Friday, March 13, 2009


Puttu is the most amazing breakfast food EVER. You know how you just can't seem to use those last few over-ripe bananas? With Puttu, problem solved. What about figuring out whats for dinner? tangentially, Puttu can help. Or when you want a speedy and healthy breakfast- puttu leftovers-- oh yes they re-heat well! Annd it's been my latest obsession (confession, I have been purposefully buying ripe bananas just so they will become over-ripe and I can make puttu!!!)

Enough of this suspense you say? What is this mysterious food? Fine fine. Puttu is simply steamed rice flour, with optional flaked coconut. Anti-climactic? Perhaps.. but it is really good!
Start by dry frying rice flour, being careful not to burn it. Dont add oil or any other liquids. Store this as "puttu flour" for as long as you would store flour.. basically shelf stable. I dry fry the entire bag at once, and then store it to use whenever. Now, in a bowl, take about 1 cup of puttu flour and mix in water slowly, until the mixture resembles soft crumbs. (I tried to take a picture of this.. but I am not sure how much you can see in the photo above).
Get your pressure cooker going.. and put something inside! I like to put a bean or lentil item for that night's dinner in the body of the pressure cooker.. kills two birds with one stone. Make sure you have a jet of steam coming out of the top, as seen in the pic above.
Load up your puttu maker with the rice flour mixture. Add flaked coconut in layers between sections of rice flour. For a small puttu maker like mine, I put about 3 layers of dried sweetened coconut flakes, but it is really only about 1 Tbsp of coconut.
Put your puttu maker on the pressure cooker stem, lining up the bottom so that the steam travels up the column through the puttu.

Two to three minutes later (for a small puttu maker) remove the puttu maker from the steam and poke the back with a skewer to push the steamed flour out. It usually breaks at the coconut seam.. mmmm.

Now here is the best part-- you get to mash a ripe banana into the flour with your hands! Normal Indian etiquette generally requires that the palm of the hand stay clean, and that the fingers are used for eating. Puttu is an exception.. mash it with your entire hand!! its like play-dough... oh so fun! And thats it! Enjoy the mashed banana creation! You can add sugar if desired.. but it is pretty good with just banana :)
The only you might have guessed.. is the special equipment required.. namely the pressure cooker and puttu maker. I am still pondering this problem.. When I come up with an answer, I will be sure to share it! But for now.. youre just going to have to come over for breakfast!
BTW if you already know you looooove puttu, I am going to India soon and will take requests for equipment (tiffon carriers.. puttu makers, etc).


  1. MMMMMMM! a word of caution- if you find a "sweetened" rice flour (I purchased one such packet at Trader Joes), then the puttu will congeal together into one big blob. The finished product of puttu SHOULD be crumbly and delicious- it shouldn't be a single gelatinous mass. To fix the problem, buy pure, unsweetened rice flours to make your puttu flour.

  2. I challenge anyone to a Puttu-eating contest.