Known for her cookbooks and work at Vanitha—a popular magazine that she founded in 1975—Mrs K.M. Mathew (1922-2003) has truly championed the cuisine of Kerala for many decades now. A true master of the craft, she travelled across the length and breadth of Kerala, visiting homes and restaurants, noting down recipes, before going back home to experiment with dishes repeatedly until they were perfect.


This recipe is from Mrs K.M. Mathew’s Finest Recipes—a definitive compilation of her all-time top recipes. 


Achappams are sweet and crispy deep-fried cookies made with rice flour and coconut milk.

Raw rice 3 cups
Water 5 cups
Coconut milk 2 cups
Eggs, whisked 2
Sugar 2 teaspoons
Salt To taste
Sesame seeds 2 teaspoons
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Coconut oil or refined vegetable oil for deep-frying

Achappam mould


Soak the rice in water for 4 hours. Drain and transfer to a liquidiser.


Add coconut milk in small quantities alternating between the beaten eggs, sugar and salt, and grind to make a very thin batter. Pour this into a vessel. Add sesame seeds and cumin seeds.


Heat oil in a wok and dip the achappam mould in it.


Dip the hot mould in the batter ensuring not to immerse it completely.


Dip the mould coated with batter rapidly in hot oil. Lift the mould from oil after the cookie separates from it.


The achappam will float freely in the oil. Turn over and fry till golden brown on both sides. Drain off the excess oil and place the achappams on a kitchen tissue. Store in an airtight container.


Excess sugar in the batter will make the achappam stick to the mould.

Mrs K.M.Mathew’s Finest Recipes was published by Penguin in 2023. You can read the book’s foreword here.

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