Puttu is a a famous breakfast dish in Kerala and also some parts of Tamil Nadu. It is usually consumed with banana and sugar / jaggery.
Kuzha puttu is cooked in a vessel that looks like this.
As this vessel is unlike any other vessel, my daughter was very enthusiastic about helping me cook this.
Puttu is usually made with rice flour. But Ragi is a healthier alternative especially for those with diabetes. The method of cooking is the same for rice flour and ragi flour.
Ragi flour / finger millet
Take Ragi flour in a bowl and add quarter teaspoon of sale.
Add water little by little while stirring
Add just enough water to make flour moist. This is how it should look. The flour should be semi moist and not sticking together or else it will not allow steam to pass through it.
The floor will have clumps like this. Clumps will not allow the puttu to steam properly.
Pass it through a sieve
Shred coconut. If you don’t have a coconut shredder, using the pulse mode of your blender, shred pieces of coconut. There won’t be any difference and this is the easiest method I know for shredding coconut.
On the left is shown coconut shredded using a hand held coconut shredder. On the right is the coconut that was shredded in mixie / blender.
Now the ingredients are ready.
The kuzha puttu vessel has 2 sections.
1. Pot in which water will be boiled.
2. The tube / pipe (hence the name Kuzha meaning pipe in Tamil) will hold the flour to be steamed.
There is a perforated plate through which steam comes up from the pot to steam the flour.
Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil. We add coconut and flour as alternating layers in the tube. We start with coconut and end with coconut. Add a tablespoon full of coconut followed by 2 table spoons of flour.
Then repeat this process and top it off with a layer of coconut.
Close the cap and place this on the pot.
The puttu starts cooking when the steam reaches to the top and you see steam coming through the holes in the cap.
After steam comes, continue to cook at medium heat for 10 minutes.
Now the puttu is ready. Use a long handled laddle to push the puttu out. Push on the side where we added the perforated plate.
Crumble the steamed tube of coconut and puttu, sprinkle some sugar. Enjoy healthy ragi kuzha puttu.
Kuzha puttu vessel is not mandatory for making puttu. Ragi flour can be steamed using regular kitchen vessels. Some days I also steam puttu in idli plates kept inside electric rice cooker / pressure cooker without weight (/whistle).