Thursday, June 18, 2009

Unnakkayi-A Malabar Moplah Speciality!!




Unnakkayi is an authentic sweet dish of traditional Malabar(northern part of Kerala,India) Moplah cuisine. As explained in my Mutton Biriyani post, the Malayalam speaking Muslims of northern part of Kerala are known as Moplahs. To read more about their origin and culture check out this post. I was introduced to Unnakkayi through my mom's best friend who hails from Malabar region of Kerala. Though I have asked my mom on innumerable occasions for the recipe, I never noted it down and conveniently forgot all about it until I came across the same recipe in Malabar Muslim Cookery by Ummi Abdulla.


What is Unnakkayi?
The literal meaning of Unnakkayi is Cotton Buds(Unna-Cotton, Kayi-Buds/Pods) and this delicious snack is called so because it resembles the cotton pods before its cracked open to yank out the cotton. This is a snack used to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan,the ninth month of the Islamic calender. It was during this month in 610 AD when prophet Muhammad received revelations from God that later became Quran,the holy book.


Fasting during Ramadan, the holy month
The holy season begins with the sighting of crescent moon on the evening following the new moon and lasts for about 30 days. Muslims must see the new moon before beginning their fast. From dawn to dusk they abstain from food, drink and all sensual pleasures. But two main meals are taken, one called Souhoor that begins each day before dawn and the other, called Iftar that breaks the fast after sunset.


How is Unnakkayi prepared?
Sweets form an important part of the Ramadan food.Unnakkayi is a snack made with steamed, mashed & filled plantains which is later deep fried to a golden brown colour. Traditionally ghee is used to deep fry the stuffed plantains. The filling is made with eggs, grated coconut, sugar, cashews, raisins and cardamom powder. For those who do not prefer eggs, may make the filling by adding more grated coconut instead. Also over ripe plantains should not be used in this preparation as it would make it too messy. Go for the three fourth ripe ones.

Recipe Courtesy: Malabar Muslim Cookery by Ummi Abdulla
Ingredients-Makes 4
Plantain - 1(only 3/4th ripe)
Egg - 1
Granulated Sugar - 3.5 tsp
Grated coconut - 1.5 tbsp
Chopped cashews - 1/2 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tsp
Cardamom powdered - 1/4 tsp
Ghee
Coconut oil for frying(Traditionally ghee is used)

Method:
  • Cut the plantain into quarters and cook in a microwave for 4 minutes till the skin separates from the fruit.
  • Allow it to cool slightly.
  • Remove the skin and slice each piece lengthwise to remove the seeds.
  • Mash the plantain to a smooth dough using a masher without adding water. The dough should be free from lumps.
  • Slightly knead the dough for a minute or so. Shape it into a smooth round ball. Keep aside covered.
  • Add 2 tsp sugar to egg and beat well.
  • Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan and scramble eggs. Remove from heat.
  • Add 1.5 tsp sugar to grated coconut, mix well and saute this mixture in the same pan at low-medium heat till the sugar dissolves and coats the coconut mixture. Remove from heat.
  • Add little ghee to the same pan and roast cashews and raisins. Remove from heat.
  • Mix scrambled eggs, coconut mixture, cashews, raisins and cardamom powder.
  • Divide the plantain dough into 4 balls.
  • Grease your hands with ghee, flatten one ball on your palm by pressing with your fingers into a small disc.
  • Place a portion of the filling in the middle lengthwise, bring the edges together and press slightly to seal it. Over stuffing the dough may make it difficult to seal.
  • Now roll it between your hands and shape it like cotton buds, with bulge in the middle and tapered at the edges.
  • Repeat the process for the remaining balls.
  • Heat oil in a pan and deep fry to golden brown colour.
  • Drain excess oil on paper towels.
  • Enjoy hot Unnakayi with tea/coffee and have a pleasant evening!
This goes to Sugar High Fridays-Fruit & Nut hosted by Mansi of Fun & Food Blog.


Pooja.

Other Snacks:

Pazham PoriFrench ToastPhotobucketPhotobucket

74 comments:

Shabs.. said...

