Monday, 30 December 2013

Sri Lankan Oil Cakes (Konda kavum)

Sri Lankan Oil Cakes (Konda Kavum)

Oil cake is a very authentic and a traditional sweet that made out  of rice flour , treacle, and coconut oil. After mixing the ingredients leaving the dough to rest makes this sweet forms the konde or like a knot done to womens hair. The person has to  be little skillfull to make them. I was trained from my child hood by my grand mother. After making oil cakes she gives me the last bit to try. That gave me the ability to make them nicer. You need to be patient  when cooking them, as well as it takes time and have to cook them on low flame. Traditionally they use husks and leaves of coconut tree to cook them,as the flame is not very stronger. If you make them bigger you need to cook them longer, if not the middle of the Kavum can be raw.

People use to put the cooked Kavum in big pots of treacle and tie around the pot tightly and hang them in a corner of the kitchen. After several months after the new year they took them out to have with a cup of tea. Still its happening in villages. Those dipped in treacle tastes awesome. I still can remember when I was working in a remote village, the lady at my boarding house used to serve me with them for my afternoon tea.

When adding the mix in to the oil make sure you add them slowly, and stop it and then pour the mix then on to the top. An eakle or a wooden skewer inserted in tothe middle of the kavum will help to get the konde and also it helps hot oil to go through the kavum to cook it evenly.
This sweet is a must on a new year day or for any other traditional or ceremonial event. Trying to do this is the first step and you will be successful in few attempts.


150 g brown sugar
1 cup very finely ground
1/2 cup plain flour
Drop of vanila
3/4/cup cold water or treacle.
coconut oil for frying.


  1. Mix the flours
  2. Mix sugar water, and vanila.
  3. Let it rest 5 hours.
  4. Make the oil cakes 


  1. Hi, can you please tell me how long can I keep oil cakes and also other sweets? . I'm planing to make at least six sweets for this new year. Because I am working on weekends, I have to make them few days early.
    Thank you very much for your recipes. They are easy to make and works every time. I am going to save lot of money in this new year not buying every thing from shops. Thanks

  2. Home made oil cakes can be kept about 2 weeks. Of course you can save money when you make them and taste nicer too. You can start doing them now. happy cooking. :)

  3. This is the first time I have made Oil cakes (Konda kavum) in my life and they turned out perfectly really happy.. and thank you very much..!!

  4. I have recently discovered your videos and am hooked! I had the second attempt at the kevum today and they had a reasonable shape and tasted good. But the outer edged were hard and rock like. (I still ate them though ��) I used a mix of treacle and dark brown sugar. I initially thought I had cooked them too long but any less and the insides might have been raw. Any suggestions on where I could be going wrong? Thanks

  5. When you cook the kavum the flame should be on the lowest like not much heat at all. Next the flour using has to be really soft. You need to pass through a fine sieve. When it is too sweet it comes hard too. :)

  6. Thanks for replying. I definitely had the flame too high then. Trying your kottu roti recipe tomorrow. Thanks for helping me bring taste of Sri Lanka into my home in the UK.

    1. My Pleasure Ann. Really glad that you like them. Keep in touch. Any questions feel free to ask.

  7. Hi dear menaka,
    I'm planing to make at least six sweets for this new year. Now I already cooked asmi through the your vidio. ( using the lady's finger)
    so now I want to know for oill cake, I'm difficult to use rice flour.... can I use the self raising flower. That's ok or not.... please let me know very soon.


    1. No it will not work. You need to use rice flour.

  8. Mata danaganna oni man inne japan wala mata mehe hal piti hoya ganna baha. A nisa mdk ake idiappa piti walin, kaum, kokis, asmi, aluwa, udu walalu hada ganna puluwanda kiyala.

  9. Hello! I'd love to know how many oil cakes this recipe makes..