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Shrimp or Prawns Chakkoli – Shrimp and Rice Dumplings in Coconut Gravy | South Indian Recipe

Shrimp-rice dumpling chakkoli

My Grandma’s specialty dish, one dish that I crave often and enjoy to the core…

Chakkoli is a popular dish in my mom’s hometown Thrivuvithamcode in TamilNadu.

I had already posted the recipe for making Chicken Chakkoli, in which chicken is added along with the rice dumplings and then cooked with the coconut gravy. However, this dish tastes better and is traditionally made with shrimp. One of the dishes my grandma makes whenever I visit her. I don’t make this that often, I make this when I get the irresistible craving for it and that’s when it tastes even better.

There are different ways of making this dish and has different names too. This dish is made in Kerala and in some parts of Tamil Nadu. Some of the names of this dish are chakkoli, thakkidi, kunji pathal etc. In my family, this dish is known as chakkoli and is made either with shrimp or chicken. Most dishes taste delicious when served warm, but this dish tastes better when it sits for a long time, and the next day it gets better. 

The rice dumplings in this dish resemble to gnocchi which is made of potato dough. The only tiring part is making the rice dumplings, well it’s not that tiring; make this when you have your friends and family around, making this is more fun when you have more people around 🙂 Absolutely delicious dish, and one of my favorite dishes.

shrimp-rice-dumpling chakkoli

Cooking Video

Preparation Pictures

Rice dough

rice dough

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Cooking shrimpcooking shrimp

Cooking rice dumplingscooking rice dumpling

Cooked rice dumplingsrice dumpling

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Adding coconut gravymaking-shrimp-rice dumpling chakkoli

Cooked chakkolimaking shrimp chakkoli

Shrimp or Prawns Chakkoli - Shrimp and Rice Dumplings in Coconut Gravy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 People
For making the dough
  • Rice flour- 1¾ cups
  • Fennel powder- 1½ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Garam masala- ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Chili powder- ¾ tsp
  • Water- 1½ cups
  • Salt- ½ tsp
Cooking the rice dumpling
  • Small rice balls
  • Water- 3 to 4 cups
  • Vegetable Oil- 2 tbsp
For cooking shrimp
  • Shrimp, deveined, shelled- 20
  • Garam Masala- ½ tsp
  • Chili powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Fennel powder- 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Salt- ½ tsp
To grind coconut
  • Coconut, grated- 1 cup
  • Fennel powder- 1½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  • Cinnamon stick- 1 inch slice
  • Water- ¾ cup (to make a smooth paste)
For seasoning
  • Small onions, minced- 3 or 1 shallot
  • Curry leaves- 1 Sprig
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
Step1: Making the Rice dough
  1. For making a large batch, double or triple the recipe.
  2. Place a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1½ cups water.
  3. Adding spices to the rice flour is optional, you can make the dough without the spices.
  4. Let the water come to a slight boil, add the rice flour along with the spices & salt, combine well using a wooden spoon, take the pan off the heat.
  5. Let the dough cool down a bit, don't let it cool down completely the dough will turn hard.
  6. Using your clean hand, knead the dough well while it's slightly warm.
  7. If the dough is hard, sprinkle a little water and knead the dough.
  8. Make small rod shapes out of the dough.
  9. Grease your clean hands with a little oil.
  10. Take an inch of the dough and make it into a round shape by rolling in between your palms.
  11. Make a depression in the middle of the dough with your finger.
  12. Repeat this until you have the entire dough made into small rounds or dumplings, keep them aside.
Step 2: Grind the coconut /b]
  1. In a blender, grind the grated coconut along with fennel powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon stick and water into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
[b]Step 3: Cooking shrimp
  1. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, fennel powder, coriander powder and curry leaves to the shrimp and combine well. Let marinate for a few minutes.
  2. Place a large saucepan or wok over medium heat.
  3. Add the marinated shrimp & cook covered for a few minutes till the shrimp has cooked through.
  4. Take the pan off the heat & keep it covered.
Step 4: Cooking the rice dumpling
  1. Place a wide pot over medium heat, add 3 cups of water and oil.
  2. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the rice dumplings.
  3. Let cook for 15 minutes, don't stir the dumplings constantly they will break apart.
  4. When the dumplings float on the water, using a slotted spoon take them out of the water.
Cooking rice dumplings with shrimp and ground coconut
  1. Place the pan or wok with the cooked shrimp over medium heat.
  2. Add the ground coconut to the shrimp, rinse the blender jar with ½ cup water & add that as well.
  3. Combine well & cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the cooked rice dumplings, gently combine well.
  5. Cook for a few minutes till the gravy starts to thicken.
  6. If the gravy is watery turn the heat to high and let the gravy thicken.
  7. Don't stir too frequently as the rice dumplings will break apart.
Step 5: Final seasoning
  1. Don't skip this step.
  2. Heat a frying pan, add ghee & minced small onions, fry till small onions turn golden in color.
  3. Add curry leaves & fry for a few seconds.
  4. Immediately, pour the seasoning over the prepared chakkoli.
  5. Keep it covered for some time so that the flavor from the seasoning will infuse into the chakkoli.
  6. Let cool down and serve the chakkoli on a plate.
  7. This is an absolutely delicious complete meal and you don't need anything to go with this.
  8. Chakkoli tastes better the next day, if you've made a large batch leftovers can be refrigerated, the next day before serving warm it up in the microwave & enjoy.



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...