Unnakaya/Stuffed Plantain Fritters

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 My family loves plantain and it is evident if one takes a look in our grocery cart; we buy them every week along with bananas and other fruits. Whenever green ones are available, I convert them into plantain chips, or wait for a few days until they are ripe to eat, if they become overly ripe I turn it into halwa /Fudge or Pazham Pori /Plantain Frittersor Turron. When I was young, dad used to buy plantains and keep them in bags, and one day after playing a lot, I came home and asked mom can I have something to eat. She told there is plantain in the bag. I was happy and went to grab a plantain from bag, and then I came to realization that not only me but ants were also looking forward to taste sweet plantain. I end up getting a big swollen hand, as I have allergy to ant bite.
Yesterday I was talking to my friend Suja of Kitchen Corner, and all of sudden in our conversation, Unnakaya came up; I told her I tried it once but shape ( torpedo Shape) didn’t came out perfect. She told me she has a post about unnakaya in her blog, and I told I had made it without egg. She told if you want to try the authentic taste you need to add egg. Without eggs it is hard to imagine north Kerala, snacks. Yes Malabar cuisine always makes tasty dishes with eggs. I love their white rice flour flat bread called pathiri, also famous for their biriyani and special snacks like unnakaya, mutta mala, Kinnathappam etc.  Kozhikode halwa is another die for sweet dish. I tried once making halwa, but not yet reached the taste it suppose to be. I will try and learn. I came to know about Unnakaya through cooking channels. While searching internet, I also found this recipe. This one is made with steamed plantain, and snack is a must during Ramadan.
I have a long list of items from Kerala cuisine that I need to try. It is always fun to make culinary trip. I always think it will fun to make trip to countries and place to taste lot of delicious cuisine, Just like Antony Bourdainor others in travel channel.
 If you like plantain and have it in your kitchen countertop, what you will do, you may want to make Unnakaya just like I did. For this recipe Plantain should be ripe not too ripe.  If I decide I can’t do it, the plantain keeps on marching to be over ripe; they won’t listen to me to just stay ripe. I would have loved to steam the plantain in the traditional way, but my baby is too curious and wants to see what is happening. It is the same, when I doing dishes, my baby will cry if he does not get to see all the action.
So I decide seek help of microwave for steaming the plantains. While working in the hospital I had seen one of my friends using microwave to steam the plantains, however I didn’t seriously take a notice at that time. For me microwave is only for warming the food or for making coffee, nothing more than that. I saw this YouTube video for steaming the plantains. However, video says you need to steam the plantain for about 4 minutes, but after 2 .30-3 minutes my plantains were well done. Then comes according to recipe you need to make a paste of steamed plantain into a food processor or blender. Again after thinking about all the dishes I have to clean, I skipped that part and thoroughly mashed plantain with potato masher and my hand and made the plantain dough.

  I was in a mood to make it traditional way, so used fresh coconut along with raisins and cashew nuts, added 1 teaspoon of sugar, if you want more sugar add more maybe two –three tablespoon will be enough. I then added one egg and it also got cooked with rest of filling and added cardamom. I was amazed there is no eggy taste in the filling, egg blends with rest of ingredient very well. In Kozhikode area, these filling are called ‘Pandam”.

Once your filling is cooled, pinch out small portion of the steamed plantain dough, and spread it into thin circle and fill it with a tablespoon of filling/pandam. Finally seal them well and shape it into torpedo shaped balls.  Since plantain sticks to your hand well grease you hand. Then fry these balls until it become golden brown color.

Enjoy with your favorite tea or coffee.

Print Recipes from here
Unnakaya/Stuffed Plantain Fritters
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Yield: 13 no
For covering
3 Ripe Plantains ( Ripe and firm)
1 tablespoon Water
For Filling
1 1/4 cup Fresh grated coconut
1/4 cup Cashew nut
1/4 cup Raisins
1 tablespoon ghee
2 no Cardamom
1 teaspoon Sugar (Increase 2-3 tablespoon if you want more sweetness
1 teaspoon ghee + 2 tablespoon Oil (For greasing the hand while making the plantain balls)
For Frying
3 cup Canola Oil
For covering
  • First steam the plantains using steamer or microwave. I used microwave, for first cover the plantain with tissue and cook for about 2.30 to 3 minutes until the plantain is soft and set aside. Once it is cool enough touch peel the skin and cut it  into two in the middle. Then again cut it in center each pieces, this will expose the center black seeds. Remove it using a knife.
  • Mash the plantain pieces well using a potato masher or food processor add tablespoon water to make smooth dough and set aside.
For filling
  • Heat ghee in a skillet and add cashew nut pieces and raisins, fry until cashew becomes brown and raisins plums up. To this add coconut and fry until golden brown color and it release nice aroma. To this add sugar and fry for another 1 minute. To this add an egg and fry again until egg gets cooked well. To this add cardamom powder and switch off the flame.
For Assembly and Frying
  • Pinch out small lemon sized balls from steamed plantain dough. Grease the hand with ghee and oil mixtures and spread each small plantain balls into thin circle about 3 inch diameter. To this add 1 tablespoon filling and gradually cover and shape it into torpedo. Repeat the processes until entire plantain are made into balls.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, when it reaches 350 F slowly adds filled plantain balls. Fry until it becomes brown in color, make sure to   turn other side when one side cooked well. Remove from the oil using slotted spoon and transfer to kitchen tissue to remove any excess oil.
  • Enjoy with your favorite tea or coffee.
  • Use only ripe plantain not the ripest one.
  • If you want  you can add 1 teaspoon of sugar while making the plantain dough.
  • In order to prevent plantain from sticking to finger, grease well with ghee and oil mixture or you can simply coat the stuffed plantain balls into the ghee -oil mixture.
  • While frying turn  the fritters only when one side is done well otherwise it will stick to pan.


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  1. says

    Oh goddddddddddddddd so tempting making me to eat it as I am from kerala :) Sure gotta make it for sure..thank u so much for sharing and loved the step by step pictures.so cute one :) Wish to grab one from u :)

  2. says

    I tried making these once with very little success so I’m thrilled to see a step-by-step here. I definitely will be giving them another try using your recipe. Thanks!

  3. says

    Never had them. But all those yummy ingredients that have gone into the filling and a banana coating. It sure must have been delicious.