Puttu (Steamed Rice & Coconut Savoury Cakes)

Puttu is a hugely popular breakfast dish (it is also served at lunch or dinner) from Kerala. From homes to roadside stalls to restaurants, puttu is available all over Kerala. Very healthy (it is steamed) and tasty, it is often served with kadala curry (black garbanzo beans, kala chana). There are several variations to the ingredients for puttu. The most traditional is white rice flour. But brown rice has become increasingly popular. Many people also use millets, especially (ragi).
In times of yore, this dish was steamed in bamboo poles, giving it an earthy flavour. In current times, the bamboo poles have been replaced by steel ones.
This breakfast is quite heavy on the stomach, I therefore tend to have it only on Sundays.

2 cups rice flour (I used brown rice)
1 cup freshly grated coconut
Salt to taste
Water, just enough to moisten the flour (about 1 cup)
Roast the rice flour in a skillet for about 5 minutes
Remove from flame and cool
Add salt and water and mix well till it becomes a bread crumbs consistency
Set aside
Add water to a pressure cooker
Take the puttu maker (see image in the link provided above) apart and insert the disk with holes (it comes with the puttu maker) at the bottom
Fill the cylindrical cone of the puttu maker with a fistful of grated coconut
Next, fill in the rice flour (the rice flour must not be tightly packed)
Top off with more coconut flour
Set aside
Put the pressure cooker on flame (with lid closed but not the weight)
Cover the cylindrical tube and place on the pressure cooker spout once steam begins to emerge from the pressure cooker
Steam for 6-8 minutes (you will see steam emerging from the puttu maker once it is done)
Remove the puttu maker from the pressure cooker spout and open the lid
Using the rod provided with the puttu maker, push the puttu from the bottom, out of the mould
Slide it on a plate
Gently cut into smaller sized pieces
Serve hot with kadala curry (recipe will follow soon)

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