East Indian Bolings Recipe – Christmas Cookies

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Bolings are a sweet coconut semolina cookie that is made at Christmas time in most East Indian Catholic households! They are so simple and easy to make! What’s better; this yummy coconut treat can also be enjoyed as a tea-time snack any time of the year!

Come Christmas time and you have most Catholic aunties wondering what sweets to make for Christmas and or order for Christmas. Whether for immediate family or to distribute to other family and friends, bolings are usually on that list. We East Indians have a couple of different recipes for bolings. Should we make these bolings or those bolings or should we just make the flattened Boros cookies instead? Quite a dilemma!

Did you know that these Bolings are very similar to flattened Borose that are also made by the Goans? But they call it bolinhas or boulinas. Talk about Portuguese influence! Although they didn’t stay in control of Bombay very long, they definitely had a big impact on our food. To learn how to make these delicious coconut semolina cookies, follow our recipe below.

what Ingredients do you need to make Bolings?

All you need to make bolings is coconut(desiccated), semolina(sojee or rava), eggs, sugar, and rose essence. It is usually made with freshly grated coconut but if you do not have this, you can use dessicated coconut instead as we have done for this recipe. It’s also easier to get desiccated coconut from the store than grate the coconut yourself.

How To Make Bolings?

You start by making a mel (syrup) of the rose water and sugar. Once the sugar has melted add in the desiccated coconut. Allow the coconut to cook in the sugar mel for about 10 mins and when well-mixed take it off the stove and allow it to cool.

Remove grated coconut, sugar and rosewater in a container.
Coconut, sugar and rosewater
Heat coconut with sugar and let it cook.
Allow the coconut to cook in the sugar

Once the mixture is cool, add in the beaten eggs and sojee (semolina), mix well and form a dough. Cover with a thali and allow this dough to rest for a few hours. When its Christmas time, during those in-between hours we tackle some of the other sweets on our list – marzipan, vanilla cream, or nankhatai.

Break an egg in a small bowl.
Beat the eggs fluffy.
Beat the eggs
Add the beaten eggs with the coconut.
Add beaten eggs to the coconut
Add sujee to coconut and egg mix.
Add sojee
Mix it together and make it into a dough.
Make a dough
Cover the dough with thali.
Cover with a thali

After a few hours (at least 2 or more), divide the mixture into 2 parts and add food colour. We usually make it yellow and pink. Knead each part well and then make small balls of each colour.

Make smaller portions and add food colour.
Make smaller portions and add colour
Knead the dough with colour completely.
Knead the colour well
Divide it into small balls and keep it aside.
Make small balls and keep
knead the dough with pink colour.
Mix pink colour and knead well
mix pink dough completely.
Do the same with the pink dough

Take one yellow ball and one pink ball and mix the 2 into one ball as you can see below. Place these on a baking tray that has been dusted with flour. Add a silver bead to the top of each boling and then bake them in a pre-heated oven for about 20 mins.

Mix the both colours together.
Join the 2 colour dough and make 1 ball
Dust the tray with flour and place the bolings.
Dust the tray with flour and place the bolings
Silver beads added to the boling.
Add the silver beads to the bolings

And these delicious coconut semolina cookies or bolings as we call them are ready to be eaten!

Bolings are ready.

East Indian Bolings – Christmas Cookies

Bolings are a sweet coconut semolina cookie that is made around Christmas time in most East Indian Catholic households!
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course Christmas, Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine East Indian
Servings 50 Bolings
Calories 66 kcal
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  • 200 gms Coconut (Grated) Desiccated
  • 300 milliliter Rose Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 300 gms Semolina
  • 200 gms Sugar
  • 4 drops Red Food Color Optional
  • 4 drops Yellow Food Color Optional


  • Heat the rose water and sugar and make a syrup, add the desiccated coconut and cook well for about 10 minutes. (If using fresh coconut, use only 2 tablespoons of rose water.)
    Heat coconut with sugar and let it cook.
  • Take it of the stove and allow to cool. When cool, add the eggs and semolina and mix well.
  • Keep aside and allow to rest for about 2 hours.
  • Make 2 parts of the dough and add a different colour to each part.
  • Mix the colour well and mould into small balls of yellow and pink.
    Divide it into small balls and keep it aside.
  • Use 1 yellow and 1 pink ball and form a larger 2 colcoured ball.
  • Place this in a tray lined with baking paper and dusted with flour.
  • Add a silver bead on top of each ball and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 mins.
    Silver beads added to the boling.

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  • If using grated coconut, use the exact amount of sugar as the weight of the coconut.
  • Can replace granular sugar with powdered sugar. 
  • Using rose water or rose essence adds to the flavour of the cookies.
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Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

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Bolings are ready.
Bolings ready for christmas

What’s Perfect About This Bolings Recipe?

  • Bolings require just a handful of ingredients.
  • It is simple and easy to make.
  • Bolings or borose make a good tea time snack throughout the year as well.
Delicious bolings served on a plate.
Yummy Bolings

Cooking Tips And Tricks for Bolings

  • If you are using freshly grated coconut, use the same amount of sugar as the weight of the coconut.
  • The weight of the desiccated coconut will increase when mixed with the rose water and sugar, so measure accordingly.
  • You can use powdered sugar instead of granular sugar so it is easier to melt.
  • If you’re looking for other recipes with coconut, try this coconut cake, thali sweet, or moist kopra pak.
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What Other East Indian recipes can I make with Semolina/Rawa/Sojee?

Other East Indian recipes you can try are snow balls, chocolate honey balls, bolings, borose cookies, sojee sweet, thalie sweet, carambolas, and many of our cakes.

Yummy East Indian Christmas Bolings.
East Indian Christmas Bolings

FAQ’s About Bolings

How long can you store bolings for?

Bolings can be stored for a few weeks at room temperature or in the fridge for upto 2 months.

Can I use grated coconut?

Yes, the original recipe uses freshly grated coconuts. Make sure you add the same amount of coconut as the amount of sugar. (We use desiccated coconut to make the recipe easier.)

Is rose water necessary?

The rose water adds flavour to the cookies. You could opt for adding rose essence to the sugar mel if you do not have rose water.

If you want our traditional East Indian recipes on hand, the Abby's Plate Cookbook Series books are available online or in-store in most countries.

Latest Book:
Christmas with the Rebellos:
East Indian Meals & Desserts from Abby's Plate

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Pinterest image of adding colours to the dough and mix colour ready boling.
Pinterest image of dough turning into ball and mix colour ready boling.

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