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Puttu, South Indian Steamed Rice and Coconut Cake

My mouth is all watery when I think about South Indian breakfast. Mmmm different types of soft Appams (soft pancake), hot Dosa (savory pancake), steamy Idli(rice cake), Poratha (Kerala flatbread) for a heavy weight type of breakfast, not to mention a spongy Puttu loaded with grated fresh coconut. Along with them, coconut chutney, Sambar (spicy vegetable stew) or different type of curries are served.

Puttu 2

My favorite South Indian breakfast of course is Puttu. It’s a steamed ground rice with grated coconut. Puttu is very soft and spongy. It is usually served with chickpea curry, fish curry or a combination of banana, Papadom and black tea. At breakfast, we couldn’t help stealing some steamed grated coconut out of each other’s plate. Puttu is a really hearty and healthy dish.

To prepare Puttu, you need a steaming vessel called Puttu Kutti, which allows Puttu to come out in the beautiful cylinders of softness. Coarsely ground rice and fresh coconut are the main ingredients of Puttu. Brown rice or red rice give a really wonderful texture and color to the dish. While steaming Puttu, the smell of coconut and rice are so alluring. And in a few minutes, a spongy cake of rice and coconut would fall into a plate, and we always eat it hot 🙂


Ingredients: (4 Servings)

2 cup Red rice flour

2 cup Fresh grated coconut

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Water

Cooking equipment: A cylindrical shape steamer


1.  Add salt in the water and stir until dissolved. In a large bowl, add red rice flour, gradually add water and mix well with your hand. You don’t want the flour to be really wet, but you want it to be evenly moist.

2.   Add about 1/2 cup of coconut into the rice and mix well.

3.   Prepare a steamer, add the water in the bottom vessel and bring it to boil and producing steams.

4.  Take a cylindrical steamer, add about 2 tbsp coconut at the bottom, then follow by a handful of moisten rice and coconut mixture. Add another layer of coconut, and then add another handful of rice and coconut mixture. Top the last layer with some more coconut.

5.   Steam Puttu for 3-5 minutes or until you notice the steams rising to the top of the steamer for a few minutes. Carefully remove Puttu out of the steamer by pushing the cylindrical cake from the end with a wooden stick. Do the same to the rest of the mixture.

6. Serve Puttu with your favorite curry or banana and Papadam.

Puttu 1

These steamed rice and coconut cakes are so soft and tender, perfect for soaking up some aromatic curry. My favorite way of eating them is with some fish curry. And oh, it has to be leftover fish curry which is reheated in the morning. Leftover fish curry is so good because the flavor is enhanced and thicken. The sweetness of putty gives a nice balance to the intense flavor of the fish curry. For kids, they just adore Puttu with banana.

Well, what do you think? If you get these yummy Puttu in your hand, what you want to eat them with?


6 comments to Puttu, South Indian Steamed Rice and Coconut Cake

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