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KulKul – The Sweet X’mas Treat From Goa

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Years  ago I read  this  story  where  the   writer  described how  his  house  and  everything in it conspired  against  him  every time  he  came  to some  money. With every extra penny there  was either an appliance  that needed  repair or  replacing, or a  leaky roof or sprinkler   and  so on. You get  the  idea.  Now the  smart  appliances of  today,  are smarter –  they  don’t  wait  for  you to have  money before  deciding to  take a break.  Their “smart”  circuits  are  evolved  to  make  their presence or  lack their of  felt  when  you need  them the most – just  like  my  oven  breaking  down  right in the middle  of  Christmas  baking.

Kulkuk or kalkal

As  luck  would  have  it the  technician  would  come  in   and  everything   would be be  working  fine. The  tech  takes  his  handy dandy tester out, plugs it  in  and  everything  is  just  peachy. The  very next day  I turn the oven  on, and  it  just does not  heat up – no change in the internal temperature.  After  going  through  this a  couple  times  it  was  beginning  to feel  personal. Anyway  the  last  tech (smarter??)   to  take a  look at  this  seems  to have figured it out   .. and  no, it  was  not  in my head !!!  So now  we  are  waiting  for  the parts  to  arrive,  hopefully soon, with  no  cakes  or  cookies   coming  out  of  the  kitchen  and  impatient  kids in the  house..  one of  whom is  really worried  that  Santa is  not  going  to be pleased   when  to see  no  fresh  cookies  waiting  for  him.

So here  I am  making  one  of my favorite  (no bake !) treats  from  back home – Kulkuls from Goa.  These are  especially popular  during  X’mas  time. These  tiny treats are  shaped  like  gnocchi – little bits of  fried  sweet  dough  in  cute  curly shapes.  There are  many variations of this  traditional  treat.  Some  are  crunchy, while  some  are  soft. Some are  coated in  sugar  syrup  while  others  are  left  plain.  I like  these  with a little  crunch on the  outside, so no sugar  syrup here. We  make  these sweet,   and  serve   with a   dusting  of  powdered  sugar.

Kulkuk or kalkal


By Syama
Crunchy sweet  fried curls  from  Goa. 
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 1/2 C AP Flour / Maida
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/4 C Coconut Milk
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Powder the sugar in a blender.  Mix the powdered sugar, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl .
  • Rub the butter into the flour mix until crumbly.
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix in the coconut milk little by little to make a stiff dough. The dough should be very tight , if needed add extra flour. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Pour  enough  oil into a thick bottomed pan   to fill it  at about 1 inch depth. Heat over  medium flame. 
  • Take a piece of the dough about the size of large pea / blueberry (3/4  to 1 cm in diameter) and roll into a ball. Press the ball on the back of a fork and flatten. Roll the flattened piece of dough , so that the indentations from the fork are visible. Place the rolled kulkuls in a pan dusted with little flour or on a parchment paper,
  • Test the oil temperature by placing a small piece of dough in the hot oil . If i crackles and floats to top , the oil is hot enough . If it browns immediately , tun off the heat and let the oil cool a little .
  • keep the heat at medium and drop a few rolled kulkuls in the hot oil . Turn the pieces often while frying to brown all sides evenly .
  • Drain to a paper towel .
  • Once the kulkuls are warm dust powdered sugar on top and serve.
Keyword Christmas Treat, Egg Free
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A  word  of  advice  though ,  if you are  making a  large  batch make   sure  you have  help in the  kitchen .  Rolling out  these  little  darlings  are   time  consuming .

Kulkul Dough

Powder  the  sugar in a  blender if  it is not  fine  grained.  Mix  with flour , a pinch of  salt   and softened  butter.  Rub the  butter  into the  flour and  add  the   vanilla  extract.  Add  2  Tbsp of  the  coconut milk  and  start  to knead. Add  more  coconut milk as  needed  to  make a  stiff  dough. If  the  dough  has  turned  soft  add  more flour  and  bring it  back to  stiff  consistency.  Cover  and  let  rest for  10 minutes.

Shaping Kulkuls

Pinch of a  piece of  dough a little  bigger  than a  pea. Roll into a ball and  flatten it by pressing it  on the back of a  fork. Roll back the flattened piece  so the   indentations from the  fork are  visible. This is for  decorative  purpose only –  the   dough  can be pinched off  flattened  and  fried  as it  and  it  will be  absolutely delicious.

Kukkul or Kalkal from Goa

Heat  enough oil,  about  1″ in depth,  in a thick bottomed pan. The oil   should  be  hot  , ut  not  smoking  to  fry the  Kulkuls .  Here is  an  easy way to test –  place a  small piece of  dough in the hot oil , if it  sizzles  and  floats  the  oil is  hot   enough , if  it  browns the  the oil is  too hot , if  it  sinks  and very few  bubbles  appear  then it is  not  hot   enough .  Keep the  heat at  medium  and  place a  few  kulkuls  at a  time  in the hot  oil.  Turn a  few  times  to fry the Kulkuls  on all sides.  Remove  from the  oil oven   when  it  is  golden   brown and   drain on  paper  towels.

Dust  with  powdered  sugar  after  the  kulkuls  are   cooled a  little but  while  still warm .

Santa is  going  to  have  something  different   this  time 🙂  Merry X’mas !!



KulKul or Kalkal from Goa

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2 thoughts on “KulKul – The Sweet X’mas Treat From Goa”

  1. This looks like something new that I want to try to make! Each year I try to find three new items to cook or bake that I have never done before. This is definitely on the list! I can’t wait to see more of your recipes, keep em’ coming!


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