10 June 2011

Kinnathappam / Malabar Style Rice Cake in an Uruli

It is yet another famous tradional dessert famous in the Malabar region. Kinnathappam is served on all major occasions like weddings, house warming, baby shower...the list goes on. 

Kinnathappam is a rice cake cooked in rich coconut milk, enriched with ghee, sweetened with jaggery and spiced up with cardamom. The texture is very soft and the color is deep brown.

'Kinnam' refers to the vessel or plate in which it is transferred to and 'Appam' is the rice cake.

I have always seen people buying it from bakeries and wondered how this soft and tasty appam is prepared and decided to find the traditional way of preparing it. The first reaction I got from all was ''ohh..that is very time consuming and takes a lot of heavy stirring.'' But I was still for it to learn a very authentic dish. Finally I got the recipe and here it is for my dear readers.

Coming to the preparation part it is very tedious but the end result just makes us forget the time taken to prepare this yummy rice cake. It requires a minimum of 3 people just to stir. And since it requires lot of  effort it is usually prepared in bulk. Home prepared kinnthappams stay longer compared to the ones at bakeries. Here are the step by step preparation of Kinnathappam. Enjoy!!

Raw Rice
1 kg
¾  kg light + ¾ kg dark
Chana Dal (Kadala Paripu)
¼ kg
5 large
2 tbsp + 1 cup
7 litre
3 tbsp


Melt jaggery by adding 200 ml water. Filter it in a sieve to remove impurities. Let it cool.

Cook Chana Dal  with one piece of Jaggery in a pressure cooker. Add water just enough so that it sinks and cook till 1 whistle (half cooked).

Grind the rice to a thin paste form.

Powder the cardamom along with 2 table spoon sugar and remove skin from the mixture.

Grate coconut and sqeeze to remove the first milk(Onnam Paal). Keep aside.

Add 200 ml warm water to the coconut and squeeze to remove the second milk (Randam Paal) and third milk (moonam paal).

Keep a thick bottom vessel/ Uruli ready to start the cooking process.Mix the rice batter, second and third coconut milk, jaggery, remaining water and start stirring on high flame.

This has to be continuously stirred using a long steel spatula. It has to be steel or a heavy duty stirrer as the mixture will thicken as you stir and it will be difficult to stir otherwise.

When the mixture starts thickening (it will take about 2 hours) add the first milk and cardamom powder. Take a small portion and hold it b/w your thumb and index finger, press it and pull. A strand consistency is formed.

After about 15 minutes add ghee to the sides of the vessel. Add the chana dal and mix well.

Add sugar at this stage as per your taste/or you feel the sweetness is not enough.

This is the tradional kinnam. Keep the kinnam/vessel/ any other dish ready

 Keep scrapping off any mixture that sticks to the sides with a knife.

The mixture will start leaving the sides and start wobbling like a jelly and leaving the sides of the Uruli.

By this time keep the Kinnams /Brass vessels/ any dish ready with ghee smeared on it.

The right consistency is when you hold a small portion in between your thumb and index finger and roll, it forms a ball shape without sticking to your fingers.

Remove from fire and quickly transfer it to the vessels and flatten it so that it takes the form of the vessel.

Cool, invert it on a plate, cut and serve.


  1. Sounds new, authentic and decadent dessert..loved the step by step pictorial!

  2. Wow... looks delicious and it is very new to me.

  3. Very nice and interesting dish. Rice cake looks yummilicious, wonderful and tempting. Lovely presentation.

  4. Rinku your first two clicks are so gorgeous...virtual treat...Thanks for posting this malabar special rice cake

    Hamaree Rasoi

  5. Wow,great effort you have did,and the result is fabulous! Loved the last click very very much!

  6. Gorgeous Rink! Its simliar to the Mani we make, also out of rice & jaggery and coconut milk - same tedious process but deliciously yummy result! Thanks for taking the trouble to teach us something new! Im learning a lot from ur blog!

  7. Thanks a ton Padhu,Suman, Lavanya, Babli,Deepa, Raji and Shir..I am overwhelmed reading all your lovely comments.. :)

  8. Interesting recipe and new to me .. thx for sharing. Love the presentation too.

    Event: Dish it Out - Spinach and Garlic
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  9. Looks fabulous,great recipe dear..makes me drool..thanks for sharing.

  10. Aunthentic recipe explained in a wonderful way.
    Lovely presentation.Book marked it

    South Indian Recipes

  11. Looks very delicious :) I havent heard of this before. Yummmm. Got to try it out :)

  12. totally new to me !! looks so tempting and wonderful clicks !!

  13. Awesome explanation.. would definitely need guidance pics on this different stages of sweet... thanks for sharing..

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  14. Have tasted on recipe like this, but only the name was the same. The one I tasted was cooked in steam and was in white colour.

