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Jaggery Kinnathappam- Baked and Gluten Free


Kinnathappam with a twist, jaggery or brown cane sugar is added instead of granulated sugar…

Remember my kinnathappam post? If you haven’t read that post yet, here you go. Kinnathappam is my mom’s speciality dessert, I continue to brag that my mom still prevails as the “queen of kinnathappam making”. It’s a South Indian delicacy, mostly homemade and seldom sold in stores or bakeries. I’ve heard that these days you can buy homemade kinnathappams sold by some homemakers. In my family, this is one dessert that’s made during almost all special occasion.

Last weekend, I had kinnathappam craving and so decided to make it. Since it’s gluten free my hubby can enjoy it too, so I was much excited to make it. Well, this time I made a twist: I added brown cane sugar or jaggery instead of adding granulated sugar. Also, I baked the kinnathappam instead of steam cooking it. From the pictures, you could see that I’ve added cooked chana dal as well to the kinnathappam. It came out excellent, the texture was soft, brown cane sugar or jaggery gave a nice taste to the kinnathappam. Baking this in the oven is much easier than steam cooking over stove top. However, you could always steam cook it too.

I used brown cane sugar instead of jaggery. Jaggery is widely used in South India as a replacement for sugar, it is naturally processed from the sap of sugar cane or palm trees. In Ayurveda it is considered to be “medicinal sugar“. Brown cane sugar or Panela is dehydrated cane sugar, to know more about it read this article.

Brown cane sugar, also called as Panela in Mexico: it is dehydrated cane sugar.

brown cane sugar

Brown Cane sugar or jaggery Kinnathappam:

jaggery kinnathappam


Jaggery Kinnathappam- Baked and Gluten Free
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6 People
  • Rice flour- 1½ cups ( I used unroasted flour)
  • Melted Jaggery or Brown cane sugar- ½ cup
  • Coconut milk- 2 cups (not too thick)
  • Water- ¼ cup
  • Chana dal, cooked- 3 tbsp (optional)
  • Ground cardamom pods- 2 or ¼ tsp
  • Ghee or clarified butter- to grease the pan and to drizzle over kinnathappam
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. First melt the jaggery or brown cane sugar along with water. I used around 150 g of jaggery or brown cane sugar and ¼ cup water. Let it cool down a bit.
  3. Cook chana dal in water till it turns soft, don't mash it.
  4. In a large bowl, combine rice flour, melted jaggery, coconut milk, water and ground cardamom without lumps. You could slightly blend the mixture in a blender.
  5. To the mixture, add cooked chana dal and combine well.
  6. I poured the batter into 2 cake pans as I didn't want it to be too thick. You could make just one if you prefer, it will be a thick kinnathappam.
  7. Grease the pan generously with ghee, pour the batter into it and drizzle the top with ghee.
  8. Pour water to a large rectangle or round baking pan, fill only 1 inch of the pan with water.
  9. Cover the pan with the batter with aluminum foil.
  10. Place the pan with the batter into the large pan with water (water bath).
  11. Place it in the preheated oven at the lower rack and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center of it comes out clean.
  12. You could even steam cook it over stove top. Grease ramekins or pans with ghee, pour the batter. Fill a large pan with 1 inch water, cover the ramekins with aluminum foil and place it into the water bath, cover the pan with its lid, steam cook for 20 to 25 minutes or till cooked well.
  13. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the pan with the kinnathappam from the water bath, allow it to cool down.
  14. Run a knife through the sides of the pan and flip it over onto a plate.
  15. Cut to desired shapes and serve chilled.
  16. Leftovers can be refrigerated.


Step by Step Pictures


Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...