Kulkuls (Indian Christmas Sweet Curls)

Kulkuls Indian sweet curls recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 36 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
530 Calories
52g Fat
16g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 36
Amount per serving
Calories 530
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 52g 66%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 31mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kulkuls, a great sweet to prepare with the family, are made all over India at Christmastime. They are most popular in the Goan region and may have come from the Portuguese community as a variation of Filhoses Enroladas, a rose-like rolled pastry. Kulkuls are often called kidyo in the Konkani language, which means worms. That's not very appetizing, so it's more appealing to think of them as shells or curls.

These Indian sweets are fun to make with the family; it takes time to roll each one with a fork, so you might want to enlist older kids or teens to join in. That way you'll be able to make a larger batch! They keep very well if stored in an airtight container, so you can make them ahead to enjoy for the holidays. Kulkuls are a traditional part of a sweets plate and ideal to give to friends and neighbors. You can also make them part of your Christmas cookie exchange.


  • 1 pound all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon cold butter, cubed

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2 quarts oil (or enough for deep-frying)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for kulkuls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. In a bowl, mix flour and baking powder well.

    Mix flour and baking powder
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Add butter a little at a time, mixing gently until butter is pea-sized.

    Add butter
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and add to flour-butter mixture.

    Beat the eggs
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Add powdered sugar and coconut milk and mix into a soft dough.

    Add powdered sugar
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  6. Form dough into small sized balls.

    Form the dough into balls
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  7. Grease back of a fork with some oil. Flatten ball of dough and press it onto back of fork, forming a rectangle the length of the back of the fork tines.

    Grease fork
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. Starting at bottom end of fork, roll dough up tines and off fork and into a tight curl. The end result will be a tube-like curl with ridges from fork on it. Place curl on a plate and work remaining dough similarly until it is all used up.

    Add divets
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Heat oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.

    Heat oil
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. When hot, fry kulkuls, making sure to turn them often until they are a light golden brown color. Drain and cool on paper towels.

    Fry kulkuls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  11. Put granulated sugar and water in a separate pan and cook until sugar is fully melted and a syrup forms.

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  12. Add cooled kulkuls to sugar syrup and coat well.

    Add kulkuls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  13. Remove and allow curls to sit on a plate until sugar is encrusted on the kulkuls.

    Let cool
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  14. When fully cooled, you can store ​kulkuls for a considerable amount of time if kept in an air-tight container.

    Store kulkuls
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga