Video guide to Kerala’s popular Unniyappam or fried sweet rice balls

Preparation time: 4 hours

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves:  20



450 gms jaggery

500 gms short grain rice

1 tbsp semolina

2 bananas

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 tbsp of clarified butter 

½ cup coconut bits

2 tsp sesame seeds

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cardamom powder

Cooking oil (For frying)

Unniyappam pan, which is available in a few stores



Step: 1

To prepare the rice, rinse it with water a few times. Afterwards, soak the rice in ample water for 3 to 4 hours, or you may also soak it overnight.


Step: 2

Boil the jaggery in half a cup of water over a medium flame to melt it. Make a thick syrup out of it. Keep it aside to cool.


Step: 3

Once the rice has soaked for three hours, drain the water and grind it with jaggery syrup and semolina until it becomes a smooth paste. Also, add banana to the mixture while grinding the rice.

(Make sure to strain the jaggery syrup before using it to remove the impurities.)


Step: 4

Mix the all-purpose flour with the ground batter. If the batter is too thick, add some water to get a thick custard consistency.


Step: 5

Cover and keep the batter for about three to four hours to rest.


Step: 6

In the meantime, fry the coconut chips in 3 tablespoons of clarified butter until they become light brown.


Step: 7

Add the fried coconut chips, sesame seeds, salt and cardamom powder into the rested batter, and mix well.


Step: 8

Place the cast iron unniyappam mould on the stove. Then, pour one teaspoon of oil into each round of the mould. Keep in mind that the oil level in the mould will rise once you add the batter, so be sure to adjust the amount of oil you pour accordingly.


Step: 9

When the oil becomes hot, pour half a ladle of batter into each round. Cook the batter over a medium flame.


Step: 10

Use a fork or skewer to flip the unniyappam and fry until both sides are golden brown.


Step 11

Place them on kitchen paper towels once golden and crisp from all sides. Repeat this process with the remaining batter in the same way.

Serve it warm or at room temperature. You can also store them in a tight container.



  • At step number 7, You can also add a pinch of baking soda. Adding baking soda gives unniyappam a soft texture, but this is optional.
  • Unniyappam is usually made using Palayamkodan and Jnali Poovan varieties of bananas. However, Chiquita bananas can also be used as an alternative ingredient for this recipe.

Recipe courtesy: Sobha Varghese is a homemaker based in Mumbai, India. Sobha runs a popular YouTube blog called ‘Sobha's Kitchenette’ that focuses on authentic and traditional Kerala recipes.

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