Malabar Prawns Kakka roti/ Kunjipathil (Rice Dumplings in Coconut Gravy)

Malabar Prawns Kakka roti / Kunjipathil

(Rice Dumplings in Coconut Gravy)

One dish that we Malabaris love (tastes the best the next day) is this delicious Kakkaroti specifically known as so in Thalassery. These are dumplings of rice, ground with coconut and other spices, that is shaped to tiny balls with a slight dent, steamed and added to meat gravy with coconut paste/milk. 😋
Whenever I sit to make these dumplings I always think of the person who might have come up with the idea. The whole family comes and joins to prepare them, it is so much fun with all the giggles and jokes around. But doing it all alone is tiresome. Though the task of preparing those dumplings are a tedious job, it is definitely a lobor of love. These are also called kunjipathil/ kunji pathiri.
Kakkaroti is popularly made with beef, chicken and mutton too! Prawns Kakkaroti tastes similar to puzhungapathil. This dish is especially made during thakkaram/ salkaram (special occasions). I shall mention below how to prepare the beef, chicken and mutton versions as well! I shall demonstrate using ari podi/ rice flour and the traditional soaking rice method too.

Ingredients: (makes for 2)

  • 1 cup Puzhungalari/ Par boiled rice, (soaked in steaming hot water for at least 4-5 hours) *
  • Ari podi (like amis) / Rice flour, as required **
  • 1/4 cup shredded Coconut 
  • 1/2 of an Onion, chopped roughly 
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala powder*
  • 1 cup If using ari podi 
  • Salt, as required 
  • 250 gms Prawns, cleaned and deveined 
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1 small Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • Curry leaves 
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced finely 

Coconut Gravy

  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut 
  • 4-5 Shallots 
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds 
  • 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste 
  • 3 Green Chillies
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder 
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder 
  • 1 tsp Garam masala powder


  • 2 tbsp Ghee 
  • Curry leaves 
  • 2-3 Shallots, finely sliced


  1. In a mixer grinder, add the washed and soaked par boiled rice, coconut, onion, fennel seeds and garam masala, add a little amount of water to grind to paste.
  2. Transfer the content to a bowl and add in rice flour as required to make it tight. (Enough to make balls and make dumplings)

  3. Next, grease your hands with oil, take a small portion of the rice dough, as make tiny balls on the palm of your hand, roll it to make a small ball, and press gently in the middle to form a slight dent, similarly do all of the rice dough. ( ask someone to join along, as it’s fun and easier when someone tags along to make the tiny rotis)

  4. You can either drop these little dumplings onto a foil sheet or a banana leaf.
  5. Keep a steamer pot with water on the stove, once steam starts coming, place the foil or banana leaf with the dumplings.
  6. Allow to steam cook for at least 20-25 minutes. 
  7. Once cooked, transfer the dumplings to a heat proof bowl and sprinkle water, this helps the dumplings to separate from each other.
  8. For the prawns version, marinate the prawns using minced garlic, turmeric powder, Kashmiri Chilli powder, and coconut oil. 

  9. Fry them lightly in coconut oil and set aside.
  10. Next sauté sliced onion in coconut oil and add salt as required. 

  11. Add ginger garlic paste, once aromatic add in the green Chillies, chopped tomato, cover and allow to cook well until mushy. 
  12. Next add in the spice powders , sauté for a couple of seconds.
  13. Grind a paste that consists of shredded coconut, shallots and fennel seeds with little water. 

  14. Add in the ground coconut paste and a little extra water***

  15. Next add in the steamed rice dumplings, mix well. 

  16. Add the fried prawns that was kept aside. 
  17. Adjust water and salt as per needs. 
  18. Finally garnish with a tadka from ghee, sliced shallots and curry leaves. Enjoy with a nice glass of black tea!


  • If preparing beef, chicken or mutton, prepare the curry by pressure cooking onion, tomato, green Chilli, spices powders (for chicken and meat, make the coriander powder 3-4 tsp), salt as required and add little water and pressure cook ( make sure you don’t add too much water)
  • Add the ground coconut paste and add in the tadka.
  • *You may use whole spices too
  • ** If using only ari podi (pathiri podi like Amis brand), 1 cup ari podi will yield quantity for 2 people. Add water as required, to make a soft (not too tight nor too loose) dough, that can be easily made into tiny balls.
  • *** Don’t worry if the gravy looks very loose, as the Kakkaroti sits, the rice dumplings act as a gravy mopping agent, making the gravy thicker as it sits.

Do try this recipe and don't forget to share your experience/feedback with me here in the comments or feel free to send me a mail. Also, do tag me at #taystedit if you try out my recipes on Facebook, Instagram etc so that I can see when you make it. ♡♡♡♡

You Might Also Like