The Secret To Making Easy Kerala-Style Unniyappams At Home

Walking down a street in Kerala you might spot large jars or packets filled with toast brown balls at corner shops and restaurants. These are the omnipresent Unniyappam. Made with rice flour, wheat flour, coconut, bananas, jaggery and cooked in ghee, these sweet fried treats are perfect for dessert or just for snacking and are comparatively healthy compared to the over-processed sugary snacks that are widely available today. 

They’re so valued that they’re often made as an offering to the gods or as part of the famous Onam Sadhya. Also known as karollappam and neiyappam, these nandan (banana) sweets are traditionally made by soaking rice and urad dal for hours to soften it before grinding and mixing it with the banana, coconut, jaggery and other ingredients. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to home cooking, these long processes can become a bit of a hassle to undertake on a regular basis, so this recipe simplifies all the hard bits so you can enjoy fresh, homemade Unniyappam whenever you want. The mixture of rice flour and wheat flour ensures they’re super crispy which also staying soft in the centre. 


  • 5 tsp ghee
  • ¾ cup grated coconut
  • 2 large overripe bananas
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking salt 
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ cup jaggery powder as per taste
  • ½ tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 cup water


  • Heat a tsp of ghee in a frying pan and add ¾ cup of grated coconut. You can either use it in grated form or in chunkier chopped bits. 
  • Fry the coconut in ghee for up to five minutes until the coconut turns light golden and aromatic. Switch off and keep it aside.
  • Roast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until they start going golden and begin to pop, keep them aside for later. 
  • Mash two ripe bananas into a soft paste and add one cup of rice flour and a half cup of wheat flour.
  • Put ¼ tsp of salt, and ½ tsp of baking soda into the mix.
  • Add the green cardamom powder and ¾ cup of jaggery powder, toasted sesame seeds and coconut.
  • Mix them all together into a thick batter while gradually adding in the water.
  • Leave this batter aside for 10 minutes to rest.
  • If you have paniyaram pan, begin heating it with ¼ tsp of ghee or oil in each mould. An idli pan would also work but they won’t have the signature Unniyappam shape.
  • Fill to ¾ of the height with the batter and cover with a lid to cook for around 3-4 minutes.
  • By then the bottom should be golden brown. Flip them over to evenly cook both sides. 
  • When both sides of unniyappams are fried, remove them from the pan and serve them warm.