Unnakkaaya is prepared with plantains which is in a special ripening stage and boiled and mushed up.This is filled with either veg fillings like coconut and nuts or with non veg fillings like egg scrambled(which is the recipe I am giving you).
Unnakkaaya is named behind the fruit of cotton tree ie unnam means cotton and kaaya which means fruit.The shape resembles the fruit of cotton tree.And hence it is named so.But now new molds are available in the market to give various shapes to the unnakkaaya.The above one is the traditional shape which resembles the shape of cotton fruit.
Makes 20 unnakkaayas,Preparation time 30 minutes,Cooking time 5 to 10 minutes(for each batch)
For the outer covering ie plantains
1 Kg plantains (Not too ripe,but the newly ripened ones with its skin turned to yellow without black spots on it)
3 Tblspn Sugar (Optional)
Water to boil
Oil to rub on the hands
For the Filling
3 Tblspn Sugar
1 Tblspn Ghee
1 Tblspn of crushed cashewnuts
1 Tblspn of Kismis/Raisins
1/4 Tspn of Cardamom Powder or 2 Pods of Cardamom Seeds
1. Firstly cut the stalk of plantains and put it into the pressure cooker and pour in water so as to level above the plantains.
2. Close the lid and cook in high flame till water boils and reduce the flame to medium.
3. Do not put the vent weight on the cooker.
4. After 20 minutes open the pressure cooker to see if the plantains are cooked.You can understand that by observing its skin.If slits are seen on the skin at places,then it is cooked.
5. Now peel the plantains while it is hot and transfer to a bowl.
6. Mash the plantains while it is hot with potato masher.During this stage,you may add sugar to it if the plantains aren't sweet.Otherwise you can avoid it.
7. Mix the plantains well with hands when warm.
8. Now heat a pan and spoon in the ghee and roast cashews and then raisins.
9. When done,break in the eggs and add sugar to it and mix the top with a spoon.Do not stir the layer at the bottom.It should be kept to set for sometime so that you get scrambled eggs.
10. Occasionally give a stir completely and add in cardamom powder or seeds to it.
11. Continue stirring until you get dry scrambled eggs.
12. Now filling this scrambled eggs into the plantains.Firstly oil your hands well and take a lemon sized ball of plantain.Make sure that there are no lumps at all in the mushed up plantains.
13. Flatten in it on your left palm as shown in the figure below.
14. Spoon in 1 teaspoon of the filling and close it to make a rough ball.
15. Now shape it into the shape of cotton fruit with the index finger,middle finger and ring finger of your right hand by simply holding it,the way shown in the figure and rubbing it on the palm of the left hand so as to smoothen it.Remember that there shouldn't be any cracks on it.Else it would break and the filling would go into the oil while frying.
16. You can also make this in various shapes.I have a mold with me which gives the shape of an onion.
17. To avoid cracks,after shaping it rub your nail of the thump finger of the right hand on it.This smoothens up the coating.
18. Now deep fry this in oil to give a golden brown colored unnakkaayas.
1. Veg fillings like coconut and nuts can be used to stuff it.For that the process is the same,but you just have to add coconut while roasting instead of eggs.Do not over roast it.You can also try various fillings like khoya and nut filling etc.
2. You can also refrigerate it by keeping it in boxes in winter season for about 2 weeks and freeze it for about 3 weeks during summer.
3. The above are cotton fruit shaped ones and onion shaped ones.