Monday, August 27, 2012

Kamarkhat - Sweet memories with this sweet

With few festive celebrations falling within a fortnight, I had more than our regular requirement of  coconut at home. As I was chopping the coconut to run it in the mixer, to freeze it, my husband suggested I make something with it. We then discussed some sweet dishes when he asked me "how about kamarkhat?" It brought back a flood of memories from our childhood. These were simple sweets that were usually sold outside the school gates.

Those days not many of us were given pocket money to spend nor were we allowed to just buy anything that were sold so in the open. We were advised against buying from any such vendor as it was not hygienic. My parents and grandparents were sure happy to please us with better stuff, home made or store bought, but buying any such which carried potential threat of illness was a definite "NO". Thus we have even been treated with such sweets home-made only.
However, we have all had 'bites' from friends who bought them occasionally. Giving what is called 'kaakka-kadi' always was a thrill as much fun putting something on the floor and trying to break pieces with whatever you could lay your hands on. Those are days that will never come back however much you want them to. No cares, no worries only the fear of being caught red handed and being disciplined.
One sweet I really want the manufacturers to bring back in the market is the small coin size coconut toffee wrapped in transparent cellophane paper with 'parrys' written in white on it. It is the ultimate refined version of kamarkhat, I would say.
However, I took upon myself to fulfill my husband's wish buy making the crude -school gate vendor- style kamarkhat with the coconut that I had then.

In all you need three ingredients, little water and few drops of ghee or oil to grease your palms. And you can create these wonder fudges. You can alter the consistency too according to your taste. I liked them hard and made them so. You can shape balls or can spread and cut squares, choice is all yours.

2 cups finely shredded coconut
2 cups powdered jaggery
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon rice flour

Coconut oil to grease your palms

Make sure that the coconut is in fine scrapes. Run it in your chutney grinder if there are bits to make them fine.
Place a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat and roast the shredded coconut until lightly brown. Transfer to a dish and set aside. Add the rice flour to the coconut. You may add powdered cardamom if you desire to flavour your kamarkhat, but it is usually plain.
Meanwhile dissolve the jaggery in the water, strain out the impurities. In the same pan boil the dissolved jaggery to achieve a hard ball syrup. Check for the consistency by pouring out a teaspoon of syrup in a small bowl of water, rolling it in a ball and dropping it back into the water. If it drops with a clang, the consistency has been achieved.
Now lower the heat to the minimum and quickly transfer the prepared coconut - rice flour mix into the solution. Give a few quick, brisk stirs and switch the heat off.
Keep stirring until the whole blends and can be gathered in a huge lump.

Allow to cool just a bit and pinch out marble size portions. Grease your palms and roll the pinched out portions in balls. Place them slightly apart from each other on a  flat dish. Allow to cool and store in airtight jars.
If you choose to not roll them in balls, grease a flat surface and spread the blend evenly with a rolling pin. Cut small squares or desired shapes.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable sweet which can be cooked without much effort and made in bite sizes to pop in your mouth when you crave for a sweet.
Since the coconut is roasted well, this can be stored for a few days at room temperature.


  1. Wow, feel like popping one in mouth and chew for few minutes :) My MIL makes it perfect and even i noted down her recipe last month, only no courage to try, but sure will be trying soon :)Wonderful post !!

  2. I never knew about hubby has been talking about this for the past few days and lo!!i see it here...he says it's very hard and takes a long time to eat...he loves it..have to try it sometime...

  3. பாரம்பரிய மிட்டாய்... நல்லா இருக்கு.. Ongoing event " Party snacks",more detais :

  4. OOOOOOOOOOOHHH.. Kamarkhattu... such a treat!!
    Awesome Latha.. fabulous post!

  5. wonderful post.. this reminds me of my school days where we will wait for school recess time and buy kmarkhat for all the pocket money we got...

  6. Oh my goodness... I LOVE kamarkat... the caramelized coconut - something I get everytime i go on vacation - infact my MIL made some for me before she left knowing that i love this.
    I must try your recipe sometime... maybe i can use my candy thermometer for figuring out the hard ball stage.. because otherwise i'm no good at figuring out the right consistency.

  7. Traditional and wonderful sweet, reminds me of my childhood days.

  8. Is this the sweet which is extremely hard and never softens? I don't remember tasting coconut in it. I remember it being square but remember the name to be Kamarkhat.

    1. Yes Sra, it is and neither did I think that one had coconut in it. This with the coconut is not as hard. the other one is just boiled to hard ball (and more) candy with jaggery. And the Parrys confectionery candy uses coconut in liquid glucose I suppose.

  9. Lovely Lata. I loved the Muram-Winnow is it Indian or African?
    I know about the Kaakka Kadi! :-D!

  10. I think it is also called bunder laddoo. I generally keep aside some of the filling of the kozhukattai and have them plain. It is almost like this. A little softer and chewier.

  11. Makes me nostalgic, yethana time ammakita thittu vangi irruken intha kamarkhat veliya vangi saapitu..Super addictive my fav sweet.

  12. Looks too good...Happy to follow you:)

  13. wow Lataji,
    nostalgic!! I too have a lot of sweet memories about this sweet during childhood. I love this sweet, thanks for sharing the recipe, according to one of my friend on FB, no chewing of today can beat this kamarkhat, which we call in Kannada as "khambarghatta" thanks for the recipe,
    sharing it on my fb wall for my other friends.

  14. wow wow and wow... my Favvvvourite sweet...

  15. Oh wow, Lata! I want to reach into the screen and pick a ball to pop it into my mouth. Then do it again. And again. :oP

    I love your idea of using a 'mara' as the prop. Gives the pics a lovely, rustic feel. :)

  16. Oh wow, Lata! I want to reach into the screen and pick a ball to pop it into my mouth. Then do it again. And again. :oP

    I love your idea of using a 'mara' as the prop. Gives the pics a lovely, rustic feel. :)


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