It’s coming up to Sri Lankan New Year and Mr C’s day care is holding a celebration. There are a few Sri Lankan kids and a Sri Lankan teacher so it’s a big deal this year. They’re making coconut rice onsite and dressing up in traditional garb.I was wracking my brain trying to think of an easy, uniquely traditional treat to make his friends….and then it came to me…kokis of course. Not only is it not too arduous to make, I thought there was a good chance that even the picky toddlers might enjoy them. It’s also gluten free, nut free and hopefully child-friendly.
Kokis is a traditional Sri Lankan snack, often served at Sri Lankan New Year. A crispy, cookie-like treat, made of coconut milk and rice flour and deep-fried till crispy. Of the many Sri Lankan treats that grace the New Year table, this is by far one of the easiest. It does require a kokis mould, made of metal, and attached to a long handle, which may be a deterrent. But, they are available in Sri Lankan spice stores in many places outside of Sri Lanka. If not, ask your kindly relatives in Sri Lanka to send you one, the next time the ask “what can we send?” .
A new mould will take a little “breaking in” and you may find the batter will stick to the mould for a little while. Keep at it, it ill eventually come good.
When Ammi made kokis, she always turned the last bit of batter into “chilli” kokis by adding chilli powder. Much as she’d done for her dad growing up. Chilli kokis go especially well with a nice cool beer or ‘lion lager’. See below for my take on “chilli kokis”.
- 1 cup of rice flour
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 egg
For Chilli Kokis
- I cup of kokis mixture
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
In a bowl add salt to the flour and mix well. Then add the egg and coconut milk into the flour and whisk until no lumps remain. The consistency should be similar to a thin pancake batter. Cover the bowl and keep it aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot place the Kokis mould in the oil for about a minute.
Carefully dip the mould in the batter, making sure that the mould is well covered on all sides, but not the top.
Place the now batter covered mould in the hot oil and hold in place for about 30 seconds. At this point, slip the kokis out of the mould, shaking slightly if needed, to loosen. Use a cocktail stick or skewer to prise the kokis away if it needs extra help. Fry until the kokis is golden and evenly coloured.
Pull out of the oil and drain well before serving. Will keep in an air tight container for a few days.
I love to serve mine dusted with a generous sprinkling of icing sugar. It goes perfectly with a cup of tea.
To make the chilli kokis mix the batter with all the spices and half the cayenne. Make as above and sprinkle with the remaining cayenne before serving.