Tuesday, 8 November 2011



1)    Putte podi (roasted rice powder specially made for putte) – 500 gm.
2)     Coconut – ½
3)    Coconut water – from 1 coconut
4)    Sugar – 1 tablespoon
5)    Sugar – 1 tablespoon
6)    Salt – 1½ teaspoon

To Make Putte Podi:
You can either easily buy fresh putte podi available at supermarkets or you can make nice fresh putte podi at home. Any aged raw rice can be used for making putte podi. Soak the rice in water for 1 hour. Wash well and drain off the water. Spread a clean thick cotton sheet on a mat either in the sun or in the shade if sunlight if not available. Spread the drained rice thinly on the cotton sheet. Leave for an hour. The cotton sheet will absorb most of the water.
Now gather the rice and grind it to fine powder in your food processor. If you are making large quantities of rice powder, you will have to use a flour mill. While the readymade putte podi is usually grainy like sawdust, you should be able to make finer powder at home which will give you a tastier result.
This rice powder, when roasted properly, becomes putte podi. To roast, set a thick wok on low heat. Put in the rice powder. Roast slowly stirring occasionally at first and then more frequently when the powder gets hotter. The rice powder must never be burnt or it will taste like sand. As soon as you get a nice roasted aroma of rice wafting out of the wok, you know that it is time to switch off the heat. Make sure to stir for another 2 or 3 minutes so that the residual heat of the wok does not burn the putte podi.

To Make the Putte:
While breaking the coconut, take care to save the coconut water. Sieve and set aside. Scrape the coconut. Take a wide bowl or basin to prepare the flour. Put in 1½ tablespoons of the scraped coconut. Add the sugar, the salt, the coconut water and the rice powder. Mix well with your fingers without squeezing. The mixture should be only lightly moist but not at all wet. To test the consistency, take a handful and squeeze lightly. It should bind together and at the same time, it should be loose enough to crumble back to powder at the slightest touch.
If it is too dry, sprinkle just a little water, mix and bring it to the required consistency.

Pour a little more than 2 inches of water in the base pot of the putte maker and set on the stove. Open the lid of the putte mould (cylinder) and put in the perforated basal metal disc. Check with the skewer–like putte stick to see that the disc is seated properly. Put in 2 teaspoons of scraped coconut spreading it evenly by shaking the spoon as you put it in. Now put in ¾ cup of putte mix loosely without pressing at any stage (if you press it in, the steam won’t rise through and the putte will be raw).
Put in 2 more teaspoons of scraped coconut and then put in another ¾ cup of putte mix. Repeat the process once or twice again till the mould is full. The water in the pot should be boiling by now. Put the mould on the pot and put on the lid.
Wait and watch for the steam to rise up through the perforated lid. Once you see the steam, continue to cook for 3 minutes more. You can smell the beautiful aroma of the cooked roasted rice powder. Turn down the heat and lift up the mould. Open the lid.
Put a large flat plate on the table. Insert the end of the putte stick into the hole at the bottom of the mould. Holding the mould horizontally, close to the far end of the plate, steadily press the putte stick in while drawing back the mould as the beautifully cooked putte comes out of the mould like a train out of a tunnel onto the plate.
Now check the water level in the pot and add more water if necessary. So also, check the moisture level of the remaining putte mix since it often dries up as time passes. Sprinkle a bit more water if necessary and make your second putte. You should be able to make 3 standard size puttes from 500 gm. of rice powder.
Serve with potato stew or any other stew, green gram curry, brown chickpea curry, green peas curry, chili mussels curry, chili fish curry, bhaji, poached egg masala curry, black bean saaru, brown chickpea saaru, black pigeon pea bendi or saaru or cowpea bendi.
Putte is also eaten traditionally by squeezing in ripe Red banana, papads and sugar by people in south Kerala. The north Keralites use ripe Nendran banana in place of Red banana. Often, the ripe Nendran is boiled in salt water or jaggery water. Many Keralites also eat putte by sprinkling sugar and pouring in hot milk.

1)    I cook many different types of putte such as rava putte (both savory and sweet), vegetable putte, banana putte, ragi putte, jowar putte, corn putte, wheat putte, tapioca putte, tricolor putte and par boiled red rice putte.
2)    The rice powder that you learned to make at home can be used to make a large variety of exquisite dishes; the recipes of which, god willing, are to follow later on.

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