Plain or Sugared?

Okay, I'm being honest here, there are no short-cuts, and no guarantees that people who haven't grown up eating this will even like it. So you can make an executive decision about whether you want to start this..on the other hand, it allows family time at Christmas, when every hand in the house has to sit down and roll kul kuls like there is no 'kal kal'.
Also, this kul kul making exercise removes every trace of working mother and I neglect my kids guilt for the year, so its much more fun and cheaper than going to the shrink!
You need:
1 pound fine semolina (sooji or rava)
5 egg yolks - room temperature
1 pound flour sifted with 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  Note: I had run out, so I made some with 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 3 teaspoons baking soda
1 400 ml tin of coconut cream/milk
  Note: or the milk of 3 fresh coconuts.
large pinch of salt
5 teaspoons caster sugar
4 oz butter
About 1 litre of canola oil to fry the kul kuls in.

For the syrup
1 cup of water
1.5 pound of white sugar


  1. Mix the flour, sooji, butter in a food processor till it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix the eggs and coconut milk together and pour into the food processor.
  3. Remove when a soft dough forms, and knead very gently. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. ( I've even left it overnight, and it was ok, but better not to!)
  4. Assemble every hand in the house, lay out trays, and sit around the table, fireplace, on the ground, and start rolling out the little beasts. Its best if one person "balls", as they come out more or less evenly sized.
    Note: For the above quantity, we had 5 people working for just under an hour. This is a good job for kids and teenagers!
  5. Roll off small balls and stack them where the rollers can grab them. The balls need to be about the size of a 'banta' marble, the large marble.

  6. Press the ball evenly into a layer on the back of a fork.The dough will press against the fork tines, and become ridged. Roll the kul kul off the fork, into a little curl, and give the edge a little pressy poke to sort of keep it together. Lay out the rolled kal kals in a single layer on the trays.

  7. When all the kul kuls are rolled, heat the oil till it shimmers not smokes. Test the heat with a tiny ball of the dough, if it rises to the top, its ready to go.
  8. Fry the kul kuls in batches of 10-12, the oil will boil up and froth. Just stir and shake gently and it will subside. Remove when a dark golden brown, or about 7 minutes. Keep adjusting the heat to make it sure it doesnt overheat or cool.
  9. Remove each batch with a puri spoon, to drain out all the oil, and place on flat trays lined with kitchen paper. Beat off any greedy children who are hovering around. 
Frosting the Kulkuls

Ensure that the kulkuls are completely cold before you frost them. Typically, fry them in the night, as that is the only time cool enough to abide standing over a hot fire in the Australian summer, and leave to cool overnight. This quantity of  frosting is intended for half the kulkuls, leave half the kulkuls unsugared, as a savoury snack.

Clear the decks and ensure that you have at least an hour available to do the frosting.
Prepare several flat trays to receive the hot sugared kulkuls.
Collect half the unsugared kulkuls and keep them handy to the pan, but not so close that they can get hot. They need to stay cool and dry.

Place the water and sugar in a large heavy bottomed pan, and bring to the boil stirring continuously. Once it comes to the boil, turn it down to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking to the edges. Wipe down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in hot water, this is to prevent the sugar from crystallising at the edges of the pan. The sugar syrup needs to come to a one-thread consistency. To test this, either place a drop on a plate, blow on it to cool slightly, and then pinch it between  your forefinger and thumb and test, to see whether a single thread forms when you separate the finger and thumb. It needs to be a distinct single thread that holds for at least two cms. Alternately, dip a metal spoon in the syrup and shake off as much liquid until you have a single drop, hold the spoon vertically and allow the drop to drip off the edge. At first, the drop will drip off in multiple threads, but as the syrup thickens, the string will start to be quite distinct. When the syrup is at this stage, its time to test, dip a kulkul in and out quickly, and see how it dries - it if stays sticky, the syrup needs more heating. If syrup sticks to the kulkul and dries out quickly, judgement hour has arrived. There is no going back from here!

When the syrup is at the single thread consistency, bring up to the boil, toss all the kulkuls into the syrup, and stir vigourously. Turn the heat off immediately as well.  Mix well, without breaking the kulkuls, and spread out in the prepared trays. Separate the kulkuls as much as you can. As it cools, the sugar will turn into snowy white! Magic!

Once fully cooled, try to separate any kulkuls that are fused together, and store in an airtight tin and hide away till Christmas day, to prevent bitter long lasting feuds breaking out when adult children come home and discover that the younger ones have finished off all the sugared kulkuls!