Kumbilappam is an authentic Keralite snack item. Kumbilappam genarally means Conical (kumbil) - Dumpling (appam). Its a steamed and sweet dumpling.
Here I present Jackfruit or Chakka Kumbilappam where a dough is prepared by mixing Jackfruit jam (Chakka Varatti) along with Rice flour and few spices to form a dumpling and is steamed using fresh Bayleaves (Vazhana ella) or Banana leaves ( Vazha ella). The jam is prepared by cooking ripe Jackfruit along with Jaggery and reduced to form a thick jam like consistency.
The distinct conical shape can be obtained mostly if Bayleaves are used. The leaves are folded to form a conical shape, the dough is stuffed into the cone shaped space and then closed using the stem of the leaf.
What makes these dumplings special is the aromatic smell (almost Cinnamon like) infused into it by the Bayleaves while it steams. Dry bayleaves are commonly used in Indian cooking which provides a lovley smell and flavor to savoury dishes.I love these dumplings mainly because its healthy, sweet and really easy to prepare. This is a perfect snack for Jackfruit lovers. Sometimes banana is also added to the dough to add more sweetness and of course the flavors of banana and jackfruit make quite a unique combination.
I made these the traditional way , but I'm sure it can be made creative by adding some nuts or raisins or some other fruit jam in the dough for trying out different varieties. I had some jackfruit jam (Chakka Varatti) which was made at home in India and used that to make instant Dumplings.
This recipe make about 8 - 10 dumplings depending on the size of the leaf. I have provided step by step pics to help you all understand how this amazing snack item is prepared.
Chakka Kumbilappam Recipe
Recipe source: My MIL
Chakka Vazhatti (Jackfruit jam) - 4-5 tblsp
Rice flour - 2 cups
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup or 1/4 kg (scraped)
Cardamom (Elaichi) powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Dried Ginger powder - 1/4 tsp
Water - enough to make a smooth dough
1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth dough. ( To be honest I used less Jackfruit jam, so my dough looks almost white, if more jam is used , your dough would look more brownish)
Make small balls from the dough and keep aside.
3. Place all the cones in a steamer and steam for 15- 20 minutes. ( I used my idli steamer and placed the dumpling cones on each idli stand)
1. Take the Bayleaf and place some dough in a cylindrical shape at one end (not the stem end) of the leaf , fold the leaf and place another cylindrical shaped dumpling on the folded tip.
Again close with the stem of the leaf. Steam as mentioned above.
1. If you do not have Chakka Vazhatti, you can prepare an instant version :
a. Grind together 3-4 ripe Jackfruit bulbs.
b. Melt 1 cup jaggery ,add this jackfruit pulp and 3-4 tblsp Ghee (Clarified butter) .
c. Keep stirring on medium heat and reduce the pulp to a thick paste.
d. If you like you may add 1/4tsp Cardamom powder for taste.
e. Instant jam is ready.
Add this Jackfruit-Jaggery jam to the dough and follow the rest of the steps.
Chakka Vazhatti is also made in the same way but it is made to reduce to such an extenet that its almost dry (with no more moisture) and this can be stored for months together after its cooled.
Enjoy these dumplings with a nice hot cup of tea and coffee. Its best when served warm. As I mentioned before its really healthy and tasty.
The sweetness from the jackfruit and jaggery , the coconut and the small hint of the spices added and most of all, the cinnamony smell of the bayleaves in the dumplings make this an irresistible combination.
Have a beautiful day!!
Sending this post to:
1. Christmas Delicacy event hosted by Julie.