This classic recipe for Munthiri Kothu from Tamil Nadu is a must try this festive season!

This classic recipe for Munthiri Kothu from Tamil Nadu is a must try this festive season!

Made using split green gram and grated coconut, this sweet dish uses no sugar!

Guide to making Munthiri Kothu at home Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Munthiri Kothu is a festive sweet made traditionally in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India. It is pretty easy to make and tastes delicious. 'Munthiri' means grape or cashews, and 'kothu' means a bunch. The sweet is made into marble-sized balls and served in a bunch, hence Munthiri Kothu. It is also considered a healthy snack as the main ingredients used are green gram and jaggery. Here's my recipe for it:

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8


Here's what you will need: Grated coconut, cardamom, nutmeg, jaggery and split green gram Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

500 gms split green gram

1 cup grated coconut

400 gms palm jaggery

15 cardamom pods

1 small piece nutmeg

A pinch of salt

Cooking oil for frying

For coating:

You will need refined wheat flour or maida and rice flour to make the batter for coating Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

1 cup refined wheat flour or maida

½ cup rice flour

A pinch turmeric powder

Salt to taste


Step 1: Thoroughly rinse and clean the split green gram. Once done, dry roast in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium flame for 4 minutes or until the colour turns light brown. Set aside for cooling.

Dry roast the split green grams Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 2: To a pan, add jaggery and pour 150 ml of water. Heat it till the jaggery melts. You can keep stirring to increase the melting process as well. Strain the syrup to remove any lumps or impurities and keep it aside.

Step 3: Coarsely grind the roasted green gram in a food processor and keep it aside.

Ground split green grams Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 4: To a blender, grind cardamom and nutmeg. Keep aside.

Step 5: Next, in a thick-bottomed pan, dry roast the grated coconut until it turns golden brown.

Dry roast the grated coconut Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 6: Pour the jaggery syrup and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the roasted coconut and cardamom-nutmeg spice mix with a pinch of salt. Mix well. Keep stirring for about 4 to 5 minutes or until it becomes slightly thick (right before the one string consistency). Turn the flame off.

Bring it to a boil Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 7: Take the ground green gram in a bowl and add the jaggery-coconut syrup. Slowly mix together.

Combine the jaggery syrup with the ground split green grams Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

While it is still warm, make marble-sized balls.

Roll the split green gram and jaggery mix to marble-sized balls Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese
Time to coat the 'munthiri kothu' Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

For coating

Step 1: To make the batter, take refined wheat flour or maida and rice flour in a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and salt to taste. Add water in small amounts, to form a smooth batter slightly thin but thick enough to coat to the back of a spoon.

Mix the refined wheat flour and rice flour with water and a pinch of turmeric powder along with salt to taste Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 2: Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan for deep frying. Once the oil is hot, take a ball and dip it in the batter. Drop the ball carefully into the oil and deep fry for about 20 to 30 seconds on a medium flame. You can fry 2 to 3 balls in one batch.

Time to start frying... Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 3: Strain the excess oil and store it in an airtight container. Serve and enjoy!

Serve and enjoy! Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

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