If you have read my posts on Ragi Puttu and Wheat puttu you will have an idea that I’m a Puttu maniac. Having said long stories about Puttu making in these two posts does not conclude I will stop the story telling. I spent few years of college life in campus hostel. The hostel that had the most annoying rules; especially this one: ‘No talking in the Dining Hall’. When I first heard about the dining hall rule I got mad and mocked the rule. But once I started to taste the food served in the hostel I thought it’s an unnecessary rule because the food tasted so good that everybody’ll be busy enjoying the food stuffed in their mouth and nobody will wanted to speak.
If there is ONE thing that I enjoyed in my college hostel, if there is ONE thing that I’m missing about the hostel… then it is the FOOD that was served. Be it the ‘Variety Rice Friday’ or the ‘Saturday Morning Hot Puffy Pooris’ or the ‘Special Lunch Sundays’ or the ‘Feast day’ that happens once in a month or the ‘Daily evening snacks’… I will abandon the roommates and friends and be right there in the dining hall even before the queue gets formed.
But amongst these delicious weekday menus, there was this ‘Puttu-Pachapayiru Wednesday’, note: which I hated. Hated because the rice puttu was accompanied just with steamed moong bean and a banana. No sugars until you demand. No sesame oil, no ghee even if you demand. There were no spicy curries like Chicken curry, mutta kari (egg curry), not even kadala curry (chickpea/bengal gram curry) to pair with the rice puttu. So just for the sake of eating we used to put just little puttu in our plates, finish it quickly and walk towards the canteen sneakily (because there was again a rule banning hostel inmates from having their breakfast/lunch/dinner in canteen) to fill our stomach with dosa/idli/poori.
That’s how the hostel kitchen gave a threat to my affair with Puttu. Once the studies got over, bye-bye to hostel and ta-ta to ‘their puttu’ thus regaining my love for ‘my Puttu’. Fine! Before you close the window out of boredom, here’s the **‘Recipe for Rice flour Puttu (arisi maavu puttu)’.
Step 1. Place a dry wok on the stove in Low flame. Add the rice flour and start stirring the flour with ladle. We want to heat the flour thoroughly, but in LOW flame. Do not stop stirring the flour. Not stirring the flour may burn it easily since heat gets through the flour very quickly. In 5-7 minutes of stirring, you can feel the aroma of heated flour. In this step, “continuous stirring” is the trick. Switch off flame in the 10th minute. Remove the wok from the stove. Flour will be very hot, so take care. Resume stirring the flour for 2 more minutes just to release the heat from the flour. Keep the flour aside. Let it cool (may be 10 minutes).
Step 4. [If you wanna check the ‘VIDEO for making Puttu’, click here. Below are the step by step images showing how to handle the flour to get puttu texture.] Take the rice flour (must be cooled to room temperature) in a wide mouthed vessel. Have the warm salted water beside. ‘Sprinkle’ little water and start to mix (rub) with finger tips.
Step 6. Repeat Steps 5. and 6. by sprinkling water LITTLE at a time, say for 3 minutes. Remember, we are NOT trying to make a DOUGH out from the rice flour. So we need patience until we get the flour to the right consistency for ‘puttu’. I kind of scribble the flour to get the perfect texture for the puttu.
Step 7. Once the water gives enough humidity to the rice flour break all the lumps formed in the flour. I achieve this by rubbing the flour gently with both hands. [ok, you need not use both your hands. I did because I kinda liked to give a ‘home-chef’ touch to the photo . I remember my Grandma using a solagu (winnow) and a sieve (salladai) to filter these lumps. She then gently pinches the lumps that settles on the sieve. This way she gets rid of the lumps.] I neither have a sulagu (winnow) nor a sieve. So I just shake the vessel to collect all big lumps. They get collected on the top, easy to pinch them. [Some process the flour in this stage in mixie (food processor) for 2 seconds (pulse for 2 seconds) to get rid of the lumps. But I prefer to handle the flour in hand itself.]
Step 8. For 1cup of roasted rice flour, I use approximately 1/2 a cup (or less) of warm water to treat the flour for making puttu. For getting soft textured puttu we need to handle the flour for at least 10 minutes. Check the done-ness of the puttu flour by gently making a fist with a little flour in hand. The flour should hold its shape like shown in the picture. And when pressed lightly the flour should flow freely.
Step 9.** The left picture below show the rice flour texture after 3 minutes of mixing (i.e. after Steps 4 to 6). The right picture below show the texture of the puttu flour once treated for 7 more minutes (i.e. after Steps 7 & 8). The processed flour must be soft, damp at the same time free flowing. The texture of a perfectly handled puttu flour must be something similar to a damp beach sand that is dried slightly. This rice flour is now ready for steaming. Keep it closed until we have our Steamer ready. [You can prepare puttu until this stage beforehand and store it in refrigerator.]
