Two of the most common ingredients in the cuisines of South India are two native crops, rice and coconut. There are numerous dishes – from snacks to appetizers to main courses to desserts – prepared with these two ingredients.
Puttu is the general term for a variety of steamed rice and coconut dishes, both savory and sweet, from, Kerala. In old times savoury puttu was steamed in bamboo tubes with pierced disc at the bottom, fixed tightly over a wide mouthed pot in which water was boiled. The sweet version was steam cooked by tying the ingredients in a thin wet cloth or wicker basket and placing it over a wide mouthed vessel in which water was boiled.
Centuries later, the recipes for these dishes have remained practically unchanged in South India. Now a day instead of using bamboo tubes for steaming, puttu is cooked in metal tubes fitted over a pot or pressure cooker. It is also made in hollowed out coconut shells. In Kerala savoury puttu is traditionally served with brown chick peas curry, finger bananas and fried pappadoms. Newer versions of puttu include puttu made with various grains like wheat, pearl millet, finger millet as well as fish puttu, meat puttu, Jackfruit puttu – the list goes on.
Here we are doing with mince meat filling and grated coconut. Chicken, mutton or beef can be used for the mince.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Roasted puttu powder (Rice flour) usually available readymade in Asian grocery shops: 500 grams
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Salt – to taste
Water ½ litre
Minced meat – 250 grams (beef/mutton/chicken)
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
Garam masala – ½ teaspoon
Green chilli chopped – 2
Ginger garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
Onions medium chopped- 2
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves chopped – 3 sprigs
Oil – 3 tablespoon
Salt to taste
- Lightly mix salt water in rice flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Cook minced meat with coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and water. Cook till the water evaporates.
- Sauté onions slightly in the oil.
- Add green chillies, ginger garlic paste and sauté for few minutes.
- Add the cooked meat, garam masala, coriander leaves and stir.
- Boil water in puttu maker.
- Put one teaspoon of grated coconut as the first layer. Add 2 teaspoon of meat masala as the second layer. The third layer should be 4- 5 teaspoon of puttu mix. Repeat the process, till the mould is filled. Make sure the mould is not tightly packed. Cover the mould with the lid.
- Allow to steam on the puttu maker for 5 to 10 minutes. Erachiputtu is ready.
- You can adjust the quantity of grated coconut on your choice.
- You can use a choice of white or brown puttu powder.
- To check the wetness (moisture) of the puttu mix, press the moistened powder and see if they hold together. ( though don’t add too much of water as the steam won’t pass through in the puttu maker)
- If you don’t have a puttu maker, you can use Idli steamer to make this.