Recipe of Kalkals – The Quintessential Christmas Sweet

Bring the Christmas spirit home with this delicious and easy-to-make kalkal recipe!

4 min read
Recipe of Kalkals – The Quintessential Christmas Sweet

Growing up in a home that welcomed almost all cuisines was a delight. Needless to say, we were surrounded by a variety of recipes when we were growing up. And of course, we changed preferences when festivals were celebrated.

Christmas was one of the celebrations we looked forward to. Right from the rum-soaked cake to rose cookies and Kalkals to a roast chicken, these were stapled at home and we looked forward to it. A few days ago, when I was randomly browsing through Christmas recipes, the Kalkals popped up on my feed. Not only did it transport me to my childhood when the house was filled with delicious flavors of cooking, but it also reminded me that I hadn’t introduced my twin boys to this delicious sweet that had been a part of my childhood.

Kalkal is a sweet that traces its roots to Goa. It is also called Kidyo in Goa. Now, these kalkals tend to resemble small worms, hence the name “Kidyo” in Konkani.

But let’s get the worms out of the way and focus on this delicious recipe. Here I am sharing yet another recipe from my childhood, made by my mother. And it’s my way to introduce my children to a part of my growing up with different cuisines, regardless of what the festivals were!

Recipe to make Kalkals

Recipe of Kalkals – The Quintessential Christmas Sweet
(Photo Courtesy: Pratibha Pal)

There are two variants to make this recipe, one with egg and an eggless version. I prefer the egg variant because that’s what I grew up munching on.

These are super easy to make and don’t really require much of an effort! Ask me, I am a fan of simplistic cooking so complicated recipes are really not my cup of tea. Here is the recipe to make this delicious Christmas snack.


  • 250 gms of plain four
  • 1 egg white (needs to be beaten till it doubles in size)
  • 100 gms of unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 100 ml of warm milk
  • 1tsp of vanilla or rose essence
  • Enough oil to deep fry the Kalkals

For the coating:

  • 250 gms of powdered sugar
  • A few pinches of ground cardamom

Other accessories

  • A clean for or comb to roll the kalkals
  • Food color if you want colorful kalkals*

Getting the Dough Ready

Recipe of Kalkals – The Quintessential Christmas Sweet
(Photo Courtesy: Pratibha Pal)
  • Sieve the flour and salt in a deep bowl.
  • Make a small well and place the melted butter.
  • Rub the flour and butter to get a crumb-like consistency.
  • Add the egg white and the milk with the essence you want.
  • Knead to make a soft dough. I used about 75 ml of milk for the ingredients mentioned
  • Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for about 30 minutes.

Getting the Kalkals Ready

Recipe of Kalkals – The Quintessential Christmas Sweet
(Photo Courtesy: Pratibha Pal)
  • Make marble-sized balls of the dough.
  • Take a ball and flatten it against the back of the fork or a clean comb. I prefer a fork since my mum always used one!
  • Flatten the ball to cover the fork. Press slightly in the middle of the fork to get the edges.
  • Rollback the flattened dough gently till the end.
  • Press the ends with the fork gently to seal the ends. If you don’t do this, the kalkals will unfold when you start frying them.
Recipe of Kalkals – The Quintessential Christmas Sweet
(Photo Courtesy: Pratibha Pal)
  • Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan till it reaches a smoking point. Lower the flame.
  • Gently toss in the kalkals and fry them till they are a deep golden brown.
  • To check if it’s ready, you will need to take out one, let it cool and break it into half. The outside needs to crisp and the inside has to be softer. So, the trick really is to fry it right!
  • Ensure you place the kalkals on paper towels to drain the excess oils.
  • In a tin or a plastic container, pour the powdered sugar and ground cardamom.
  • Add the kalkals when they are completely cooled down. Toss the box well to ensure the kalkals are coated with sugar.
  • Take out each of the kalkals and tap it slightly to remove excess sugar.
  • Another way of coating them with sugar is to sprinkle the powdered sugar on them. I prefer the former as I do have a sweet tooth!
  • Store in an airtight container.

They say that the word Kalkal comes from the rattling sound of these sweets when they are jostled or rattled against each other in the tin of powdered sugar. And with this, I did manage to get some sweets ready for Christmas which were wiped off in a day by my boys. It’s time for batch two, I guess!

Note: *I used colors in the Kalkals, so I divided the dough into 3 equal parts and added edible food color into two portions.

(Pratibha Pal spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. She grew up reading a variety of books that let her imagination wander and still hopes to come across the Magic Faraway Tree.You can view her blog at or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)

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