Wooooww.....urs look wonderful too...When I read urs, it just clicked me that I forgot to mention something....that is removing the seeds!!We love this stuff...And that unnakkayi meaning was new to me.Dint know:)

Pooja said...

Thanks Shabs :) Great that we posted at the same time! Got to know more info from yours too :) I too love this esp to have with hot tea in the evening!

Gita said...

Wow Pooja...what a delightful sight! I wish I had it now :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Gita :) Do give a try! Its easy to make n delicious too!

Vrinda said...

Wow..Unnakayi looks super delicious Pooja..Being a malabary
i never tasted this at home,but recently i tried this exactly same way..i tried by coating with maida also,both way i liked it,Urs cameout perfect,entethu kurachu karinju poyi,he he...

Ann said...

Pooja, I had no clue about it, till I finish reading your post! Sounds like an excellent- traditional recipe. Wow.. Still can believe desserts are made with plantains?.. that is surelly Yummo!

Lisa said...

I have not heard of this treat before but I would certainly like to try it. Your photos are most tempting!

Pooja said...

Thanks Vrinda :) Hey didnt know that are from Malabar region! I love the traditional Malabar recipes. Should ask you for more! Yes some make with maida coating too. I will try out that next. Its okay Vrinda..next time sheri aakum :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ann :) Yes plantains are also used in making desserts..I wasnt a fan of plantains until I came across these snacks :D

Pooja said...

Thanks Lisa :) This is relatively unknown outside the state but a favourite snack during all occasions in the region!

Priya said...

Wat a delightful dish, never heard about it, quite a delicious and interesting dish Pooja,, thanks for sharing!

Sailaja said...

yummy.....interesting

Mangala Bhat said...

wow! i am drooling all over this dish ..this is amazingly yummy dish :) ..Must try this :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Priya :) Do give a try. Its quick n easy to make!

Pooja said...

Thanks Ms.Sailaja :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Mangala :) Though not being a fan of plantains this one won me over and I loved it ever since I had it :D

Muneeba said...

Oh. My. God. That looks dangerously good. I don't think I can wait for Ramadan for this though - might have to make it sooner!

Pooja said...

Thanks Muneeba :) Oh you make any time dear :D This is had during important occasions too!

mommyscuisine said...

oh my I'm drooling over.

Pooja said...

Thanks Sowjanya :)

Varsha Vipins said...

Looks perfect Pooja..have had it long back in a friends place..:)

doggybloggy said...

Pooja, as beautiful and interesting as your dishes are you have finally made something that makes sense to me - this one I can make with out a translator....not that I didnt understand your english its that I didnt understand the ingredients - thanks!

Padma said...

Have never about this sweet Pooja... it looks great ..perfect entry for the event :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Varsha :)

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot DB :) Really appreciate the time you have spent in going thru my recipes though you didnt understand the ingredients! Will make sure that I'll write up the ingredients in a way you'll understand.

Pooja said...

Thanks Padma :) Yes I can understand dear..this one is relatively unknown outside the state :D

Parita said...

Interesting info pooja, this sweet looks soo good, very diff and unique, loved it!!

Pavithra said...

wow a different dish dear.. should definitely try this new to me .. will let u know after trying this

Pooja said...

hey pooja this dish is new to me ! thanx for the recipe.. they look so tempting drool.. first looking it i thought u had prepared the filling and stuffed into the plantain.. dint realize u had mashed it ! great recipe .. must have been very tasty !

Pooja said...

Thanks Parita :) Give a try some time. You would love the taste!

Pooja said...

Thanks Pavithra :) Sure would love to hear your verdict!

Pooja said...

Thanks Pooja :) Yes indeed it was. Actually there is a similar snack made by stuffing plantains. So you were right in a way dear :)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

What an awesome authentic dish... Looks awesome and I loved the story beind it! Thanks for sharing...

Pooja said...

Thanks HCOF :)

Uma said...

Never heard of this!! Looks great Pooja :)

Bergamot said...

Looks just perfectly done and yummy.

