This is a popular traditional delectable steamed sweet Rice cake from North Malabar, Kerala. Kinnam means plate and appam means cake. Since this is prepared using help of plate its called as kinnathapam. This jiggly wiggly soft sweet cakes made with Rice, coconut milk, sugar and cardamom is a perfect treat for all ages. There are too many variations to this recipe, I have seen some using egg while others do not. Here I am sharing our family recipe which is eggless

These Appam can be made with either sugar or jaggery, now as a child since I wasn’t fond of jaggery so it was made with sugar. These days, we have cashews and raisins added to Kinnathappam and sold in market so yes you can add them too for additional taste

This is one of my childhood favorite snack. Every time I visited Kerala, I used to have it at my grandma’s house. Traditionally this is made with pounding rice in stone and it tastes heavenly. I still drool over the taste, it’s popular snack in Malabar Kerala. It’s not possible these days to pound rice in a stone so we use grinder instead

I still do not know the true origin of this dessert as I found them both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and this is quite old time dessert , nevertheless it’s delicious in taste

*Sieve the batter if required to ensure batter is smooth with no rice bits. Sugar can be directly added to grinder too for better grinding

**If you wish to use then add 1 egg to rice while grinding for more softer airy texture

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 25 mins Total time: 30 mins

Servings: 4-5


  • 1 cup ponni Rice (sona masoori Rice) or any Raw rice
  • 1 1/4 cup thick Coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup thin Coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup Caster Sugar – adjust
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground Cardamom
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon Ghee+ additional for greasing
  • 3/4 -1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

Steps to prepare

  • Soak rice in water for 5-6 hours preferably overnight  
  • Grind rice with thick coconut milk thoroughly and finely. There should be no rice bits at all  
  • Add ground rice in a bowl. Add thin coconut milk and sugar. Mix until sugar dissolves completely  
  • Add salt and cardamom. Mix well.
  • Grease round tin or any shaped metallic tin 
  • Pour batter in greased tin and sprinkle cumin seeds on top  
  • Place the tin in steaming vessel. cover and steam for 20-26 minutes on medium heat  
  • Insert knife at centre, it should be clean  
  • Pour melted ghee on top and allow to cool completely  
  • Cut in wedges and serve. Tastes best when served cold. Any leftovers should be stored in air tight container and refrigerated. Its best consumed within 2 days of it’s preparation
Traditional Kinnathappam
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

3 replies on “Traditional Kinnathappam

    1. Yes, you may. Rice and coconut milk goes well with both sweet as well as savoury spicy fillings. You can skip sugar and add in spices or fillings of your choice. The end result would be steamed pudding cake 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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