Puttu or Steamed rice cake is the staple food of Keralites. It is served for breakfast. Puttu can be made with so many type of flours. Like wheat flour, semolina, all purpose flour, millet flour, tapioca and the list goes on. The savory version is usually served with Dark brown chickpeas curry or White chickpeas curry or green gram dal stir fry + pappad
The recipe I am sharing here is the sweet version of this steamed cake.
Roasted rice flour – 1 cup (This is available in most of the Indian Supermarket under different brand names like Nirapara, Double Horse etc. Traditionally the flour is made at home.)
Fresh Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1 tsp
Ripe plantain – 1 medium sized sliced
Sugar – 2 tsp (This is optional. But kids will love the extra sweetness)
Water – 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Salt to taste
You have to
- Mix the coconut, sliced plantain and sugar and keep aside
- Mix salt and water
- Take the flour in a bowl. Add ghee.
- Now add in 1/2 cup water(sprinkle well) to the bowl.
- Leave it closed for 5 minutes
- Mix and rub this mixture for a while using your fingers(You can use a spoon as well). Approx a minute or two
If you hold together it will stay and if you press the rice ball, it will powder. That is how you know the flour mixture is in the correct proportion.
The idea of mixing the flour is not to form a dough. So with fingers rub the soggy mixture. At any point you feel the mixture is dry add 1 tbps water and continue mixing till you reach the stage. Depending upon the flour, 1/2 cup to maximum 3/4 cups of water will be used.
For making puttu, there are different shaped molds (പുട്ടുകുറ്റി) . Olden days it was make in the empty coconut shell. Where the steam goes inside the small eye opening of the coconut shell. You can still make puttu without a mold. Just has to take small steel cups (basically heat resistant) and stuff the mixture and cook in a steamer. You could also use bamboos for steaming this rice cake
Which ever mold you use, the filling starts with coconut mixture and ends with the same. In the case of a cylindrical mold, the rice flour filling goes alternatively between the coconut mixture.
- To layer puttu, first add coconut plantain and sugar mixture.
- After that add the rice flour mixture.
- Finish it with coconut mixture.
- Close the mold and steam for 4-5 minutes. You could see the steam coming out from the top of the mold
- Remove the mold from steamer and transfer to a plate.
- Serve hot