Kinnathappam with Kaima or Jeerakasala Rice- Steamed Soft Kinnathappam

Kinnathappam or steamed rice cake in a pan, a South Indian specialty dessert…

Kinnathappam is a family favorite sweet or dessert that’s made during Ramadan, Eid, and on special occasions. My mom makes the best tasting and melt into the mouth kinnathappam. I don’t make this quite often, but whenever I make it I get the feeling that my family is with me in my kitchen and I get nostalgic. Food does evoke memories and they can be powerful.

The other day, while chatting with my aunt she told me that she made kinnathappam for Iftar using kaima rice. Since this particular dessert carries a lot of fond memories after I hang up the phone, I went straight into the kitchen and started making kinnathappam. This time with kaima or jeerakasala rice.

Jeerakasala or kaima rice is an aromatic rice that’s grown in Wayanad district in Kerala, used for making biryani and other rice-based dishes. This rice tastes better than basmati rice. Hence, kinnathappam tasted much delicious with kaima rice.

Kinnathappam with Kaima or Jeerakasala Rice- Steamed Soft Kinnathappam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
For Grinding rice
  • Kaima or Jeerakasala rice- 1 cup, soaked (or use Basmati rice)
  • Egg- 1
  • Sugar- 1 cup
  • Water- 1½ cups
Other Ingredients
  • Coconut milk- 1 cup (thin consistency)
  • Cumin seeds- ½ tsp
  • Whole cardamom, crushed- 2
  • Ghee- 2 tbsp
  1. Soak the rice in water for 2 hours.
  2. After 2 hours, rinse the rice taken in a strainer under running water.
  3. To a blender jar- add the rinsed rice, egg, sugar and 1 cup water.
  4. Grind to a smooth batter.
  5. Line the strainer with a muslin or cheese cloth, keep the strainer on a bowl.
  6. Pour the rice batter into the muslin cloth and strain the batter.
  7. Rinse the belnder jar with ½ cup water and strain it.
  8. It's key to strain the batter through a muslin cloth or cheese cloth, this is to ensure there are no grains of rice in the batter. Otherwise, the kinnathappam will turn hard.
  9. To the strained batter, add 1 cup coconut milk.
  10. I used canned coconut milk, thin consistency.
  11. Add the crushed whole cardamoms, combine well.
  12. For 1 cup rice, total liquid added should be 2½ cups- this will make the batter consistency correct.
  13. The batter should have a not too thin nor thck consistency.
  14. Grease a stainless steel plate or round cake pan with 1 tbsp ghee.
  15. Pour the batter onto the pan.
  16. Spread cumin seeds over the batter.
  17. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  18. Place a large wide saucepan over medium heat.
  19. Add 2 cups water.
  20. Place a trivet or stand on the water.
  21. Place the pan with the batter on the trivet.
  22. Cover the saucepan tightly with aluminum foil.
  23. Steam cook for 45 minutes over medium heat.
  24. After 45 minutes, you can uncover the aluminum foil and check if the kinnathappam has set well.
  25. If there is any liquid on the top, you can steam cook for additional 5 to 10 more minutes.
  26. Wear a mitten and take the pan out of the saucepan.
  27. Uncover the aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tbsp ghee on the top.
  28. Keep it covered for 30 minutes. This will ensure kinnathappam to set well.
  29. While serving, cut into wedges or squares and enjoy.
  30. This can also be chilled in the refrigerator, tastes better the next day.