I did some research, looked up many recipes and finally picked one to follow. This version is definitely healthier than others that called for using an egg to hold the roll together and ghee for frying.
My husband and I are not fans of snacks that are sweet enough to be desserts…for that matter alone, I would categorize the unnakkaya as a potential dessert. All said and done, this post is dedicated to my cousin Mr. A, for introducing me to this delicacy.
Ingredients (Makes 3-4 pieces)
Nendhra pazham (etha pazham/plantain/Kerala banana) – 1
Grated coconut – 2-3 tbsps
Shaved jaggery – to taste
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Raisins (optional) – 1 tbsp
Rice flakes (optional) – 2 tbsps
Oil for shallow frying – 3-4 tbsps
Steam cook the unpeeled banana, for about 10-12 minutes, in an idly steamer or pressure cooker. Meanwhile, mix grated coconut, rice flakes and jaggery in amicrowaveable bowl and heat for 2-3 minutes or until jaggery has melted and the mixture is gooey. Alternately,
you can mix these ingredients in a pan placed over low heat. Add the cardamom powder and raisins and keep ready.
Remove the banana from steamer and when cool enough to handle, peel and mash the banana until no lumps remain.
Take one or two heaped tablespoon full of the mashed banana and spread on your palm. Place a small scoop of the coconut filling in the middle, roll and seal gently. Keep aside and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Once all the rolls are ready, heat oil in a kadai/wok or pan and shallow fry the rolls until deep, golden brown.Remove onto a paper towel and allow to drain. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.
If serving as a dessert: The first thing that came to my mind was the popular Fried Banana with Ice Cream available in most Thai restaurants here. So, one or two unnakkayas flanked by a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be ideal, what say? Bo Appétit.