    You have done a wonderful job! This looks traditional and tasty! Wish I could taste some! ;) :P :P

  15. tats a heavenly sweet...love this a lot..miss my neighbor aunty who is a Malayali...she si so sweet n a nice friend of my family..i tasted all traditional kerala sweets from her prep...its so delectable...thanx for the recipe..sure will give this a try soon...looks so delicious..very nice presentation...

  16. Looks delicious thanks for sharing.

  17. I have tried some kerala sweets.. But this is new to me.. Looks interesting and delicious..

  18. Rinku, For preparing this masterpiece, I am giving you a hug!I love this one soo much, that whenever I go to India, my aunt prepares it for me. My mom doesnt make this and so dont I. Lovely pics and loved the step by step procedure. And one thing i really really loved is also the measuremesnt u give, especially water. Water is very important in cooking and many dont give that.....Valare nannayittundu..IT requires intense menekkedu alley?.Enthyaalum njaan ithra menekkedum ennu enikku thonnunnilla...My hubby doesnt like this one, and I wont prepare it just for myself stading by the stove for 3 hours:)....Oru piece kittiyaal kollam ennundu:)

  19. Thanks a lottttttttttt Shabs..It means a lot to me. Jumping with joy..:)
    So glad that all liked it.
    Menekkettatinu itu nalla oru upaharam :)
    Hugs to u too..
    My pleasure. Drop in on your next trip to hometown.

  20. wow u have done a gud job....its hardwork but the end result is superb

  21. mmm....these look so yummy! This is my first time here and I loved your recipes. Looking forward to sharing more recipes with you!!

  22. Looks so delicious ...love the halwa ...just so yum

  23. wow.........this is really wonderful....nangade avidathe kinnathppam different ane...cooked in steam.....i have posted that......ini ithu try cheyyanam.........but this is more soft like a halwa........

  24. I must salute you for the time and effort you have spent in preparing this wonderful traditional dish. Perfectly done dear....

  25. i have not tried this method of making kinnathappam.. ought to try it out!:)

  26. Really wanna have a bite rite now...looks extremely tempting,,,glad to have found this blog
    If u like we can follow each other


  27. hats of to you my dear... I love kinnathappam... But i ve never seen anyone at home making this. I ve always got if from the bakery..

  28. Adipoli kinnathappam..loved ur authentic way of preparation..Pics kandu njan vellamirakki rinku :):)

  29. Wow this looks yumm, loved the authentic way of presenting with pictures. Do swing in sometime to my blog..


  30. Thanks a lot Vardhini, Suja, SIH, Nithya, Srav,Kriti, Aipi, Mahi,Sangee, Pushpa, Laxmi,Bini, Purabi, Prithi, Sameeja,Treat and Trick, Mini, Lipsy, Nitha, Sangeetha and Muskan. You all made my day!

  31. First time on the blog, it is lovely.....the appam looks nice and soft, and I can almost taste the ghee and cardamom in it.........and love the pics of the chocolate cake.....

  32. yummmmy n inviting...love ur presentation dear..:)

    Tasty Appetite

  33. This is simply awesome! The kinnathappam we make is different and not as elaborate! Ive gotta give this a try!

  34. wow..I loved the 3rd and 4th pic...looks so perfect and tempting...I really want to taste it,,yum

  35. I've always enjoyed kinnathappam but I never knew it was so laborious. Adipoli aayitunde...kandittu vaayil vellam varunnu.. :) I do have an urali but I'm not be able to use it on my electric hob, bummer!

  36. Woww Rinku.. awesome :D I have had this only at Kasargod when my aunt made them for vacas :D Gosh.. yours looks ultimate :D

  37. Thanks for dropping by my blog Rinku...i could see yours this way. Loved this traditional dessert, this is a large quantity and i feel scared looking at the lengthy procedure. I would love the flavors i know.

  38. who clicks ur pics its beautiful and yummy:)
    do u cook all these by urself or do u hav an assistant to help u
    hats off to u and lucky hus and kids

  39. Hi Anonymous reader
    Thanks for the lovely comments. Yes of course I click the pics on this blog.
    For preparing kinnathappam you need someone to assist you as it requires stirring continously until the required consistency is reached. I have mentioned in my post that atleast 2 -3 people are required to make this.

  40. ithu chyaan morethaan 2 hrs aavo?

    1. Thanks for writing in Junitha. For preparing the kinnathappam as per the quantity given in my recipe it takes 3 hours.

  41. Your presentation was soo gud.today i had eaten this malabar kinnathappam,it was soo tasty and yummy.yet now i had not heard about this receipe.this mouth watering appam forced me to study this receipe.And your presentation was too gud to understand.thanku soo much.

    1. I just made it yesterday (1/3rd of the ingredients).
      Took 3 hours. But worth the effort!


      San Jose, CA

  42. Tried out this recipie..
    Really..too goood..!!

    Thanks for this wonderful recipie.. :)

    1. Thanks Jini for trying. Please do send me pictures of the recipe tried.


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