Konda Kavum is also known as Sri Lankan oil cakes are another Sri Lankan delicacy served during avurudu/ Sri Lankan and Tamil New year. Making Kavum is an art a specialised skill and most of all takes patience and precision. But I am about to show you guys how easy is it to make konda kavum and you don’t need specialised art or skill to make it.
My memories of making Konda kavum
My first memory-making kavum or kavum in general dates back to 2009, when I just finished my advanced level examination and even before my results were out, my dad did not want me to waste any single minute of my life, so I joined Hilton hotel as a kitchen apprentice. Working under my dad who was the executive chef at that time. Every 3 months the apprentice kitchen chefs get shuffled and put into different kitchens.
In my 2nd shuffle, I was put into the Sri Lankan kitchen, and this included the restaurant curry leaf at that time. There was an amme who used to work there, who made all the Sri Lankan kavili for the restaurant and the kavum were made hot hot in front of guests. My dad insisted that I should write down the recipe and learn how to make it.
Being 18 years old, I never thought that this will be the most valuable lesson of all time, I did learn but with a lot of despite, as a teenager, all I wanted to learn to cook was all the fancy foreign cooking and not kavum. But I regret that thinking every day of my life and if I can go back in time, I would definitely think differently.
She taught me the recipe and how to make kavum. My kavums were not perfect like hers, but she taught me the art and science around them. The way she made the batter was not in grams but in cups, But when I mean cups I mean those dollhouse cups hahaha, so every time she put an ingredient in, I had to weigh the ingredients. All was done with one cup and a bowl. So the love and memory I have for kavum are dedicated to that amme I met 10 years ago. And this recipe is a tribute to her.
How to make Konda kavum?
Konda kavum is not something I make every day, so to make it perfect is a bit difficult, for that reason I will show you a very easy way to make konda kavum using a kavum mould.
Where to buy a kavum mould?
Kavum Mould is something new. I have just seen this recently, so I thought I should give this a try. Ok so if you can do konda kavum naturally good on you. But if you cant do then buy this mould as it will make your life much easier. It does look a bit artificial with the mould, but also look uniform, so when you make it and feel like, it looks artificial, that’s because we are so used to making kavum that is uneven and different in shapes. so don’t overthink about it, it will look amazing on your kavili table.
I bought mine on eBay, Click here to access the seller.
If you are in Sri Lanka, I believe you can buy it from a hardware shop. I am not sure but definitely have a look.
Step By Step guide on how to use the kavum mould to make kavum
- Place the mould in the hot oil ( the open end of the mould should face upwards)
- Fill half of the mould with oil
- Add the batter into the mould
- keep pouring oil from the sides into the mould, so the outside of the kavum becomes firm
- once the top of the kavum is sealed and hard, turn the mould upside down and take off the mould using a tong
- Keep cooking the kavum until it is a golden brown colour and cooked through inside
When using the mould, It’s important to note the below
- The batter should be a bit loose than a normal kavum batter ( If you are using the same brands as me then 140g water will be perfect)
- Once the kavum is fried it will be very hard on the outside it is very important to keep the kavums for 2 or 3 days to get them soft
- Do not over fry them as this can make the kavum hard as well.
Is konda kavum and hadi kavum the same?
It’s the same batter. Hadi kavum is also known as pethi kavum is flat, but a bit fluffy in the middle with no konde on the top.
How to make kavum batter
Kavum Batter is easy to make, It’s basically adding all ingredients and mixing well. I am using readymade rice flour, then you need to keep the batter overnight prior to using it. The batter consistency is very important when making kavum, this will determine the softness of the kavum and the easiness of moulding the konde on the top, if not using the kavum mould.
When making the kavum batter, it is important to note that the mixture will get thicker when left overnight, so make sure you get the correct batter to start with. The consistency should be like a pancake batter. You cannot adjust this batter with water once rested, this will result in heavy and hard kavum.
