-Submitted by Dahlia on 5th Apr 2011
(Puttu Kadala Curry, Kerala Puttu, Puttu Payaru, Steamed Puttu, Pittu)
Puttu is a traditional breakfast dish very popular in Kerala. It is also made in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka it is referred to as pittu. The main ingredients of the traditional puttu is coarsely ground rice flour and grated coconut. The rice flour is made moist and shaped into a cylindrical shape using the "Puttu Kutty". The puttu kutty or the puttu kuzhal is a vessel with 2 parts. The lower part (also called the Puttu Kudam) holds water. The upper part (puttu kutty) is cylindrical and holds the moist rice flour layered with grated coconut. It is then steamed. Nowadays puttu kutty is avaiable in the shape of a coconut shell (Chirata Puttu). There is also putty kuttys that can be fitted on top of the pressure cooker instead of the puttu kudam. These models are compact and occupy less space.
Today I would like to share the recipe for the basic puttu. These days many variations are seen all over south India. There is atta (wheat) puttu, corn puttu, ragi puttu, rava puttu, chemba ari puttu, black rice puttu, chathu maavu puttu etc. There are also variations like erachi (meat) puttu, motta (egg) puttu, kelangu (tapioca) puttu etc. I will be sharing all of these one by one.
You can make puttu with home made puttu flour or store bought. You can find puttu flour in most Indian super markets and grocery stores. You could also make with regular rice flour available in markets. If using rice flour, I would recommend dry roasting it for few minutes before making the puttu. This will prevent many lumps from being formed.
To make puttu flour at home, start by washing 1 kg of raw rice. White raw rice or Kerala Rosematta rice can be used. Then spread it on a clean towel and let it air dry. Once it is completely dry, powder it using your home mixie or get it done in a flour mill. Once powdered, roast it on a low flame in a frying pan or a kadai. This takes any remaining moisture and extends the shelf life of the flour. It also gives a nice nutty taste to the puttu. Store this puttu flour in a dry air tight container. This stays good at room temperature for many months.
The advantage of making puttu flour at home is that you can mix varieties of rice while making the flour like black rice, rosematta rice, red rice etc. to make it more healthy and flavorful. Well, you can also mix up store-bought puttu flour varieties to make life easy.
Recipe for Puttu
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
- Puttu Flour - 2 cups (Home made or Store Bought)
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup
- Water - as needed
- Take the roasted puttu flour in a mixing bowl. Mix the salt with it.
- Sprinkle water little by little while mixing the flour till the flour is moist.
- The puttu flour should be crumbly (and not form a dough). It should be moist enough such that when you press the flour with your palms it should hold together.
- In the mean time, boil the water in the lower vessel of the puttu stand (called the puttu kudam). My puttu kutty is to be used with a cooker. In that case, boil the water in the pressure cooker.
- In the upper cylinder (also called the puttu kutty), add half an inch of grated coconut as the bottom layer (about 2 tbsp).
- Put two handfuls (4-5 tbsp) of the prepared puttu flour as the next layer.
- Continue layering with grated coconut and puttu flour alternatively till you reach the top.
- Cover and place the filled cylinder (puttu kutty) carefully on the puttu kudam or on the pressure cooker steam vent. The steam will pass through the holes and cook the puttu.
- Once you see the steam coming out of the holes in the lid of the puttu kutty, the puttu is pretty much done. Let the steam come out for another minute or so and switch off.
- The puttu kutty usually comes with a stick to push out the puttu onto the serving dish.
I have shared a few models of Puttu Maker available online below for those interested.
- In Kerala, Puttu is served with Kadala Curry (Black Channa Curry).
- Puttu with sugar and banana is a famous combination in Tamil Nadu.
- There are other combinations in different regions like puttu & payaru (puttu served with boiled green gram), puttu & papadam, puttu & honey etc.
- It can also be served with any stew or kurma preparations.
Puttu with Payaru and Papad
Puttu with Banana and Sugar
- You can also make different types of puttu with other kinds of flour like ragi puttu, atta puttu (wheat puttu, gothambu puttu) and rava puttu.
- While layering the puttu, it is also common to layer some chopped plantains, sprouted green gram, egg masala or beef masala.
- If you do not have puttu stand, you can put the prepared puttu flour in a clean cloth or vessel. Put it into a idli stand or steamer and steam it. Once done, crumble with hands, fill the puttu into a tumbler or a bowl and gently demould it. That way you get puttu in a nice shape.
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