Puttu - Steamed Rice Cake In Coconut Shell

This breakfast dish is so common and very popular in kerala. It's called ' Puttu '. Steaming is the method used to cook puttu. Puttu is made with different cereal grain powders like, Rice, wheat, Ragi..... to name a few popular powders used. Puttu and kadala curry is a popular combination. On the other hand, rice puttu with banana, pappadam, some ghee and sugar, mixed is really a mouth watering combination. In my house Rice puttu and Potato ishtoo is very popular. I could never have enough of this combination. Every one has their favourite combination to have puttu with. The utensil used to cook puttu is called 'Puttukutti'. Here i have used the shell of a coconut to cook puttu in. A half of a coconut shell, to which 3 holes are made in the bottom. This will allow the steam to pass through.


1 cup - Rice flour
1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut
Pinch of salt
water as required
1/2 cup - Extra grated coconut


1 ) In a pan, add rice flour and dry roast lightly. Stirring continuously. The white color of the rice flour should change very lightly. Take care not to burn the powder. Cool the powder.

2 ) To the rice powder, add 1/2 cup of the grated coconut, mix and rub in with the rice flour. Dissolve salt in half a cup of water. Sprinkle this water on the rice flour, little at a time and with hand mix the flour. Repeat sprinkling water till the flour is wet.

3 )To know if the mixture is right to start steaming, just take some mixture in the hand and clasp with the palm. If the mixture holds together (like a solid shape, at the same time fall apart, when pressed slightly) you can proceed to make puttu. Otherwise sprinkle little more water.

4 ) Below is a pot shaped utensil with water. Placed on top of the pot is the coconut shell. There is a round steel with holes placed in the bottom of the coconut shell. This will help the contents put in the shell, not to fall out through the holes in the shell. Use a utensil on which the coconut shell can sit tightly.

5 ) Place the utensil on the stove. Fill half the utensil with water and boil the water. Meanwhile, in the coconut shell place the steel filter. Add some grated coconut, then the prepared rice flour mixture. Fill up the coconut shell fully.

6 ) Place the coconut shell on top of the utensil tightly. Cover the shell with lid. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Steam will come out, from the top of the coconut shell. Once the puttu is cooked. Take the coconut shell off the utensil, invert it to a serving plate. Puttu will come off the coconut shell.

Serve hot and enjoy puttu with your favourite combination of curry. Try with potato kurma and pappadam....or with egg curry

{ Don't be scared, seeing the lengthy explanation......it's not really all that complicated to make the simple and humble puttu :-) }

Wheat Puttu

Use one cup wheat flour instead of rice flour and follow the same method as above. With wheat flour, you have to be careful not to sprinkle too much water. It can end up becoming a dough, instead of a wet mixture.

You can serve with kadala curry, Erachi /Mutton curry or just have it plain with some pappadam.

Rawa Puttu

Making this puttu takes a bit more longer time, since there is two steps to follow to get a soft rawa puttu.

Ingredients are same as listed for rice puttu. Instead of rice flour, use one cup of rawa or cream of wheat.


1 ) Dry roast the rawa lightly. Take off the stove and cool.

2 )Wet the rawa well by sprinkling water and mixing with hand.

3 )In the first step, steam the wet rawa. Take the wet rawa mixture and fill it into the puttukutti ( the utensil to steam ) and steam for 5 to 10 minutes, till a steady steam is coming from the top of the lid.

4 ) Push out the steamed rawa puttu to a plate. Then break and crumble the puttu to a powder form with a spoon. Let it cool a bit, then sprinkle more water and mix the mixture well.

5 )In the Second step, layer and fill the puttu kutti or coconut shell. First with some grated coconut and then with the rawa mixture.

6 ) Place the Puttu kutti or coconut shell on the utensil with boiling water and steam for 5 minutes, as in above pictures. Take off the stove and serve in a plate.

This is a bit longer method to follow.....but in the end you get a very soft rawa puttu. Taste more or less like rawa upma minus all that oil and other ingredients in upma.

Tags : Indian cooking , kerala puttu


Annita said…
Happy to see another malayalee blogger and that too from cincinnati...I'm also from cincinnati only..You've a great blog here...
RP said…
Ohhh dear praveena! I didn't know we have to place that round steel thingy inside the chiratta(my mom forgot to tell me? I consulted her before making chiratta puttu). I just filled the chiratta with puttu mix and placed it on top of the pressure cooker. I felt like something wasn't right. Now I know. I will follow your procedure even though I don't have a puttukudam.

Your puttu pictures are beautiful.
RP said…
Yes I do. The one that came with my puttumaker. I will use it inside the chiratta next time. Thanks.
KitchenFairy said…
Hai Praveena,
Your blog is really nice,pictures are perfect and the way of presentation is excellent...
Mishmash ! said…
Hi Praveena, My first time here. You have a great blog. I always make chirattaputtu and was happy to come across the same in ur blog :)

usha said…
What sort of lid do you use for your chiratta?
Pravs said…
Usha : you can use any small steel lid that covers the coconut shell well.
this one is very tempting
dining tables said…
This is pretty interesting. I would love to try this one. I can't wait!
Bindu@Hyderabad said…
Thank you, This will help me make puttu without the puttu maker
Deepa said…

Nice recipe.. I make puttu in a steel tumbler kept inside a cooker just like idlis and it comes out great too.

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