Kannur Kalmas recipe | Evening snacks | Kerala breakfast recipe

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Kalmaas is a steamed snacks recipe popular in kannur district of Kerala. It is stuffed with meat masala/ egg masala or simple onion masala. The outer rice flour covering is made slightly different with ground onion and coconut masala. The highlight of this dish is the usage of fennel seeds and cumin seeds.

kannur kammas

This dish is one of the popular street food/ thattukada recipe in kannur. It is also made during iftar as an evening snack and served along with tea. But since this dish is very heavy and filling, I would suggest it as a breakfast recipe along with tea and coconut chutney.

These steamed croquettes are then roasted along with spices to give a nice roasted coating and to make it spicier. while this step is optional, I would suggest roasting it to make it more interesting.

1. Video recipe

2. Ingredients used

  • Rice flour – which forms the outer covering
  • onion masala – which is used as a stuffing.
  • spices like fennel and cumin
  • for the detail ingredients list, check the recipe card.

3. Similar recipes

4. Stepwise pics

To make the masala stuffings:

Heat oil in a pan and crackle cumin seeds.

when it crackles, add chopped onions, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, chopped green chilli and mix well.

Fry the onions until they turn transparent, add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt.

keep frying in medium heat until the raw smell of masala leaves and it is well blended with onions. lastly, add garam masala to it.

add chopped coriander leaves and mix well. cook for another few minutes and put it off. the masala is ready for the stuffing. keep it aside until use.

For the outer covering:

Grind together grated coconut, shallots, fennel seeds.

cumin seeds and grind it without adding water. You can also add whole fennel and cumin seeds instead of powder.

Take rice flour in a bowl, add coconut mix to it.

add salt and mix well. pour in hot water little at a time and mix it.

we need almost 1:1 water and flour ratio. A little more may be required too. mix until the dough is slightly stickier. close and let it sit for few minutes until it is warm enough to handle.

mix it to a smooth soft dough.

pull out a portion and flatten it.

fill the onion masala in it. join the edges and seal it gently.

now shape it like the ones shown in the pic. it is thin at the edges and thick at the centre. steam cook the kammas for 5-10 minutes.

For roasting

take kashmiri chilli powder, salt, turmeric powder, chopped coriander leaves in a bowl.

pour few tbsps of water and mix well.

heat oil in a pan and crackle fennel seeds. pour the spice mix into it.

let it boil until it is thick and saucy. put the steamed kammas into it and roll it gently to coat it on all sides.

cook in medium heat / low heat until it is roasted on all sides. keep turning sides.

drop in some curry leaves on top and let the flavour get in.

serve it hot once done.

5. Serving suggestion/pro tips

  • serve it along with coconut chutney and tea. since this is a very filling dish, we would require only 2-3 per person.

Kannur kammas recipe

Prep Time1 hour
Servings: 4 people


for stuffing

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 pinch cumin seeds
  • 2 no onions chopped
  • 3 no garlic chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 no green chilli chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 handful corinader leaves chopped

outer covering

  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 10-11 nos shallots
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds powder
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • salt to taste

for roasting

  • 2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • salt a pinch
  • corinader leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 pinch fennel seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


for stuffing

  • heat oil in a pan and crackle cumin seeds
  • add chopped onions, chopped ginger garlic, chopped green chillies.
  • fry until it is transparent.
  • add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt to it.
  • mix well and fry for few seconds until raw smell leaves
  • lastly add garam masala and corinader leaves.
  • mix well and cook for a couple more minutes. put off flame and keep aside until use

for covering

  • grind together coconut, fennel seeds powder, cumin seeds powder, shallots to a coarse mix without adding water.
  • take rice flour to a bowl and add coconut mix along with salt and mix well.
  • add hot water little at a time and mix well to a sticky dough
  • close and let it sit for few minutes
  • After a few minutes, when it is warm enough to handle, mix it to a soft dough
  • pull out a small portion and flatten it to a thin disc
  • fill it with the onion masala
  • seal the edges gently.
  • shape it thin at the edges and thick in the middle
  • steam cook for 5- 10 minutes until firm

for roasting

  • mix chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and coriander leaves. add water and mix.
  • heat oil in a pan and pour the chilli mix. boil it for few minutes until saucy
  • place the steamed croquettes and mix well. gently roll it now and then until all sides are well roasted.
  • lastly add curry leaves and toss it. when it is well roasted, serve hot with chutney and tea.


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