September 24, 2011

Puttu Trio / Steamed Rice, Millet and Wheat Cakes

Puttu is a very popular breakfast dish in Kerala, India. It is usually made of steamed Rice flour and coconut but there are many variations to this. Some people make it with Wheat flour, Brown rice flour (Chemba Rice) or Millet (Ragi) Flour.
A special vessel made of stainless steel or aluminium is used to make puttu. It has either the shape of a cylinder or a half of a coconut shell. This vessel is mounted on top of a pressure cooker and the steam from the cooker cooks the Puttu. In earlier days people used to make puttu in Coconut shells or Bamboo pipes.
Puttu is generally served with a Black Chick-pea curry, Chicken curry , Fish curry, Papadam, Jackfruit, Banana, Steamed Plantains, Jaggery.
This is one of my favourite Kerala breakfasts but somehow my husband was not too keen about it until I made this version that impressed him. I used Wheat, Rice and Millet flour to make it look a layered cake, pretty and more healthy. I know that most of you must be thinking why am I sharing this recipe because almost all South Indians would know how to make Puttu but I just wanted to share this idea of using 3 different types of flour in the same dish, adding a presentation twist and elegant way to present Puttu to your guests.

Serves 3

3/4 C - Rice flour
3/4 C - Wheat flour
3/4 C - Millet flour (Ragi)
2 Tbsp - Grated coconut

  • Take Rice, Millet and Wheat flour in 3 separate bowls.
  • Add 1 Tsp of grated coconut and salt to taste in each bowl.
  • Slowly add water to ground rice until the correct texture is achieved. The right texture is when you grasp a palm full of flour and it seems to hold together but when gently touched, it breaks or looses shape
  • Continue the step above with Millet/ Ragi and Wheat flour.
  • Take the Puttu vessel and fill it with a layer of grated coconut followed by Millet/Ragi , Rice and Wheat flour.
  • Steam it for 5 mins and serve hot with a Kadala(Black Chickpea) curry or the side dish of your choice.
Notes and Tips:
  • You can use Chemba Rice powder in place of Millet (Ragi) flour to achieve the same dark brown color
  • You can substitute desiccated coconut with fresh coconut.
  • You can add a Tablespoon of milled flaxseed to the Millet/Ragi flour


  1. ee idea kollam..will try out:).All posts are awesome Shema :)


  2. I had the same 'Pottu' last month when my Mom made it, she used 'Oatmeal' instead of rice flour. I was skeptical about the taste, but it was really tasty and soft. I ate it without any curry while it was warm. Nice trio combo Shema!!!

    - Shibi


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