Unnakkaaya/ Plantain Cotton Pods
3 plantains, neither ripe nor raw
1/2 tbsp ghee
5 cashews, crushed
5 tbsp coconut grated
2 tbsp sugar
A pinch cardamom powder
1 small egg
Oil for frying
Boil the unpeeled plantains in sufficient water till it becomes soft. Peel off the skin while still hot and mash it well without any lumps with your hand or with a potato masher. Keep aside. The mashed plantains will be like a pliable dough.
Heat the ghee in a fry pan. Fry the cashews and raisins for a few seconds. Then add in the coconut, sugar and the cardamom and mix well till it becomes crisp. Do not brown it. Make a hole in the center, break the egg in and scramble it well. Combine it along with the coconut mixture and keep stirring till the mixture becomes dry. Switch off and set to cool.
Divide the plantains and the coconut mixture into 12 to 14 equal portions. Grease your hand well with oil. Take a ball of plantain mash and spread into a round shape. Place some mixture in the center and slowly close with the mixture inside. Shape it into a cylinder. Keep on a plate. Repeat the same till everything is finish.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan. When the oil becomes really hot, drop in a couple of unnakkayas and fry till it becomes golden brown. Drain on a kitchen towel. Serve warm with a hot cup of chai!!!
1. The plantain mash should be pliable. If it is slightly watery, then it becomes difficult to manage. To adjust, you may add a tbsp of all-purpose flour or rice flour and mix well to make it thick.
2. The plantains used should not be raw or not overripe. It should be of medium ripeness, otherwise the taste would not be good.
3. The inner filling can be only coconut or only egg. Normally sweet scrambled egg is used.
4. While working on the unnakayas, really grease your hand, I mean, really!!!
5. You can freeze the unnakayas for around a month. When ready to fry, you can just thaw it for an hour and fry in hot oil till done.