A recipe from my grandmother’s time, kulkuls are great snacks to serve during the festive season. It is time consuming to make this though and you need to be very patient. I used a fork to shape the “shell”. These days there are grooved boards that you can buy from cake ingredients shops but even using them would not save much time! If you want sweet kulkuls, omit the spices and increase the icing sugar to 80 g.

300 g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

80 g Thirumala Ghee, melted

40 g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, pounded coarsely

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, pounded coarsely

1 egg yolk, beaten

120 ml coconut milk

Oil for deep frying


  1. Place flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Pour in the melted Thirumala Ghee and rub it in until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  3. Add in the icing sugar, chilli powder, fennel and cumin, and the egg yolk. Mix lightly.
  4. Pour in enough coconut milk, a little at a time, and knead till you get a soft, pliable dough. You don’t have to use all the coconut milk.
  5. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave aside for 30 minutes.
  6. Take the dough and make marble-sized round. Using the back of a fork, flatten each piece of dough, pressing it lightly.
  7. Roll the top so that you get a curled-up shape with the fork marks showing on the outside.
  8. Do the same for the rest of the dough. Let dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  9. Heat oil till hot and test by dropping one piece of dough into it – if it comes up at once, then the temperature is right.
  10. Deep fry small batches of the kulkuls at a time until golden brown. Keep stirring with slotted spoon to ensure the dough does not stick to each other.
  11. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer the kulkuls onto kitchen paper towels.
  12. Leave to cool before storing in air tight containers.

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