamed nendra pazham is also a very popular item served in Kerala during breakfast.
Unnakaya can be stuffed and shaped and then kept frozen too. So large batches can be made this way and whenever needed, it can be taken out of the freezer, fried and served fresh and hot.
UnnakayaCourse: All Recipes, Breakfast, Christmas Recipes, Ifthar Recipes, Sweets/Desserts (Eggless)
A spindle-shaped sweet made using sweet plantains (kerala banana or nendra pazham) and stuffed with sweet coconut
Ripe Plantains/Nendra Pazham – 2 nos
Rice Flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
Ghee – 2-3 tsp
Cashews – 8-10, chopped
Raisins – 8-10
Grated Coconut – ¾ cup
Sugar – 2-2.5 tbsp
Salt – a pinch
Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
Water – 1-2 tbsp (if needed)
Oil/Ghee for frying
- Cut the bananas into 2-3 pieces with the skin and then steam it till cooked. Do not use over-ripe bananas for this recipe.
- Before the steamed bananas cool down, remove the skin of the banana pieces and then cut it through the center and remove the seeds. Mash the bananas properly with a fork or masher and then use your fingers to knead it into a tight dough.
- If the bananas are a little over-ripe and you are not able to make it into a dough, then add a little rice flour to knead it well. Keep this aside while preparing the filling.
- This can be refrigerated for that time to tighten the dough further.
- For the filling, heat ghee in a pan. Add the cashews and once they start changing color, add the raisins.
- To this, add the grated coconut and fry on low heat. The coconut should not change color. To this, add the sugar and mix well for the sugar to melt. Add salt and cardamom powder to this and mix.
- If the coconut mix looks dry, add a little water and mix again. Keep this aside to cool.
- Make small balls from the banana dough. Flatten it and add a little filling in the centre. Seal it well and then shape into an oblong spindle like shape. You can freeze these unnakaayas at this stage and then defrost them to fry as needed.
- Heat oil in a kadai. A little ghee to this as well. Fry the unnakaaya on medium heat till they are golden-brown color all over.
- As soon as you add them to the oil, just move them around so that they don’t stick to the bottom.
- Hot unnakaaya can be served as a snack.