The very first time I ate Kulkuls when I was a tween living in Dubai and visiting my Indian friend. She has Manglorian and Goan roots and while at the time I wasn’t aware of this, Kulkuls are a traditional Goan sweet. Kulkuls are usually made during Christmas and families will gather around to sit, chat and roll these “snails” into shape. Kulkuls are little puffs of dough and they can be as sweet as you want them to be and you dress them up in multiple ways after you’ve fried them. Over the years I’ve made Kulkuls numerous times and have come to learn that there are many Kulkul recipes out there and they’re each slightly different. The good thing is that few ingredients are needed, mostly pantry staples and this is a great recipe to keep the kids busy for quite some time. So let’s get cooking with the kids, shall we?
Cooking with Kids | Kulkuls
Kulkul recipes are easy and quick but it’s the rolling out that does takes time and kids can have fun with it so get your kids in the kitchen for this one! Today I’m going to share a recipe that was shared by my friend’s mom and this one yields Kulkuls that are bread roll like in consistency.
1 lb all purpose flour (3 1/3 cups)
1.5 tbsp butter
1 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp castor sugar (icing sugar) (you can also use 1/2 cup of granulated sugar)
Pinch of salt
Oil for frying
Easy Goan KulKul Recipe
Get the kids to mix in the flour and salt. Slowly have them mix in the butter (room temperature or cubed if it’s cold). Mix these well and then have them add the sugar and half the coconut milk. Great opportunity for them to get their hands dirty! As they mix the dough, you want it to be almost like play dough so keep adding the coconut milk until it’s soft and easily pliable.
Get the kids to roll out balls. These can be up to 2 cm in diameter but I prefer smaller 1cm ones (more Kulkuls !!). If your kids are going to take time with this task, ensure that they place the rolled balls and the original dough in a container that has a wet cloth on the top. If you think they’ll do it in under 15 minutes you don’t need that extra step. If it’s going to take longer, you don’t want the dough drying out.
Once the balls are rolled out, give each kid a fork that has been oiled (butter works fine too). Teach them to flatten the ball on the fork so that they have a rectangle sitting on the fork. Then slowly roll it up so that it looks like gnocchi.
Once they’re made, time to fry them! Adults will have to do this step as there’s hot oil involved. You want to ensure that the oil isn’t too hot but still hot enough to fry them gently. It’s easy to burn these Kulkuls so gentle rotate them until they’re golden brown and pull them out.
For the finishing touch you can either dust some icing sugar on the top ….
Pour simple syrup (boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar) and get it super sweet! If you’re doing this ensure that you separate the kulkuls so that they don’t stick together in a lump. These can be stored for a days but they will disappear quickly! This recipe yields about 100 medium sized Kulkuls.
As I mentioned earlier, there are different ways to make Kulkuls. If you want a bit of crunch, Semolina can be added (swap out 1/4 cup of flour in the above recipe and replace with Semolina). If you don’t have coconut milk at home you can also use two eggs and a few drops of water if needed. You can also increase the sugar if you don’t plan on adding any later. My best advice is to fry up on or two and taste it so you know if you need to add anything into the dough. The above video shows the kids and I making Kulkuls with semolina and eggs… these yielded a crunchier bite instead of the bread like centre. We halved the above recipe and had 54 kulkuls.