link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' Sukanya's musings: RICE PUTTU (STEAMED RICE CAKE)

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Thursday, November 20, 2008



I was so tired of having the usual fare, I thought why not try something different. I had never made Rice Puttu at home. Puttu can be made with Rice/ Wheat/ Ragi(Millet).I would love to share with you’ll the recipe of the traditional Rice Puttu.

Rice Puttu is one of the traditional breakfast items of Kerala. It is a steam cooked delight.There is absolutely no oil used in making Puttu, it is only made by steaming rice and coconut in layers.

Traditionally Puttu is made out of rice soaked and ground into a coarse flour and is cylindrical in shape. Nowadays Indian grocery stores sell Instant puttu mix (ready made puttu mix), so life has become easier for first time Puttu makers like me.

Freshly grated coconut is used liberally to enhance the flavor and taste of the Puttu. Rice and coconut are alternately layered either in a bamboo shoot or any other wooden tube or sometimes in the coconut shell. The more natural the equipments used to make the Puttu the tastier it is. Nowadays Puttu can be made in a Puttu maker which is a cylindrical shaped steamer. The utensil used to cook puttu is called Puttukutti. If you don’t have a puttu maker/puttukutti you can use a idili mould to cook it .It would be nice If you can make it in the puttu maker, I didn’t have one so I used Idli moulds to make mine.

The steaming hot Puttu emanates a lovely aroma of steamed rice and coconut which is totally irresistible.

The puttu is nutritious, healthy, filling and the best part is it is bland therefore it is light on the stomach. That does not mean you will be hungry soon. Puttu served with its accompaniments is heavier than a meal. Puttu is traditionally served with Konda kadalai Curry or Cherupayaru Curry (Paccha Payaru Sundal/Green Gram/Moong dal Curry).

It is also served with Ripe banana, Jaggery or Stew. In Singapore and Malaysia Puttu is generally had with Brown Sugar (which is bright orange in color and widely available in these countries.) See the picture on the right.

My Srilankan friend says Puttu is a hot favorite breakfast item in Srilanka.

I also had Puttu in Thailand. When I was on my way to Pattaya from Bangkok, on the way, there were these vendors selling eatables(homemade delicacies) on a cycle. Some of our friend’s reside in Thailand and they insisted on us to try this dish that is served in a bamboo shoot, they assured me that it is 100% vegetarian and when the guy opens the bamboo shoot and serves it to us….what could it be but our Puttu with some jaggery and freshly grated coconut and we washed it down with some cool Thai coconut water, they are cool as they are kept in thermocol boxes filled with ice. It was a memorable experience for me. Iam glad we rented a car and didn’t go by bus to Pattaya from Bangkok.

Puttu is eaten in India, Srilanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Isn’t that interesting.

Do check out the recipe, try it out and enjoy this delightful dish.

1 cup - Rice flour
1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut
Pinch of salt
Water as required

In a pan, add rice flour and dry roast lightly. Keep stirring continuously. Take care not to burn the powder. Slowly the color of the rice flour will change indicating its done. Cool the powder. To the rice powder, add a pinch of salt, mix well and rub in with the rice flour. Sprinkle this water on the rice flour, little at a time and with and mix the flour.

When the mixture holds together when pressed into your fist and at the same time can fall apart when pressed lightly you will know that now is the correct consistency for steaming.

If the consistency is not good, sprinkle some more water. Make balls of the rice flour with some freshly grated coconut inside. Steam cook for about 6 minutes. You can see on the plate in the picture the balls of Rice flour and some of the balls I have cut into half and sprinkled freshly grated coconut on top. I served Puttu with freshly grated coconut, brown sugar and coconut milk. It was very very tasty.

Tips: When re-heating Puttu use a steamer to make it soft again before serving.


  1. Wow puttu...for quite sometime I keep remembering are tempting more...looks perfect dear...if only I would have tasted these too ..!! (Sign)...and love the new look of your blog...and the header is awesome

  2. I have never tried it this way I usually make it with the pipe looks great... I would like to receive your posts Via Google Reader pls add the subscribe via reader so I can get your posts first hand.

  3. I used to make them too! until my puttu maker broke. Got to try your way.

  4. rice puttu looks wonderfull sukanya

  5. looks very delicious. except for the hardwork, I would love to try.

  6. looks so yummy,..necer tried...ut feel like tryin now...

  7. Delicious...loved ur way of preparing puttu...

  8. simply delicious
    join in the sweet event going in my blog!

  9. Hey even I dont have puttu maker..will try ur way..its tempting...

  10. Your blog looks is really nice!!
    I l0ve puttu,and urs loks very nice!

  11. Looks very delicious and yumm

  12. Puttu sounds healthy option, it looks delicious

  13. enough of having.. moms first choice on all days.. cant counter her, she too having a busy schedule,between nice blog, first time that i am u mind teaching me how to make "palpayasam" the traditional way? with no milk maids n all?

  14. @Shravan -Hi I got the recipe of Pal Payasam in my blog. Milkmaid just quickens the process of making pal payasam, if you want to avoid milkmaid, you can do so omit it and follow the rest as per my blog but you have to cook the milk until it turns light pink and that takes a long time. Hope you enjoy the pal payasam.


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