I love puttu soooo much. Puttu and kathrikkai and muttai porial (fried eggplant and egg) is my favourite meal ever.
Puttu is eaten at breakast, lunch and dinner. It’s eaten with curries in the same way we would eat rice. But there are a few side dishes that we would have with puttu, which we wouldn’t have with rice: puttu and mango/jack fruit/sugar/banana. YUM!!
Before learning to cook puttu from my ammah, I had a flick through ‘Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils‘ and found many variations. Nesa aunty has 8 different recipes. I only knew of 2.
Nesa aunty has kindly given me permission to use her wonderful cookbook for My Tamil Kitchen and I am very thankful to her for it.
I have copied the next bit about the puttu steamer from ‘Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils‘ (pg 4).
Puttu is traditionally steamed in a bamboo ‘kulal’. This is a food length of bamboo, about three inches in diameter, cut about an inch below a node. The lower part is ‘turbanded’ with a long pieces of cotton cloth would round it, while the rest of it is wound spirally with coir string. Resting on the node inside is a circular, perforated piece of coconut shell. The kulal rests on a vessel of boiling water and the puttu is steamed in it. It is really quite an attractive piece of kitchen equipment.
At the start of this post, I mentioned eating puttu with kathrikkai and muttai poriyal is the best. I haven’t posted the recipe for kathrikkai and muttai poriyal yet. Will try to soon.
Some combinations: Puttu and milk sodhi with egg omlette.
Puttu with fried eggplant curry, 1/4 cup cold milk (or yoghurt) with egg omlette.
Puttu with fried eggplant curry, 1/4 cup cold milk (or yoghurt).
I have slightly modified the Rice-Flour Puttu recipe (pg 4) to how my ammah makes it.
4 cups wheat flour which is a healthier option to rice flour. White or red rice flour is the substitute.
1/2 tsp salt
3.5 cups boiling water
2 cups freshly grated coconut
1. Roast the wheat flour for about 30mins and set aside to cool.
2. Grate a coconut. A whole coconut will give you more than 1.5 cups of coconut, so you can freeze any excess.
3. In a large bowl, mix flour and salt with boiling water with the top of a wooden spoon.
4. As mixture cools mix flour with your hands to form a pebble like texture.
5. Use the back of a tin to help this process.
6. My mother skips 4 and 5 and puts the flour into a food processor for 2-3 seconds to get the flour into a pebble like texture.
7. In a kulal or puttu steamer, layer the flour mixture with a handful of grated coconut. Start with coconut and then add 3 tablespoons of the flour and then 1 tablespoon of coconut.
8. Fill the puttu pot with water and place the kulal or puttu steamer on top. Turn stove on to full heat. When you see steam coming out of the kulal, cover and steam for another 3 mins.
9. Remove the kulal and gently push the puttu through onto a plate. Ammah uses the back of a rolling pin to push the puttu through.
10. Serve hot.