Pooja said...

Thanks Uma :) You would like it!

Pooja said...

Thanks Bergamot :)

Preeti Singh said...

Pooja. you have given all the information so nicely....and the dessert looks heavenly delicious and mouth melting...very nice recipe.

Pooja said...

Thanks Preethi :) Since this isnt popular outside the state, thought of explaining it. Glad you liked it :D

5 Star Foodie said...

This looks scrumptious! I would love to try this recipe!

Prathibha said...

This is compltely new to me...looks yummy..

Pooja said...

Thanks Natasha :) Do try and let me know ur verdict :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Prathibha :)

shaikh said...

awesome. please clear my doubts about plantain- is it same as we call it raw banana? thanks

Pooja said...

Thanks Shaikh :) Plantain is much more harder than banana. You may check out the picture of plantain in my previous post: Ghee Roasted Plantains
Hope this helps.

Kalaivani said...

Wonderful dish with plantain.Love the stuffing and deep fry idea.Bookmarked.

Pooja said...

Thanks Kalai :) Do let me know your verdict too after trying :)

VineelaSiva said...

Wow the sweet looks yummy and so tempting.I never heard this.Even though i never heard abt this but urs dih makes me tempting.It looks very soft like gulabjamun.

Pooja said...

Thanks Vineela :) Yes it turned out very soft like gulab jamun but with a different taste! Kids would esp love this :)

Sweta said...

Wow-though I'm not from Kerala,I've always loved the traditional dishes that are from there! I've actually never tried this one-now I have one more thing I will HAVE to try!

Pooja said...

Thanks Sweta :) Do try some time. You would like it!

Aysha said...

Hey Pooja, ya dis is one of d main dishes of the malabar region.We mainly make it during Ramadan time.I just miss my mom's food!Now I really feel like making it.Gonna follow your wonderful recipe:)
It simply looks awesome!!

Pooja said...

Thanks Aysha :) Glad to hear it. Do try some time :)

♥peachkins♥ said...

Very interesting dish.Hope i can try it one of these days.

Varunavi said...

Looks great pooja,i have a sweet tooth,bookmarked it :)

Jyoti said...

Interesting recipe...will try out for sure !

Ida said...

This is simply superb...just by looking at the pictures I feel hungry....Oh wow! Can't wait to try this out....

Yasmeen said...

I rarely cook with plantain,mainly cause of no ideas,but this looks like something even my little ones would enjoy:)

Bharti said...

lovely recipe and explanation.

Malar Gandhi said...

Unique outstanding recipe dear. You meant 'raw green plantain' 3/4 ripe,...thats used as a vegetable?

Or can I use 3/4 ripe bananas, instead. I know, its silly but...please clarify...coz' I can't find 'raw plantain vegetable here'!!!

Pooja said...

Thanks peachkins for dropping by :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Varunavi :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Jyoti! And do let know ur verdict too :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ida :) Give a try some time!

Pooja said...

Thanks Yasmeen :) I'm not a plantain fan either. But few dishes like this has won me over!

Pooja said...

Thanks Bharti :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Malar :) No prob about the query. Plantain is different from banana reg the texture and look. Plantains are much more harder and in its raw form its used for cooking esp in dishes like avial. In this preparation 3/4th ripe plantains are used(not bananas). If the plantain used is over ripe in this preparation, on steaming n mashing it would become too sticky n messy and will become difficult to handle! Hence you may go for the ripe ones not over riped ones. Also you may check out my previous post for picture of plantains: Ghee Roasted Plantains
Hope this clears your doubt. Else feel free to ask for more :)

Ashwini said...

that looks yummy.. never heard abt this dish.. lovely presentation...

Pooja said...

Thanks Ashwini :) Do give it a try some time!

Lore said...

Wow, I've never seen anything quite like it. Looks super uber delicious! Wish we could find plantains here.

rekhas kitchen said...

Wow nice color and very interesting. It's very new to me yummy recipe will try this.

Pooja said...

Thanks Lore :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Rekha :) Do give this a try. You would love it :)