Kokis is a Sri Lankan deep-fried savoury treat that is typically served during the Sinhalese and Tamil new year and on special occasions as well. This savoury treat is such a delicious dish and it’s easy to make.
From all the Sri Lankan sweets and treats that are made during the Sri Lankan new year, Kokis is one dish that is the easiest to make, because most of the other recipes take a bit more effort. So if you are new to making Sri Lankan traditional sweets for avurudu, definitely start with this.
Kokis is made with a mould, and you definitely need to have a mould to make kokis. There are several designs of kokis, if you are a beginner, buy a mould that is simple, because the hardest part of making kokis is taking it out of the mould, so when the design is simple it is easy to make kokis as a beginner.
How to choose a kokis mould
There are so many varieties of kokis moulds. If you are a beginner definitely use a design that is simple, because more complicated designs tend to be hard to remove from the mould. Also, height is important too. The one I am using in the video is a butterfly-shaped mould, but it doesn’t have enough height so the kokis are not that pretty. I quite prefer the wheel mould as it is simple, and has the perfect height and can make pretty kokis from that mould.
Cast iron vs non-stick; Cast iron needs more effort, but that’s the traditional way, the non-stick is easy to use. If making kokis is fairly new to you definitely use the non-stick one as it will make your life much easier. I also do find the non-stick mould doesn’t give crispy kokis quickly. It needs more time in the oil and needs extra attention when frying to get crispy kokis.
Traditionally kokis are made with cast iron moulds that were used in villages, some times these moulds are passed down from generations and dates back 15-20 years (definitely antique) when you have a cast-iron mould, it is a bit difficult to get the kokis out of the mould, so it needs to be seasoned every time. Also if it is a new mould, it needs to be seasoned very thoroughly before using it, I have written down how to season the kokis mould below.
I use non-stick kokis mould, being overseas and being time poor, it really helps me a lot to have kokis mould that is non-stick. The kokis come out from the mould so easily as well. If you want to purchase non-stick kokis mould, buy it from arpico because that’s where I got mine from when I was in Sri Lanka, if not if you are overseas and need to buy one, then buy one from eBay, link below.
How to make kokis at home
It is so easy to make kokis at home and definitely make it at home this new year.
I also don’t grind my own rice flour, I buy rice flour which makes the process more convenient
Step one: Make the batter
Step 2: Leave it overnight
Step 3: Fry the kokis
How to season kokis mould
The reason why we season kokis moulds is to make sure the kokis removes from their moulds easily. If it is a brand new mould, then making kokis is a bit harder, hence why it is important to season the mould.
To season the mould, heat a pot of oil on medium fire, place the mould inside the oil and heat it for 3-5 minutes. Once this is done you can start making kokis. even if your mould is not new, if you are using it after a long time, then do this process. For non-stick moulds just heat it in the hot oil for about 1-2 minutes prior to making kokis.
How to make kokis batter
The crucial part of the recipe is also how to get the proper kokis batter consistency. I always make my batter with my hand, so I understand how much coconut milk is needed to get the correct consistency.
I have given the coconut milk quantity needed in the recipe but every rice flour will be different, so the quantity needed will be different each time as well. So make sure to use your gut feeling when it comes to consistency.
Also since I am using ready-made rice flour, homemade rice flour moisture absorption will be quite different so use the coconut milk quantity as a guide only. And if you need more liquid, then use more little by little and similarly if you think the consistency is sufficient and you haven’t used the whole quantity of coconut milk mentioned in the recipe then stop adding the coconut milk.
The consistency of the kokis batter should not be too runny, but not too thick. Check the video to check for consistency
If it is too thin, the batter will not stick to the mould, if it is too thick, it will be hard to get crispy kokis.
Do we add egg to the kokis batter?
easier to remove from the mould, I am not adding an egg, for a few reasons:
This recipe can be enjoyed by vegetarians and vegans ‘
When an egg is added the next day the kokis go soggy
What flour to use for kokis
I use ready-made rice flour and all-purpose flour. The reason why I add all-purpose flour is to stabilise the batter, and this will actually keep the kokis more crispy for a long time. Use very fine rice flour. I used quite a few different brands of ready-made rice flour here in Melbourne. I have used Derana rice flour. If you guys want to make the rice flour from scratch you are more than welcome to do it, but ready-made rice flour works well too.
