Friday, 28 November 2014


Some more Christmas goodness. . . Kulkuls are such a big part of the whole Christmas season in Mangalore. It's one of my favourite Christmas time things to do. Kind of on the "must do" list. So , thought I'd put up some traditional Kuswar recipes and  Kulkuls , also known as kidyo are one of the easiet things to make. This kulkuls recipe is very simple and failproof. What makes it most fun is getting the whole family together, to roll them out. This way, you won't take light years to use up the dough and also kids totally love making these. I know I did, when I was younger, wait a minute , I still do.

I've adjusted the recipe to use just about 1/2 a kilo of flour. My grandma I'm told used no less than 4 kilos!!!!! Phew.... I wanted to start off with a smaller batch and then maybe double it for a batch over the weekend. If you're making it alone, 1/2 a kilo is quite a bit, but absolutely doable.

Like a lot of the recipes on this blog, this one too is a cheat's version. Yes, I do this cheating business a lot. After having looked at my mum's recipe I made two very important changes. For starters, I use readymade coconut milk, this one to be precise, so there , your work has already been halved, and two, I don't make the sugar syrup, I use icing sugar instead , and this is so much easier. Here's what I do, once the kulkuls are fried and drained of all their oil, I toss them in a bowl of icing sugar. This way, no sticky icky business of making/using sugar syrup and also the kulkuls don't become too sweet. Over the years, I have developed a taste for eating these plain,  you can also have these without any of that sugar coating business. 

So here's how we make it. Mix the flour and the sugar , a pinch of salt, that's basically the base of our dough. 

A tip my mum gave me was to use warm oil, that'll make the kulkuls crisp. So warm the oil, to a rather hot temperature and add to the dough. Mix with a wooden spoon as you do. The mixture is going to resemble bread crumbs. Wooden spoon coz, it's going to be difficult touching that hot oil with your hands. Add the coconut milk and using your hands, knead into a dough, that is sorta smooth and pliable, just not sticky.  Use less of more the coconut milk, as you go with kneading the dough.

You can rest the dough for about 10 mins before you start rolling out the kulkuls. Cover the dough with a cloth, so it doesn't dry out. To make the kulkuls, start with small portions of the dough, again, cover the rest with a cloth.  Take a small  piece of dough and roll into a little ball.Using your fingers, flatten it out into a rectangle on the back of a greased fork, (it should be quite thin), press the dough into the indents of the fork, and then roll it away from you, into a little worm, and that's a kulkul right there. Press them a bit with the fork at the edges to seal them, so they don't open up while you fry them.

See, isn't this fun. Make kulkuls with at least half your dough, before you start frying them, specially if you're making them alone. You could also roll and fry them in batches.
To fry the kulkuls , heat up the oil in a wok. Bring the oil to a medium hot temperature and not smoking. To test if the oil is at the right temperature, drop a small piece of dough in the oil. If it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil's at the right temperature. 

Fry the kulkuls in batches to a medium brown colour, not dark brown. Remember they continue to cook a few seconds after you take them out of the oil, so don't leave them in the oil till they look well done. Using a slotted spoon, take the kulkuls out and leave them to drain on kitchen towels or paper . If you plan to sugar coat them, literally, toss them in the icing sugar and then transfer to a bowl. And with that comes one tick on that kuswar list

Here's the recipe for Easy to make Kulkuls


1/2 kilo flour
A pinch of salt
6 tbsps powdered sugar
4 tbsp oil
250 ml (aprox) readymade coconut milk
400 ml oil for deep frying
200 gms icing sugar for coating the kulkuls

1. In a vessel, mix the flour, salt and powdered sugar.
2. Heat 4 tbsps of oil . Add to the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon to blend it into the flour.
3. Add the coconut milk and knead the mixture into a dough.
4. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for 10 mins.
5. Take a small piece of dough, roll into a ball, and flatten it out on the back of a greased fork.
6. Roll into a kulkul. Roll out all of the dough into kulkuls in batches.
7. Heat the oil and deep fry the kulkuls to a medium brown.
8. Using a slotted spoon, take them out and let them rest on paper towels, before you toss them in the icing sugar.

If you are new to making Kuswar, or trying Kuswar on your own for the first time, there couldn't be a simpler goodie to start with. Trust me. . Would I lead you astray?

Happy Christmas time everyone. 

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