Christmas 2022: Goa's KulKul Intertwined With This Festival
Image Credit: Traditional Goan kulkuls,

Homes in Goa are awash with the fragrances of festive delicacies being cooked a few days before Christmas. Some traditional specialities for this celebration include guava cheese, milk toffee, baath cake, and walnut fudge. However, Kalkal or kulkul sticks out altogether from the list. It is a typical, deep-fried Goan pastry formed into little curls. These small curls are crispy, flaky, and flavourful. In Goa, kalkal represents Christmas, a must-have on a Kuswar or Goan Christmas sweet plate.

Inspired origin

Kulkuls are especially famous in the Goan region. Many people think they might be a Portuguese-influenced form of Filhoses Enroladas, a rolled pastry that resembles a rose.

Distinguishable names

In Konkani, kulkuls are commonly referred to as kidyo, which translates as worms. That name doesn't sound very tempting unless you are fond of worms. Instead, picturing them as curls or shells is more appealing.

Making, storing and gifting

Traditional kulkuls, Image Source:

Its preparation necessitates a long time. One must also be patient. Often the ladies in the neighbourhood or even the children in the house would gather and make this together. It is, indeed, a collaborative endeavour. If stored in an airtight container, kidiyos preserve pretty well. Kulkuls are a signature feature of a dessert platter and are perfect for gifting to friends and relatives. Including them in your holiday cookie exchange is another option.


Kulkuls are sugar-glazed curls prepared from flour, coconut milk, and sugar syrup. They resemble gnocchi but are slightly smaller in size. After being fried, they are immersed in sugar syrup to create a glazed covering. A few enjoy them by sprinkling them with icing sugar.



  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Kidiyo or kalkal, Image Source: barak_kitchens@Instagram


  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a large mixing vessel until well-integrated
  • Little by little, blend butter into the flour, rubbing it in until it reaches pea-sized
  • Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl. Fold the eggs into the flour-butter mixture
  • Blend in the confectioners' sugar and coconut milk to make a soft dough
  • Make tiny 1-inch-diameter balls out of the dough
  • Apply some oil to the fork's back. Form a rectangle the length of the fork tines by flattening a dough ball and pressing it onto the back of the fork
  • Roll the dough up the tines and off the fork into a tight curl, beginning at the bottom end of the fork. The final result will be a tube-like curl with fork ridges. Work the other dough balls in the same manner
  • In a deep medium skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 F
  • Fry the kulkuls in rounds to avoid crowding the pan, ideally 6 or 7 at a time
  • Make sure to adjust the heat as needed to keep the temperature stable
  • Turn them frequently until they are a light brown hue
  •  As they are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a baking sheet lined with paper towels
  • Blend the granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for around 4 to 6 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the fluid is sticky
  • Coat the kulkuls in sugar syrup when they have cooled
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove kidiyos from the syrup carefully

Place the curls on a serving tray to dry and form a layer on the kulkuls.