Puttu- Kerala Steamed Rice Cake

Snowballs reminded me of kerala’s all time famous breakfast: Puttu.

It’s white everywhere. For me, there is nothing more refreshing than waking up to the view of snow draped land. It had snowed continuously for the last 3 days and had the whitish Christmas as anticipated. Snow is one of the things which wakes up the kid in me and I join with the neighborhood kids in snowball fights or just playing in the snow and I never seem to get tired.

While playing in the snow, suddenly I was reminded of kerala’s famous breakfast ‘Puttu’. It’s white in color, soft and looks exactly like snow. If you look at the picture you will get what I am trying to explain here. In kerala, no matter what, people eat heavy breakfast, they just can’t rely on instant and quick breakfast items like cereal and oats. They are used to eating fresh, healthy and hot breakfast tossed right from the stove. I used to have the same breakfast until I got married, my mom never gave me the chance or better I should rephrase to, she never allowed me to to skip my breakfast. Even now, I wonder how my mom cooked all the delicious breakfast in the morning and she had never failed in doing so. On the other hand, in the morning my brain will be still in the sleep hangover that it can’t quite figure out what to cook or should say too lazy to make and think about breakfast and chooses the easiest alternative of cereal, oats and bread.

Believe it or not, I am a night cook and my brain is really active at night which makes me often suspect that I have the night owl gene:P It think it would be better if I don’t reveal too much of my weaknesses through this blog and just concentrate on revealing the food recipes, lol.

So back to Puttu, it’s one of the easiest yet delicious breakfast items to make, you just need roasted rice flour, grated coconut, little water, salt and a puttu maker. Wet the rice flour with water until it can be made into small balls, but shouldn’t change the flour to dough constituency. Be very careful while wetting the flour.

Without the Puttu maker, puttu cannot be made so you need to have this. In Kerala, it’s hard to find a kitchen without the puttu maker, just having this adds up the beauty of the kitchen.The traditional Puttu maker has 2 parts, a round shaped bottom and a long cylindrical shaped top. We fill the water in the bottom vessel and the top cylindrical part is filled with wet rice flour and grated coconut added alternatively. Then, it is steamed on high heat and the end result is a long rod shaped Puttu.

Since the traditional puttu maker is quite big, nowadays alternative Puttu maker is available in Indian stores. I have the puttu maker in the shape of the coconut shell, which my mom had put in my luggage bag when I came to the US, as she didn’t want me to miss kerala’s favorite breakfast. Now, I absolutely treasure this Puttu maker.

Here is the picture of the Puttu maker I have, this one has a hole underneath and should be placed on the whistle hole of a pressure cooker. Pressure cooker is filled with water and the puttu maker filled with rice flour is placed on top of it and the puttu gets cooked in the steam coming out from the cooker through the whistle hole. The puttu made in this will have the shape of a coconut shell and hence it is also called coconut shell Puttu or chiratta puttu( in malayalam).

Puttu can also be made with wheat flour, Semolina, Rice flour made from Rosematta rice, but puttu made with white rice flour is the most famous and commonly found one. For breakfast, Puttu is often served with Plantain cooked in coconut milk or sometimes just the Puttu with banana and sugar. Mix the puttu with banana, sugar and mash the banana into it and make balls and have that. Puttu is also served with Chick peas curry. Not just these, puttu goes really well with chicken curry, lamb curry and fish curry as well. My favorite way of eating puttu is with fish curry or chicken curry, even the thought of it makes me drool.

Rice Puttu:

Ingredients:

  • Roasted Rice flour- 2 cups
  • Water- 1/2 cup+ 2 tbsp
  • Grated coconut fresh or frozen-1 cup
  • Salt- two pinches

Instruction:

  • In a large bowl, combine the rice flour and salt.
  • Add the water little by little to the rice flour. Using your hand, mix the water into the rice flour breaking any lumps that forms.

  • You should be really careful while wetting the rice flour, flour shouldn’t turn into dough constituency.
  • The flour after wetting should still be in powdered form and damp enough so that it will steam well.
  • After wetting the rice flour, let stand for 10 minutes.
  • In the mean time, have the grated coconut, puttu maker and the pressure cooker ready.
  • First, put 1 tbsp of grated coconut on the bottom of the puttu maker, then put 1 handful of wet rice flour.

  • Repeat this alternating with grated coconut and rice flour until the puttu maker is filled.
  • Close the puttu maker with its lid.

  • Fill 1/2 of the pressure cooker with water, close with its lid and place on medium high heat.
  • When the steam starts to come out through the whistle hole, place the puttu maker on to the whistle hole of the pressure cooker and steam it for 5 minutes or until steam starts to come out of the holes on the puttu maker.

  • Remove from the pressure cooker and open the lid of the puttu maker and turn it over on to a platter.
  • Repeat the same method and steam cook the remaining rice flour.

Tips

 

Puttu or Kerala Steamed Rice Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
 
Ingredients
  • Roasted Rice flour- 2 cups
  • Water- ½ cup+ 2 tbsp
  • Grated coconut fresh or frozen-1 cup
  • Salt- two pinches
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the rice flour and salt.
  2. Add the water little by little to the rice flour. Using your hand, mix the water into the rice flour breaking any lumps that forms.
  3. You should be really careful while wetting the rice flour, flour shouldn't turn into dough constituency.
  4. The flour after wetting should still be in powdered form and damp enough
  5. so that it will steam well.
  6. After wetting the rice flour, let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. In the mean time, have the grated coconut, puttu maker and the pressure cooker ready.
  8. First, put 1 tbsp of grated coconut on the bottom of the puttu maker, then put 1 handful of wet rice flour.
  9. Repeat this alternating with grated coconut and rice flour until the puttu maker is filled.
  10. Close the puttu maker with its lid.
  11. Fill ½ of the pressure cooker with water, close with its lid and place on medium high heat.
  12. When the steam starts to come out through the whistle hole, place the puttu maker on to the whistle hole of the pressure cooker and steam it for 5 minutes or until steam starts to come out of the holes on the puttu maker.
  13. Remove from the pressure cooker and open the lid of the puttu maker and turn it over on to a platter.
  14. Repeat the same method and steam cook the remaining rice flour.
Notes
Puttu should be served hot, otherwise it will become dry.
If the puttu gets dried, it can be microwaved after sprinkling with little water over the Puttu.
The amount of coconut could be changed according to your needs. More fresh coconut means more taste to the puttu.
Serve with chick peas curry, chicken curry, mutton or lamb curry, fish curry or plantain cooked in coconut milk.

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