How to cook kokis
For me cooking the kokis is the crucial part because, when frying kokis, you want to make sure the kokis are crispy for a long time, and it doesn’t go soggy after a few hours. Frying it in medium heat for a long time will give you these results. If you fry the kokis on high fire quickly, it will stay crispy for one hour, then it will go soggy, so to avoid that you need to make sure the kokis is fried for a long time on low to medium heat. with this method, you also want to preserve the beautiful yellow colour without it turning brown.
Also, After some time, the fire may be too hot, so you need to constantly regulate the heat.
Tips and Tricks to get the perfect kokis
- Always dip the kokis mould in the HOT oil before plunging it into the kokis batter
- After plunging it into the hot oil, tap it on a dry kitchen towel before dipping it in the batter. what happens if you plunge the hot mould into the batter is, it will instantly cook the batter which will result in a sticky half-cooked piece of batter just clinging on to the mould, so to avoid this, always pass it through a dry kitchen towel
- Cooking it on a medium fire for a long time will ensure crispier kokis
- Consistency of the batter is important- I have explained the consistency of the batter above
- draining the oil after frying is very important to avoid it being soggy
- Don’t remove the mould before it has hardened up slightly as it will affect the shape similarly don’t remove it after it hardens too much as it will not come out of the mould
- Dip the mould only 3/4 way into the batter, if you deep it entirely, you cannot remove the kokis mould
- Always use clean oil, if not used oil will affect the colour of the kokis.
- Regulate the heat of oil accordingly
- Always mix the batter with the spoon before plunging the kokis mould in, as the flour can be stuck in the bottom
- Use coconut oil, as this will give the best flavour and crispiness.
How to store fried kokis
I always find making it on the day to serve the same day has the best quality, but you can definitely do it the day before and store it in an airtight container in a cool dry place at room temperature. When time passes by the kokis becomes soggy and not crispy therefore I only recommend storing them for 1 day
How to make coconut milk with coconut milk powder
When making kokis it is important to use thick coconut milk, this will give you a creamy taste. use 30g Coconut milk powder with 160g water. Coconut milk doesn’t dissolve very well with cold water, so first add about 50g hot water just to dissolve the coconut milk then top the rest with cold water. Don’t use hot coconut milk in the batter.
What other types of kokis can I make?
- You can add some chopped curry leaves into the batter to make kokis with curry leaves
- you can dust chilli powder into fried kokis to make spicy kokis snacks
- you can dip the kokis in melted chocolate to make a sweet kokis snack
You can also follow my other Sri Lankan Avurudu sweets
Watch how to make Kokis
Step by Step recipe on how to make Kokis
- Kokis mould
- Deep frying pan
- 60 g Rice flour
- 40 g All- Purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 160 g Coconut Milk (30g Coconut milk powder+ 160g Water)
- coconut, Canola, sunflower oil For deep frying
- Firstly, sieve the rice flour, all-purpose flour, turmeric into a large bowl, into the same bowl add the salt, sugar.
- Add the coconut milk little by little mixing with your hand or a whisk until the desired consistency is achieved ( check the article above to check how to make coconut milk with coconut milk powder)Please note the amount of coconut milk needed will vary, so it is important to mix little by little. If the rice flour is home-made, you might need less coconut milk as there can be too much moisture in the flour it self. Check the article above for consistency.
- The mixture should be lump-free. smooth consistency. If you still have a bit of lump in the mixture, then strain the whole mixture through a fine sieve, this way you can get a creamy smooth mixture.
- Leave the mixture overnight at room temperature to settle down. If using fresh coconut milk, then leave only for 4 hours.
- The next day prior to using the mixture, Mix it well, DO NOT add any water or coconut milk if the mixture has got thicken, just mix it well.
- Heat a deep pot of oil on low to medium fire, have all the equipment necessary prior to starting the process
- Once the oil is heated, season your mould in hot oil ( even if you are using a non-stick mould), pass it through a dry kitchen towel, then plunge it into the kokis batter, shake it off a little bit ( this is to prevent it from having bubbles when fried) then quickly plunge it into the hot oil. Once the kokis are slightly hard shake the mould up and down while inside the hot oil to remove the kokis from the mould, so the kokis fall off the mould easily- fry it in low to medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until cooked, and crispy. Please see the above tips and tricks on how to fry perfect kokis.
- Drain the cooked kokis on a paper towel, when draining the kokis, make sure to place the kokis that have an open surface downwards, so the oil can drain
- Repeat the process for the rest of the batter ( this quantity would make approximately 15-16 kokis)