Thursday, 18 June 2009


Kaayada is one of the most famous and favorite snacks of Muslim Cuisine in Kerala. These are very very tasty and use all healthy ingredients. But since it is fried in ghee at the end, I cant call it a healthy snack. It is known all over kerala as unnakkaya or unnakkayi. In our place we call it Kaayada. Kaayi is a colloquial term for plantains and ada means something that is stuffed. So kaayada just means stuffed plantains. Normally people from the our region makes the stuffing by using a mixture of eggs and sugar with nuts and dried fruits. But in some areas people also uses a mixture of sugar and coconut and nuts for the filling.

If you visit a Muslim house in North kerala, (Sorry, I am not sure how it is in south) where a wedding has just gone by, you sure will find kaayada as one of the main tea time snacks, sometimes it is eaten as breakfast also. These are one the snacks that are served for guests during evening tea. Normally newly wed men are given these treats almost everyday for breakfast and evening snacks, along with other varieties including cutlets, Irachi ada, Kallummakkaya nirachathu and many other fried snacks. Unlike other regions in Kerala, the groom stays at the bride's place in Kannur and Thalassery region and I guess, in many parts of Calicut as well. So these grooms would be having these snacks almost everyday. Even if they dont want to have it, they will be force fed. So gradullay, they will grow fatter in few days being over pampered by the in-laws!:)

4 Large Plantains( AROUND 1.4 KGS)
5 large eggs
10 tbs sugar
3 tbs raisins
3 tbs Cashew nutes
3 tbs Clarified butter (Ghee)
5 cardamom crushed
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut (Optional)
Extra ghee for frying


1. Steam cook the plantains with the skin on until soft. if they dont fit in your steamer you can cut them into half and steam them.
2. Once they are completely cooked and soft, grind them into smooth in a food processor in two or three batches without using any water. Make sure you dont grind them to puree. Normally back home the grinding in done on a large 'Ammi and Kutti', a kind of Pestle and mortar to mash the cooked plantains. Before I had used potato masher to mash it. If you are using potato masher, make sure there are no lumbs, but it is very time consuming. Food processor is best for this. Set them aside.
3. For preparing the filling, Break the eggs and add sugar to it. Mix well with spoon. Sugar doesnt have to dissolve. Keep them aside too.
4. Heat a large frying pan, add ghee and add the chopped cashews.When they gets a golden colour, fish them out and drain them on a kitchen towel. To the same pan, add the raisins and leave there for few seconds until they puff like like little balls. DONT LEAVE them for long because they will get charred and taste bitter. Tke them out and keep them along with the cashews.
4. In the same pan, add the egg - sugar mixture, coconut (if adding), raisins and nuts and scramble them by stirring continuously until the egg is completely cooked. Add the crushed cardamom and stir well.
5. While the plantains are still warm, grease both hands and make small balls out of it. You should be able to get around 20-25 balls with this amount.
6. Flatten the balls into disk shapes of about 3/4 cm thickness, by placing the plantain ball in one hand and flattening it using the fingers of other hand.
7. Place 1 tbs of filling inside and seal the edges. Dont put too much of filling in; else it will be difficult to seal them. Smooth the stuffed plantain balls in to rugby ball shapes by rolling it in hand. Make sure there are no cracks anywhere. Grease your hand well, incase needed to avoid the mashed plantains sticking to your hand.
8. Do the same with the rest of the planatains and filling.
9. Place a kadai/deep frying pan on medium heat and add Ghee. When the ghee is hot enough, Add few kaayadas at a time and fry until light browned on all sides. Drain and serve warm as a tea time snack.

Notes and tips:
1. While choosing plantains make sure that they are not too ripe, I mean, you should still be able to see a touch of light green colour by the tip and skin should be yellow with no black spots or just few of them. Ones the plantains starts ripening, they develop lot of black spots hence making the flesh more soft. If you steam them and puree them at this stage you will get very mushy mash and will be difficult to manage. If at all it has started getting a bit ripe and the plantains are mushy when mashed and difficult to manage, you can add a little bit of rice powder. 2. I normally make big unnakkayas cos smaller ones takes too much of time to shape them up. And who cares when the taste is same. Well, smaller ones look cuter.
3. If you wan the authentic taste of kaayadas/unnakkayas, you MUST fry them in ghee or clarified butter. You can also use half clarified butter and half vegetable or coconut oil. Believe me, it doesnt taste good when it is fried in vegetable oil alone.
4. Normally it is deep fried in Kadai/Wok. But you can also fry them in Frying pan by filling them with ghee half way through and them flipping the kaayadas over to evenly brown on all sides.
5. One more important thing to be noted, I used the proportion of 2 tbs of sugar for 1 large egg. Here I have used extra refined sugar which is slightly less sweeter than the sugar we get in India. But if you are using the sugar in India use 1 tbsful of sugar for 1 egg, the eggs in India are smaller as well. So you might need to use around 7-8 eggs and 7-8 tbsful of sugar for the above amount of plantains.


Pooja said...

Oh what a coincidence Shabs! I too posted Unnakkayi few minutes ago! Yours look perfect! Nice writeup. Got to know lot more info!

Superchef said...

i cannot believe ive never had this before!!!!! it looks soo delicious.

Parita said...

Nice click and nice recipe, never knew we could steam plaintains..if you wish you can send this to

Shabs.. said...

Thx pooja.
superchef, u shud have this atleast once in lifetime i guess. Its that good. It's a bit time consuming, but u can make it in less quantity, may be using a single plantain or something..

Parita, thx alot for ur comments and for letting me know about the events. thats so kind of u..

Anonymous said...

we don't steam the plantain in the steamer - we just put it in the microwave under veg cook mode. Comes out fine. Of course don't forget to prick with a fork before putting it in the oven. the real challenge is to get plantains at the correct level of ripeness.


Sarah Naveen said...

Hey dear
I am so happy to see your malabar recipes...I wanna make all of them...
i havent really tasted many malabar specialities as i come from kottayam area...friends words have given me the tastes...
I am drooling...will dfntly try this...

butterfly said...

Thanks Shabs for the wonderful recipe. I tried the same and came out well.

Cheers and let them keep coming.

Shabs.. said...

Butterfly, Thanks for the feedback. im glad u liked it.

kothiyavunu said...

My fav..It looks so yummy! ariyo njanum orikkal try came out well..but i couldnt even get one picture of it..( Ath onn choodaran purath vechathan appozhekum hubbyum makkalsum kudi agath aki..hmmm..ini pinnem undakkanam!!!

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