Meen Peera Puttu -Taste of Kerala

Puttu , is a culinary specialty in Kerala. It is also popular in certain areas of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu. It is made by steaming moistened rice powder.

It is key that only enough water to wet the flour be added, and that too slowly. This should not have the consistency of dough, but rather a damp coarse mixture. Of late, other variations with wheat flour, flour made from tapioca, corn and ragi and even maida are also used. Puttu is also served with various dishes, most popularly papadam, yellow Kerala plantain, chicken curry, kadala curry (black chickpeas curry) etc.


For steaming the puttu, there is a special utensil called Puttu Kutti. It consists of two sections. The lower bulkier portion is where the water for steaming is stored. The upper detachable smaller portion, which is separate from the lower portion, has peforated lids so as to allow the steam to pass through and bake the rice powder which has been filled. The upper section is covered with a perforated cup shaped lid once it is filled with rice powder. Another variant is the chiratta puttu, where the steaming is done on a coconut shell die, or in a steel replica of similar shape as photographed.
Chirratu Puttu implement alone from top view with cover taken off

Some also have steamed the mixture in a pan similar to an idli pan. The only difference between the typical idli pan used for steaming idlis and the one used for steaming pittu is that there should be small holes on the bottom of the idli pan to allow steam to escape the bottom of each portion. They use pressure cooker as well for steaming.

If the puttu is rolled into a ball it's called Manipputtu.