Coconut Milk Desserts Eid Recipes Indian Kaima Rice Kerala Ramadan recipes Vegetarian

Kinnathappam With Kaima or Jeerakasala Rice- Steamed Soft Rice Coconut Milk Cake

Kinnathappam or steamed rice cake in a pan, a South Indian specialty dessert…

Kinnathappam is a family favorite dessert that’s made during Ramadan, Eid, and on special occasions. My mom makes the best-tasting and melt into the mouth kinnathappam. I don’t make this quite often, but whenever I make it I get the feeling that my family is with me in my kitchen and I get nostalgic. Food does evoke memories and they can be powerful.

The other day, while chatting with my aunt she told me that she made kinnathappam for Iftar using kaima rice. Since this particular dessert carries a lot of fond memories after I hang up the phone, I went straight into the kitchen and started making kinnathappam. This time with kaima or jeerakasala rice.

Jeerakasala or kaima rice is an aromatic rice that’s grown in Wayanad district in Kerala, used for making biryani and other rice-based dishes. This rice tastes better than basmati rice. Hence, kinnathappam tasted much more delicious with kaima rice.

Kinnathappam with Kaima or Jeerakasala Rice- Steamed Soft Kinnathappam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
For Grinding rice
  • Kaima or Jeerakasala rice- 1 cup, soaked (or use Basmati rice)
  • Egg- 1
  • Sugar- 1 cup
  • Thin coconut milk- 1½ cups
Other Ingredients
  • Coconut milk- 1 cup (thin consistency)
  • Salt- 2 pinches
  • Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
  • Whole cardamom, crushed- 2
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  1. Kinnathappam tastes good when made with kaima or jeerakasala rice- available in Indian stores.
  2. If you don't have kaima rice, use basmati rice instead.
  3. Soak the rice in water for 3 hours.
  4. After 3 hours, rinse the rice taken in a strainer under running water till the water turns clear.
  5. To a blender jar, add the rinsed rice, egg, sugar and 1 cup coconut milk
  6. Grind to a smooth batter.
  7. Line a strainer with a muslin or cheesecloth, keep the strainer on a large bowl.
  8. Pour the rice batter into the muslin cloth and strain the batter.
  9. Rinse the blender jar with ½ cup coconut milk and strain it.
  10. It's very important to strain the batter through a muslin cloth or cheese cloth, this is to ensure there are no grains of ground rice in the batter. If there are tiny grains in the batter the kinnathappam will turn out hard.
  11. To the batter, add 1 cup thin coconut milk.
  12. Coconut milk has to be of thin consistency. I've added freshly squeezed coconut milk.
  13. If using canned coconut milk, thin it down with water.
  14. Add the crushed whole cardamoms & 2 pinches of salt; combine well.
  15. For 1 cup rice, total liquid added should be 2½ cups- this will make the batter consistency correct.
  16. The batter consistency should be perfect- not too thin nor thick consistency.
  17. Grease a stainless steel plate or round cake pan with 1 tbsp ghee.
  18. Pour the batter onto the pan.
  19. Spread cumin seeds over the batter. Don't skip this, cumin seeds will impart a nice aroma.
  20. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  21. Place a large wide saucepan over medium heat.
  22. Add 2 cups water.
  23. Place a trivet or stand on the water.
  24. Place the pan with the batter on the trivet.
  25. Cover the saucepan tightly with aluminum foil.
  26. Steam cook for 45 minutes over medium heat.
  27. After 45 minutes, you can uncover the aluminum foil and check if the kinnathappam has cooked well.
  28. If the center hasn't cooked well, you can steam cook for additional 5 to 10 more minutes.
  29. Wear a mitten it's very hot and take the pan out of the saucepan.
  30. Uncover the aluminum foil and drizzle 1 tbsp ghee on the top.
  31. Keep it covered for 30 minutes. This will ensure kinnathappam sets well.
  32. While serving, cut into wedges or squares and enjoy.
  33. Leftover kinnathappam can be chilled in the refrigerator, tastes better the next day.
  34. Enjoy this delicious & melt in your mouth steamed kinnathappam.






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...