Puttum Pazhavum – Puttu is a very popular steamed dish in Kerala cuisine. Puttu goes well with kadala curry (curried black chickpeas), cherupayaru thoran, pappadam … Here’s a quick meal of puttu with well ripe bananas and sugar.
Makes - 2 puttu
Normal Raw rice flour – 1 cup ( 225 g ) ( Roasted - just roast it while stirring on a medium heat until it gives out the characteristic roasted smell – Do not wait until it turns brown)
Salt – ½ teaspoon
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Water for mixing – ¼ cup
Take a big flat bowl. Add raw rice flour ( roasted ) and salt. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoon water and mix it with fingers.
Mix it slowly so that it won't roll into small balls. Break any rice flour balls which forms during mixing. Spray water little by little. ( Please note that to mix a cup of rice flour, one may not need more than 1/5th of a cup of water).
After mixing rice flour; the flour should be just wet or moistened rice flour (un- like chapatti dough or batter for dosa). It is almost like slightly thicker than breadcrumbs.
Rice flour should not be dry but wet enough for steaming . Keep aside for half an hour. In Kerala we used to say ‘’ podi nanakkal for puttu”.
Fill this rice flour in Puttu maker / gadget for making puttu. This puttu maker / gadget will essentially have a sieve at the bottom.
Place a 5 mm layer of grated coconut at the bottom. The filling should be in such a way that a 5 mm thick layer of grated coconut should be layered every 3 – 4 inch thickness of rice flour; while filling (or avoid grated coconut at this stage. Then the puttu will be a low calorie dish).
Top it with liberal layer of coconut scraping. Steam it on the pressure cooker on medium flame for 5-8 minutes till a consistent stream of steam emanates from the top of puttu maker. Push the puttu from the puttu maker with the help of a thin rod.
Important while filling: Do not apply pressure on the filling. The filling should be packed loosely inside the puttumaker. Else the puttu will come out like a missile (there will be a pressure built up beneath it and steam will not pass through it) and will end up as a big disaster.
Tips : For those who really want to avoid coconut can go ahead without using coconut. But in return you will get only half the original taste. There is an idiom in Malayalam “ Puttinu Peera Vachathu Poele” – Meaning an indispensable decoration.
½ piece puttu
3 well ripe bananas (depending upon the size of the bananas, 2 or 3)
1 teaspoon sugar
Gently mash puttu and well ripe bananas. Mix together. Sprinkle sugar if required. It’s delicious breakfast dish or a nutritious after school snack.