Chinnappam/Fried Savory Rice Cookies

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Please pray for the 19 firefighter’s who lost their life in the line of duty in the Arizona fire. Firefighter’s always do awesome jobs by putting their life in danger to save life and property of others. 

I hadn’t heard about this cookie until my friend, Suja of Kitchen Corner Try It sent me a mail with few recipes from the book Fresh flavors of India by Das Sreedharan, she borrowed from the library. Actually we were discussing on the phone about Jewish food in Kerala after reading an article in New York Times. We both are two food enthusiasts who love to research and discover the different dishes of Kerala, South India.
I have always dreamed about going to go to each and every country and take a culinary tour and learn dishes from the way it has been cooked. May be dream job like Antony Boudrain Parts Unknown. I am dreaming too much isn’t it? Since it is dream, everything is possible in dream.
It has been really hot over here. I felt sad for scorching wildfire that destroying the life and property in Yarnell, in Central Arizona. Looks like nature is furious in her way, here it is scorching sun, in India it was floods that killing people, in an YouTube video, I have seen a family wiped out by running water, they were crossing the stretch of  river with hardly any water, and all of a sudden it turns into a gush of running water coming very fast, and   few persons who are stranded in between trying to hold themselves, but finally one man falls down and that giveaway and finally the entire family of 5 is doomed and float away. In the news it has been reported that no of causalities may not ever be known.  Killer floods happened in the famous Hindu pilgrim sites in India, Kedarnath, Badarinath in the state of Uttarakhand. When I called my aunt in Trivandrum, Kerala, she told me it has been raining heavily, and as a result the schools are closed. My cousin‘s son was enjoying his unexpected holiday.
Coming back to the recipe, this snack is made with rice flour. To this add ground shallots, coconut and cumin seeds, and salt with water. Finally add this ground mixture, black sesame seeds to the rice flour to make thick dough.  Then pinch out small balls of dough and flattened it into a small disc of 11/2-2 inch diameter with 1/8 inch thickness.  Prick the disc with fork in both sides to prevent the disc from puffing while frying in the oil. This is my addition of step to the recipe, as it is not mentioned in the original recipe.  Taste wise it is closer to the famous Kerala snacks like   Murruku and Kzhulappam.  May be we can call them cousins. However it differs from both because of addition of coconut.   You need to fry them until it is crisp otherwise it won’t taste great. First batch was slightly under done, after taste testing hubby doesn’t liked it. Next batch onwards I made sure that it should comes out from the oil very crisp.
If you liked some crispy snacks for with your tea or coffee, you can try this. I don’t know the exact history of this dish; whether it is a discovery of chef Das Sreedhran’s or it is an existed as snack in northern or central Kerala. I haven’t heard or seen in southern part of Kerala, from I am.  I would love to hear the stories if your mother or aunt or grandma makes this kind of snack or what you call them?
Here comes the recipe.

Chinnappam/Fried Savory Rice Cookies
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield:   40 no.

2cups/400g rice flour
75g/3oz shallots, peeled
50g/2oz freshly grated coconut or desiccated
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tsp black sesame seeds
4 cups canola oil for frying

1cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste


  • In a large dry frying pan or wok, toast the rice flour over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the flour turns golden. Remove from the heat and allow cooling. 
  •   In a Grinder or blender add shallots, coconut and cumin seeds and add water and process the mixture for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and everything gets combined.
  • Transfer the toasted rice flour to a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the coconut mixture and, using a wooden spoon, work the liquid into the flour until you have thick, dough. Add more
    water if necessary.
    Take small amounts of the dough and shape them into balls the size of a large marble. Place it in a Ziploc bag and press it into a 11/2 -2 inch circle. Prick both sides with fork that will prevent them from puffing up in the oil.
  • Heat some oil in a deep-fryer, wok or large, heavy saucepan (the oil should be 1/2 inch or so deep). When oil is hot or 350F, fry few chinnapam at a time for 4-5 minutes or until it becomes golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Allow to cool before serving.  Store it in an airtight container; it will remain crispy for a week.

Recipe adapted from the Fresh flavors of India by Das Sreedharan

I  am Linking this delicious cookies to Hearth and Soul blog hop hosted here.


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  1. says

    its a great loss swathi :( but nothing comes before nature.. btw like this rice cookies.. new to me..

  2. says

    YEs, it is sad to hear a lot of mishaps happening around.
    First time visiting your site here and this looks so good. Does it taste like thattai?

  3. says

    Natural calamity is neither preventable nor avoidable and we only hope for the strength and courage to the family and friends who lost their loved ones in both the calamities.
    The cookies look perfect, crunchy and a great hand-me-down recipe!!
    A good snack for a cup of tea or coffee in the evening! Well, my granny used to make kokkies(yes it is not cookies), it looks like jalebi shaped, with a ribbon like texture but deep fried..don’t remember a lot about it!

  4. says

    Definitely have have the firefighters and their families in my thoughts. So sad. These “cookies” look delicious! They look very crispy and love the tasty ingredients! I have to pin these!

  5. says

    really interesting swathi… i love the way you keep exploring a lot of cuisines, this is a very new recipe… looks crunchy! :)

  6. says

    I really felt sad for what happened to those very brave firefighters in Arizona. I was actually in shock when I saw the news. I feel sad for the families that they have left behind. They could have made a lot of memories but they chose to lay down their lives for the people and country that they love most. My respect for every firefighter only grows ever more.

  7. says

    Oh what delicious fried cookies! My mouth is watering to try one. Such crazy weather – so sorry to hear about the flooding – and the firemen – what a heartbreak.