It’s easy to see why Unnakkai – Cotton Balls are such an instant hit with all who try them. Banana fritters stuffed with coconut? Yes, please.
There are some recipes that are hard to replicate at home. This one for Unnakkai – Cotton Balls might be one of them. First, these spindle-shaped treats are made with Nenthiran bananas. Nenthiran bananas are native to Kerala and hard to find elsewhere. Second, there’s some intricacy in the technique. Still, where there’s a will there’s a way.
You can substitute plantains for the Nenthirans. That will give you the desired starchiness. And starchiness lets them stand up to stuffing and deep-frying. As for learning the technique? At the end of this introduction, we’ve got help for that too!
We’ll never forget biting into them. They are light and fluffy cotton balls of coconut, bananas, nuts and raisins with a delicate cardamom finish. Sipping tea, savouring each bite, it was a great reward after a long day on the road. These treats are an indelible food memory for us.
We greatly appreciate Chef Babu and his team at The Taj Gateway Beach Road in Khozikode for all their TLC. We hope you will be able to travel to Kozhikode to try this local delicacy one day. Until then, follow along in the video below as Chef Babu shows the technique for making this scrumptious dessert. With his expert demo, we know you do it too!