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A sweet dish from Andhra Pradesh in India, Palathalikalu is made with rice flour combined with water and ghee to form a thick batter and shaped into long threads or strings then simmered in milk. It can be served either hot or cold as refreshments, snack, breakfast or dessert. In this recipe, the rice flour, water and ghee mixture is shaped into balls and rolled into long threads and then boiled in milk seasoned with cardamom powder, saffron, and sugar. The dish is garnished with crushed nuts, grated coconut, and sesame seeds.

A dish popular in the Guntur district, palathalikalu is often prepared and served during Sankranthi and for vinayaka chavathi. It is also offered as prasadam during religious holidays and feasts. The thread-like shape of the dough makes it quite pleasant to savor and slips through in the mouth quite easily.

Also known as aka pammulu payasam, palathalikalu is a kind of milk pudding with rice dough strings that are shaped like small snakes and hence where the term is derived. It is a regional dish in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, and South India in general. Every region and household has their own version and garnishing and seasonings may vary. The other popular variations of palathalikalu include palatalikalu with sugar, grated coconut palatalikalu, pappu palatalikalu, and mango palatalikalu.

You can make your own version and select your preferred garnishing to make a colorful, texture and lively dish. Dried fruits like raisins or prunes can be used to top the dish. Pistachios, almonds, and cashews are commonly the kind of nuts used to garnish sweets in South India. You can also use other types of nuts of your choice as long as it goes well with the rest of the ingredients. Serve palathalikalu chilled for a refreshing dish, or warm for a heartwarming snack.


10 min

35 min

Difficulty Level



  • 1 cup rice flour

  • 2 cups water

  • 1-2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee

  • 1 3/5 cups full cream milk

  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 8-10 strands of saffron

  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut

  • 3 tablespoon crushed nuts cashew, almonds and pistachios

  • 4 tablespoon sesame seeds, crushed

Preparation Instructions


Mix rice flour with water and ghee in a deep pan and bring to a boil. Stir often to avoid lump formation.


Once cooked make dough from this mixture. Use your palms to shape dough into lemon-sized balls and set for about 10-15 minutes.


Roll these balls into thin long threads. In a separate pan, boil milk, then stir in cardamom powder, sugar and saffron.


Allow it to cook for about 10-15 minutes on low flame. Add rice dough strings and cook for another 8-10 minutes.


Towards the end stir in grated coconut, crushed nuts and crushed sesame seeds. Can be served hot or cold, but tastes best when cold.