Unnakaya / Kaayada

Unnakaya is a traditional snack of Malabar Keralites. This plantain snack is mainly prepared during Ramadan time.

This dish uses plantain (Kerala Nenthrapazham), which is steamed and mashed.

Mashed plantain is shaped like an oval with pointed ends with a stuffing of egg, coconut, sugar, nuts and raisins.

unnakaya stuffing


Plantain / Nenthrapazham – 3 medium
Cashewnuts, chopped – 1 tbsp
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp
Egg – 1 no
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp


Using a steamer, cook the plantains. Set aside to cool.

Remove black seeds from plantain.

Mash plantain using a masher or give a whizz in your blender. There should be no lumps.

Set mashed plantain aside.

Heat ghee in a pan, fry cashews and raisins. Set aside.

To the remaining ghee, add coconut and 1 tbsp sugar.

When the coconut is crisp and coated well with sugar, add cardamom powder. Switch off the stove. Set this aside.

Heat ghee in another pan, add beaten egg and scramble it. Mix this with the cashew-raisin and coconut-sugar-cardamom mixture.

Rub oil in your hands. Make lime sized balls out of mashed bananas. Flatten it. Scoop out 1 tsp of the above coconut-cashewnut-raisin- egg mixture and place them in the centre. Shape them into ovals with pointed ends as shown above in the picture. 

Deep fry them in coconut oil till golden brown. Unakkaya is ready to be served as a teatime snack.


  • Plantain should not be overripe or underripe.
  • Vegetarians can omit eggs from unakkaya and they still taste good.

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