Kunjipathal or as the Malabaris call it, kakka roti


People of Malabar have a special affection for little things that are incredibly cute. The cuisine of this region, too, has many small dishes, especially snacks, which look good and taste delicious. Kunjipathal is one such dish and 'kunji' literally translates to the 'little one.' However, many in Malabar may not recognize this dish if you call it kunjipathal. They recognize it as 'kakka roti,' probably because the dish looks small like clam meat.

Though kunjipathal is small in size, it is cooked in three different stages which include preparing the batter, gravy, and then the masala.

Here is how you could make the deliciously small kunjipathal or kakka roti.


For the batter:

1 ½ cup rice

½ cup coconut (grated)

6 shallots

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ cup pathiri flour

For the gravy:

½ coconut (grated)

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

For the masala:


½ kg chicken (cut into pieces)

2 onions (chopped)

1 tsp ginger (finely chopped)

1 ½ tsp garlic (finely chopped)

2 green chillies (chopped)

Curry leaves

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

½ tbsp chilli powder

2 tomatoes (diced)

1 tbsp garam masala

½ tbsp pepper powder

1 bay leaf

Salt as required

Oil as required


Grind the rice, grated coconut, shallots, and cumin seeds into a coarse paste by adding a bit of water

Add the pathiri flour into it and knead it into a batter with a consistency similar to that of pathiri batter

Make small balls from it and shape it pressing with fingers and steam for 20 minutes

In a heated pan roast the grated coconut, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder

Grind it into a fine paste

Heat oil in a pan

Add chopped onions and saute well

Add ginger, garlic, green chillies, and curry leaves and saute well

Add turmeric powder and stir well

Add the coriander powder and chilli powder

When the raw smell is off add diced tomatoes and mix well

Add garam masala, pepper powder, bay leaf and salt as required

Add the chicken pieces

Pour some water and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on

After 10 minutes, add the previously prepared gravy and mix well

Cook for 5 more minutes with the lid on

When the mixture begins to thicken, add the steamed rice balls

When the gravy thicken up to the right consistency, turn the heat off

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

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