Step 10. Any vessel which is little bigger in size and has a domed lid can be used to steam puttu powder. Not necessary that you should have a Puttu Maker (Puttu Kutty)or a pressure cooker or an idly pot (idli chatti/paanai). But you will need a clean white cloth. I’m using my idli cooker to steam the prepared puttu mix. Take little water in the vessel and heat it in HIGH flame for 3 minutes (along with the cloth in the water). Take out the cloth carefully and squeeze out the water nicely. Place the cloth on the idli plate and layer the prepared puttu powder (puttu podi) loosely (Do not dump in all the puttu flour in a single batch.). Close the vessel and steam in high flame for 4 minutes. Steamed puttu smell will fill the kitchen in the 4th minute, that’s when you turn the flame to LOW. Steam the puttu 2 more minutes in LOW flame.
Step 12. Take the plate carefully and dust all the puttu from the cloth into a wide mouthed bowl or plate. [Use the same cloth to steam the next batch of puttu. Check the water level in the vessel before steaming.]
Step 14. When the puttu is still warm, add the scrapped jaggery (vellam), fresh grated coconut (or thawed shredded frozen coconut) sesame oil (gingely oil/nallennai) [The amount of oil shown in the picture is more. We’ll need just 1/2 tbs oil]. I added little bits of dates too. Mix well with hands. [[Check 3Ts section for more tips on garnishing, substituting ingredients and variations that can be made with puttu.]](#Puttu Variation)
Step 15. Fill the mixed puttu tightly in any of your favorite bowls and invert them on your serving plate to get cute shapes. Enjoy breaking your fast or enjoy snacking!
3Ts [ Tips | Tricks | Tactics and Secrets] for making Rice Flour Puttu (Ariputtu)
[Already spoke volumes about garnishing and making variations in puttu in ‘Ragi Puttu post’.](http://cooking.jingalala.org/2013/01/raagi-puttu-recipe-with-video-kelvaragu-puttu-recipe-south-indian-breakfast-recipes/#Puttu Layering “Tips for making variation in Puttu - Savory|Sweet|Prashadh”) But what harm in writing them again here for your easy reference? Roughly crush 10 cashews. Roast them to golden brown in 2 tsp. ghee/clarified butter in low flame. Keep it aside. In the same pan roast the shredded coconut to golden brown. Add them along while mixing the steamed puttu with jaggery (Step. 14). Substitute sesame oil with ghee while mixing. If you wish, add 1/8 tsp. of powdered cardamom (elachi/elakkai) also. This tip gives a divine touch to your puttu thus you can use it as Prashadham for Festive occasions e.g. Navarathiri (Navaratri Puttu is completely different process. But you can mimic it easily this way.)
If you use shredded frozen coconut, you can thaw it by steaming it along with the puttu. Fresh grated coconuts can also be steamed along with the puttu instead of adding them fresh while mixing. This way the coconut flavor will be thoroughly infused in the puttu.
You can substitute jaggery with sugar and can add in little bits of pitted dates too.
While reading my Puttu story, was anybody eager to know about the food items served on the ‘Feast Day’ in the hostel? Ok, from what my tiny little brain remembers… : Juice, Maggi Noodles, Vegetable Pulao, Gobi Manchurian dry, Paratha, Korma, Raita, Curd Rice, Pickles, Chips, Butterscotch cones, Beeda, Palkova. Definitely the head did not list all of the items. Have to check with roomies for the rest of the items that were served then. hm… I miss the hostel.
But why should I even list those food items to you now ? I say, you’ll be totally contented just with my Sweet Puttu.
- PREP TIME: 20 min
- COOK TIME: 20 min
- TOTAL TIME: 40 min
- YIELD: 2
- DIFFICULTY: easy
- RECIPE TYPE: Breakfast/Snacks/Prashadam
- To make Puttu Powder [Puttu Podi]
- Rice Flour / Pacharisi maavu – 1 cup
- Water – 3/4 cups or less
- Salt – ½ tsp.
- *\ To Mix with Puttu ***
- Jaggery / Vellam [or substitute with sugar] – 3 tbsp. or adjust to your taste
- Sesame oil (Nallennai/Gingely oil) [or substitute with 2 tsp. ghee] – 1/2 tbsp.
- Coconut [freshly grated or frozen shredded] – 3/4 cup
- Dates [optional] – 2
Mangala from Cooking.Jingalala.Org Eat Well !