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Puttu /Pittu /Kerala Steam Cake

Puttu is a popular breakfast item in Kerala and is made up of rice powder and grated coconut. This healthy steam-cooked breakfast is usually served with Kadala (Chickpeas) curry or Baaji (a mixed vegetable preparation). It is taken for other meals of the day too, but usually with a spicy dish like Chicken or Egg Curry. Like other very good breakfasts from Kerala, Puttu is also rated as one of the best breakfasts in the world by Travel & Leisure magazine. This is loved by all Malayalees (Keralites) and miss this while staying away from Kerala and cannot make it 🙂

Puttu is made by layering rice powder and grated coconut in the puttu mould. The flour used for puttu is not a fine powder and it needs some small rice granules which helps to get puttu a nice texture once you steam. This is available in super market. But if you are looking for fresh homemade puttu flour, better start from the step 1 🙂


  1. Puttu Powder (rice powder) : 2 cups
  2. Water (Warm) : 1 cup
  3. Salt : 1/2 teaspoon (for taste)
  4. Grated Coconut : 1 cup


Step 1: Prepare the flour for Puttu

The preparation of flour for Puttu is almost same as Idiyappam, but sieve used should have little more bigger holes.

Take 4 cups of raw rice in a bowl and soak in plenty of water for 4-5 hours . Wash the rice thoroughly and fully drain out the water . Allow the rice to dry on a cotton cloth or kitchen paper for 5-10 minutes. Take small amount of rice and put it in the mixer grinder and grind. Use puttu sieve (sieve with slightly bigger holes) and make puttu flour with small rice granules.

If you have provision to do the grinding in a rice-mill, you can use 4:1 ratio boiled and raw rice instead of raw rice. Soak the rice for one hour and wash and drain out the water and make powder, but not a nice one. Rough powder is used for Puttu, as I mentioned above.

Take a pan and put the rice flour and fry it in a low flame/heat. Stir well for around 5-10 minutes and you can see that steam is coming out from all over. Take out from the heat and stir for some more time. Allow it to cool in a paper/or in plate. This can be stored for few weeks outside and probably months in Fridge.

Step 2: Making Dough
In a vessel take rice (puttu) powder. Mix warm water (not hot) and salt and pour into puttu powder and mix well and keep for 20 minutes. This helps the flour to soak and become soft. Mix well using your hand and try to break all lumps. If there are lots of lumps, take out all and grind it using mixer grinder. The flour should look like a non-sticky powder (not like chapathi or idiyappam dough), but when you try to make a ball, you should be able to do that.

Step 3: Making Puttu
There are different types of Puttu Moulds (Puttu Kutti). One comes along with Puttu Pani (lower part to boil water) and others are just moulds, to be on top of a pressure cooker. Puttu Mould is usually cylindrical, but coconut shell shaped puttu mould is also popular which reminds the old style of making puttu using real coconut shell called Chiratta Puttu.

Take Puttu Kutti (Puttu Mould) and add 2 teaspoons of grated coconut and then a handful of the rice dough (from Step 2) and again 2 teaspoons of grated coconut spread out evenly. This should be repeated till the puttu mould is full and end with grated coconut. Add 2-3 glasses of water in Puttu Pani or pressure cooker and keep on flame/heat. Puttu mould should be kept on top of pressure cooker or Puttu Pani and wait for the steam to come out from Puttu on top. Once you see the steam, wait for 3-4 minutes and you are done.

Step 4:
Take out puttu from Puttu mould by pushing using a stick and serve with your favourite curry.



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I love cooking and trying out various recipes, and also to come up with ways to achieve good results in reasonable time and effort ? All of the recipes I post here were tried out by me at least 2-3 times (if not a few dozen times) before I was happy with a simple method which gives me good results. Hope you enjoy making these dishes. Would be thrilled if you let me know in the comments how your experiment went. If you have recipe requests for any Malabar dishes, please contact me and I’ll make every effort to get the recipe, try it out and post it here.

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