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Unnakkaya –Stuffed Plantain Fritters Malabar Muslim Style
A snack and festive fare from Kerala of fried ripe plantain fritters filled with toasted coconut, jaggery, cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom.
Servings Prep Time
10Unnakkaya 1hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10Unnakkaya 1hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Trim both ends off the plantains and cut each into 3 pieces. Steam cook them until they’re cooked well. Let them cool, then peel the skin off. Cut each piece lengthwise down the middle and remove the central vein with the little black seeds. Using a potato masher, mash the plantain pieces into a smooth mass. Knead with your fingers a couple of times and it should feel like smooth dough. If the dough feels a bit wet or very sticky, knead in a little of the fine rice flour (not more than 2 tbsp in all).
  2. While the plantain is steam cooking, prepare the filling. If using beaten rice flakes, rinse them a couple of times in water and then drain well and keep aside.
  3. Heat the ghee in a frying pan and add the raisins. Stir till they swell up but do not brown too much. Remove to a bowl. Add the chopped cashewnuts to the remaining ghee and toast them till golden brown. Remove and put aside with the raisins.
  4. In the same frying pan, add the grated coconut and toast over medium heat till golden and crisp. Mix in the jaggery or sugar. If using beaten rice flakes, add them now. Turn off the heat. Stir in the raisins, cashewnuts and powdered cardamom. You will have a dry but somewhat moist filling. You can make this a day ahead and refrigerate it in an airtight container.
  5. Now go back to the cooked plantain dough. Divide into 10 or 12 equal portions (about the size of largish lime). Grease your palm lightly with oil and roll each portion into a ball and flatten it out on your palm. Thin it out a little using your fingers and put about a tsp of filling in the centre. Bring the edges of the circle together to cover the filling. Smoothen the dumpling making sure there are no cracks on the surface and the filling is completely covered. Closing your palm over it to make a loose fist repeatedly, shape it into a longish spindle about 4” long.
  6. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. If not frying them immediately, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for upto 6 hours or overnight. They’re best fried immediately.
  7. Heat the oil for frying, in a wok or pot. When hot enough (not too hot or the fritters will burn), slide in the shaped dumplings into the oil, about 3 or 4 t a time depending on the size of your wok.
  8. Fry them till they’re uniformly brown in colour. Drain on kitchen towels. Serve warm or at room temperature with tea.