Kalathappam: A Malabari Sweet Treat You Shouldn’t Miss
Image Credit: Image: Facebook- Kerala Food Guide

For anyone with a sweet tooth, a sight of dessert is hard to resist. And while the rest of the world can swoon over gooey chocolate cakes, pudding or all sorts of frostings, India has its own variety of sweet treats that are enough to make us slurp. After all, where else will you find rice and lentils being combined together seamlessly with different ingredients including chocolate and coconut for a yummy dessert? There are not many cuisines in the world where even rice and lentils are used to make drool-worthy sweets to begin with. But regional Indian cuisine has no dearth of such gems.

If we go to south India, where rice and lentils and coconut are quite a staple, you will find many decadent treats. Be it the velvety Mysore Pak or hearty Payasam, south India will leave you drooling with its many sweet treats. One such dessert is Kalathappam-  a rice cake from the North Malabar region of Kerala that has impressed many. Cooked in a pressure cooker, Kalathappam is a traditional delicacy that is often enjoyed during tea-time in the evening and also for breakfast. It is prepared with rice, jaggery and fried seasonings that are garnished on top. But the best part is you don’t really require any fancy equipment or ingredients, just rice or rice flour, jaggery and coconut to work the magic.  

What makes the sweet treat of Kalathappam unique is the seasoning of shallots or onions on a cake. Yes, you read that right. The cake batter is cooked with sauteed onions or shallots and coconut, lending a distinct crunch and flavour. The recipe is fairly easy and fuss-free but combines very unique ingredients together to make a delicious dish. Here is a simple recipe of Kalathappam that you can try at home.


- Raw rice- 1/2 cup

- Cooked rice- 1/4 cup

- Jaggery - 100 g

- Onions or shallots (sliced)- 2

- Water- as required

- Coconut (sliced)- 1/4 cup

- Cardamom seeds- 1/2 tsp

- A pinch of salt

- Baking soda- ½ tsp

- Ghee- 1 tbsp


1. Wash and soak the raw rice for about 2 hours. Drain and combine with the cooked rice.

2. Add cardamom seeds and jaggery with water to this and make a smooth paste.

3. Make the batter of pouring consistency, add salt and baking soda. Mix well.

4. Now heat the pressure cooker, add ghee and saute onion/shallot and coconut slices together till golden brown.

5. Pour the rice batter in pressure cooker and cover with lid. Let this cook for about 20 minutes.

7. Check the cake by inserting a skewer after 20 minutes. If it comes out clean then the cake is done. If not, let it cook for another 5-6 minutes.

8. When done, let it cool for another 10 minutes before serving

Try this unique and delicious south Indian dessert at home and share your experience in the comments section below.