Desserts hold an important part of any feast. It is one of the craved course of a multi course dinner. We are a family of sweet tooth, infact it runs down in our clan. Whenever a dinner or feast is hosted in our family, the main discussion and the first discussion will be of dessert part. This is one of the culinary area where I love to experiment with and for which I take time to indulge in generously. I love every aspect of dessert making and recently I’ve started experimenting and learning food styling too.
Food styling and desserts are the latest trends. I have tried to present this Malabar dessert in a modern version. Desserts have a long history. The history of desserts is more than just a mere recounting of the first ice cream cone or the first time meringue was served. Sweets date back to ancient civilizations where people enjoyed fruits and nuts candied with honey. However, desserts as are commonly known today became popular through an evolution of technology and culinary experimentation.
In ancient times, people enjoyed the food that was available. Ancient civilizations enjoyed the occasional treat of fruit or nuts rolled into honey. This, in essence, is considered the first candy. In general however, it wasn’t until sugar was manufactured during the middle ages that people began to enjoy more sweets. Even then, sugar was so expensive that it was a treat reserved only for the wealthy on special occasions. However, starting in about 3000BC there is a discernable and traceable history of many of the foods that delight the sweet tooth.
In the early 1900s, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company invented a machine capable of peeling, coring and slicing 100 pineapples per minute. With canned pineapples readily available throughout the year, pineapple upside-down cakes became exceedingly fashionable. Typically baked in a cast iron skillet or frying pan, the sponge-like cake was later inverted to display caramelized rings of pineapple, with or without maraschino cherries, and sometimes topped with whipped cream.
In the 1920s, the spread of home refrigerators happened to coincide with the increasing popularity of instant gelatin, or Jell-O. The result? A proliferation of aspics and gelatin molds. Suddenly suspending fruit, vegetables, olives, meat, mayonnaise, sour cream, ginger ale—almost any ingredient one could think of—in congealed “salads” became commonplace, and the festive-shaped masterpieces were served at home and parties across the U.S.
By the 1960s and 70s, fondue parties were all the rage. Melted cheeses served with bread, meats cooked in hot oil, and cake and fruit dipped in molten chocolate were consumed as a trendy communal meal. In 1971, the debut of the Crock-Pot proved to be hugely successful as the slow-cooking appliance could be left unattended, allowing the increasing number of women who worked outside of the home to return to a fully cooked meal.
Since then, of course, numerous other food trends have made their way into the hearts and guts of Americans: frozen yogurt, cupcakes, small plates, acai berries and quinoa to name just a few. Consumers may never fully realize the mysterious forces that combine to launch a new food fad, but they can rest assured a new one is just around the corner.
Today we are in a era where gourmet desserts and molecular gastronomy is the trend. In keeping with these trends, this is my humble attempt on a traditional Malabr dessert. As always, my take on this dish with some minor changes is seen here.
For the detailed preparation of Unnakaya, check this link which I had done earlier, http://simiskitchendiaries.com/unnakaya/ I always use a combination of rare ripe ones and riped ones instead of going completely with the rare ripe ones, which I feel is too raw and the taste factor goes down on a graph. When we mix these two, it perfectly balances the flavor and the texture becomes dough like making it easier to roll and tastier to eat. Another one factor to be noted is that the plantains should not be steamed for long time. It should be steamed just to perfection, means medium rare, should be cooked soft but firm. Otherwise lot of oil will consumed during frying and you will find it difficult to roll.
For the stuffing part, traditional recipe holds eggs in it and this is purely optional as many are preferring the coconut filling only these days. I have used more coconut and less eggs. Please omit the egg part if you are not preferring that and go forward with the other steps. Don’t saute for long time, just a couple of minutes would be fine for coconut stuffing.
I’ve used fresh thick coconut milk and tinned coconut cream for this recipe which is also purely optional. Tinned coconut cream or milk will help in getting a smooth and velvety consistency. Rice powder and coconut milk combo give a special flavor and that’s exactly why this combo is maintained.
Hope everyone is getting geared up for Eid. Please check out my website and channel for different types of biriyani and other delicacies and follow me by subscribing for all the Eid specials coming up.
Steam the plantains for Unnakaya and cool down.
Remove the skin and grind to a paste in food pro and keep aside.
Heat a pan with ghee. Add the coconut, nuts and raisins. Saute for a minute or two. Add beaten eggs if you are opting for that along with cardamom powder.
Dry out the moisture content and switch off the heat. If using only coconut, saute for a minute and get it out of the stove.
Make lemon size balls with the plantain paste. Roll it out to a circle.
Place a teaspoon of filling and fold from one end to the other and roll into cotton seed shaped unnakaya.
Deep fry/ shallow fry or air fry. If air frying, smear with oil after palcing it in the basket. Fry till golden brown for 15 minutes at 200 degree centigrade, fliping it half way through. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, combine the coconut milk, cream, condensed milk and sugar.
Add the rice powder and whisk thoroughly without any lumps.
Boil stirring continuously into a thick sauce.
Transfer, cool down and chill in refrigerator.
Once chilled, add the vermicelli , cleaned and soaked poppy seeds and rose water. Combine
Cut an unnakaya into two and place in a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over and garnish with dates.
Enjoy your dessert !!!!