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Appears in

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

These thin, crisp biscuits, made from a deep-fried batter of rice flour and coconut milk, are traditionally shaped like a wheel. Originally a Dutch recipe, they are now considered an authentic Sri Lankan sweetmeat, often served for special occasions such as New Year. They are easy to make, but you will need a special kokis mould, which you can buy from most Sri Lankan specialty stores.


  • 330 g (11½ oz/ cups) medium-grain white rice
  • 270 ml ( fl oz) coconut cream*
  • teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, whisked lightly
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) coconut oil*, for cooking


To make rice flour, first wash the rice well and drain. Process the wet rice in a food processor on high until it turns into a coarse flour. Sift into a large bowl to get rid of any lumps, then return the flour and any unprocessed rice to the food processor and process on high, then sift again. Repeat this process another two or three times until most of the rice has turned into flour. Discard any unprocessed rice left in the sieve at the end (don’t worry if this is about ½ cup, as you will still have enough).

Place the rice flour into a bowl and gradually whisk in the coconut cream. Whisk in the turmeric, sugar and salt. Add the egg and whisk until fully combined. The consistency should be smooth like pancake batter, but a little thicker; add a little extra coconut cream if needed.

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or heavy-based saucepan to approximately 180°C (350°F) (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will brown in 15 seconds). Dip the kokis mould in the hot oil for a few seconds to heat it up, then dip into the batter (see note). Be careful not to cover the very top of the mould in batter or it will be difficult to remove the kokis. Gently shake off any excess batter and submerge in the oil for 2-3 minutes, or until the batter is almost cooked, then use a metal skewer to gently release the biscuit from the mould. Cook for a further 2 minutes until light golden, then remove with a skewer or slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.

Kokis are usually served with a number of other sweetmeats, but are delicious eaten as a biscuit with a cup of spicy Ceylon tea. Store in an airtight container.