How much time ahead should I make konda kavum
Make kavum at least 3 days in advance, not like kokis, where it will be better in quality when served the same day but with kavum, it will be better when time goes by. When you make it fresh then it’s really good to have it then and there, but if not keep it for 3 days. On the 1st-day kavum might be a bit hard on the outside, but when time goes by you will notice the kavum getting softer and softer.
How to store konda kavum
Store it in an air tight container at room temperature in a cool and dry place.
What flour to use for Kavum
I use ready-made rice flour. Use very fine rice flour. I used quite a few different brands of ready-made rice flour here in Melbourne. But I recommend using Derana white 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.
What type of pan to use for Kavum
I suggest using an oval small Thachchi (pan) you can buy this in any Sri Lankan grocery shops if you are overseas. Don’t use a non-stick one, a aluminium one is best for this purpose.
Tips and tricks to get the best konda kavum
- The batter consistency is very important. The batter should resemble a pancake batter
- After resting the batter overnight, never add water after resting the batter to adjust the consistency. This will affect making kavum and will result in flat kavum, hard and heavy kavum.
- I pound the cumin and fennel seeds so it gets more flavour and when you bite into the kavum it will not have big pieces of cumin and fennel seeds in it.
- Add only 1/4 of oil into the thachci because the konde needs to be made above the oil level, so don’t add too much oil
- Make kavum in medium heat, high heat will only cook the kavum on the outside and not the inside. It will be raw inside if cooked in high heat.
- Make kavum at least 3 days in advance so it gets softer after 2-3 days.
Substitutions for kithul pani
Usually, Konda kavum can be made using pol pani, brown sugar, white sugar, kithul pani or a mixture of pol pani and sugar as well. I have tried them all. The best quality kavum in terms of flavour and texture was from kavum that was made using just kithul pani. For that reason, although there are many substitutions for kithul pani, I am not going to give any substitutions, because this will complicate the recipe. It’s just not the fact of changing kithul pani into a substitution, this affects the consistency of the batter then all other ingredients need to be changed as well.
You need to use kithul pani of the best quality. if a bad brand is used which means instead of kithul, they have added a lot of sugar, then your kavums will be hard as rocks. so make sure to use a good quality kithul pani. I use Aaraliya kithul pani which is of the very best quality.
Reasons why kavums turn hard
Adding too much sugar or a bad quality kithul pani
Frying the kavums in hot boiling oil
Frying the kavums longer than needed
Using a bad quality ready-made rice flour
Adding water to the batter after resting it overnight if you live in a cold country, do not use coconut oil, as coconut oil hardens up in cold weather and they will make kavums hard and chewy. use any other oil like canola oil that doesn’t harden up for cold weather.
You can also follow my other Sri Lankan Avurudu sweets
Watch how to make konda kavum recipe
Step by Step recipe on how to make konda kavum recipe
- Kavum thachchiya
- 100 g Ready-made rice flour
- 50 g All-purpose flour
- 100 g kithul pani
- 50 g White sugar
- 120-140g Water
- 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp Fennel seeds
Oil ( Coconut/canola Oil) for frying
- Firstly ground the cumin seeds and fennel seeds togeather in a mortar pestle until roughly pounded
- In a large bowl mix all ingredients together except the water, Add the water gradually while mixing with a whisk or by hand. Only if you need more water than 120 ml then add 20 ml more. Depending on the brand of rice flour used, you might need more or less waterThe batter must be smooth and no lumps from the flour, if there are lumps, then pass the batter through a fine sieve.
- Leave the batter overnight to rest
- When using the batter the next day mix it thoroughly with a whisk or hand to loosen up the batter.
- Heat a thachchiya with oil ( Only fill a quarter of the pan with oil) when the oil is heated add a 1 ladle of batter into the hot oil, starting from the bottom and raising the hand little by little and pouring the batter slowly and horizontally, which will then create a small hole in the middle. Using a stick put the stick into the hole to make the konde while swirling the stick and adding oil continuously. Use the flat spoon also to shape the konda.Check the above article on how to make konda kavum using the kavum mould
- Once the kavums are cooked, let it drain on a paper towel and cool down completely
- Enjoy the kavum in a couple of days