Puttu Recipe | Kerala Puttu

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There is no doubt about the fact that as much as Indian food is delicious, it is unique and intriguing too. Especially, as you go deeper within the Indian subcontinent and come across the lovely regional fare. One such popular breakfast option in Kerala is the Puttu – steamed rice flour & coconut logs. The Kerala Puttu is as interesting in its flavor and texture, as it is in its looks. This Puttu recipe of mine will help you create the recipe easily at your home.

puttu served on a green colored plate with a bowl of black chickpea curry kept on the side and text layovers.

What is Puttu

Speaking of a Puttu recipe, it is not just the Kerala Puttu which is famous. This distinct dish is also well-known in other South Indian states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and even some parts of Sri Lanka. When translated in Malayalam or Tamil languages, Puttu means ‘portioned.’

It is basically tubes or rolls of rice flour enveloped with fresh grated coconut that are steamed in a special equipment called a ‘puttu kudam’ or ‘puttu kutti.’ A particular Puttu recipe might also have a sweet or savory stuffing in them. Traditionally, it was also made in bamboo logs which used to impart a lovely natural aroma to the dish.

While the principal ingredients of a Kerala Puttu are ground rice/puttu flour, coconut, salt and water. But there some other variations as well, example the Sri Lankan Puttu uses red rice flour or wheat flour.

A classic combination of serving this culinary treasure is with Kadala Kari, which is a South Indian style spiced black chickpea curry. It makes for quite a nutritious meal as its vegan, gluten-free and even low fat. The pairing is just awesome. Many a times, it is also served with Rasam, banana, palm sugar or even various chutneys.

About Puttu Recipe

At home, I occasionally make the Kerala Puttu. So, the day I decide to make it, I also usually make the kadala curry. This quintessential breakfast meal is also quite filling. Thus, keeps you full for some time. For the same reason, you can have this as a fulfilling brunch meal as well.

For this Puttu recipe, I use the ‘puttu podi’ which is available in the markets. This is nothing but the coarsely ground rice flour. You can even use rice flour brought from a store. If doing so, just lightly roast the rice flour till it releases steam. Then, use it to make the dish.

puttu podi

One of the most important elements is the specific cooking equipment that you will require to make this Kerala Puttu. Which is the ‘puttu kudam,’ also known as puttu maker, puttu kutti or puttu vessel. It has 2 sections – the base for heating water and the top cylindrical part for steaming the Puttu.

puttu kadam

If you don’t have this typical vessel or can’t source one, you can easily use an idli pan to make this recipe.

While this steamed dish is best savored with the black chickpea curry, at my home, a favorite combination is also to have it with the Potato Stew or Vegetable Stew as a scrumptious meal. You can also sprinkle some sugar on the Puttu and enjoy it as a nutritious sweet snack.

In addition to this Puttu recipe, other popular Kerala breakfast picks are the Appam and Idiyappam. I suggest you to try these as well.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Puttu

Make Flour Mixture

1. Take 1 cup puttu flour in a mixing bowl or a pan.

puttu flour in a pan.

2. Add ⅓ teaspoon salt or as required.

salt added to puttu flour.

3. Mix very well.

salt mixed well with the puttu flour.

4. Sprinkle ⅓ cup water all over. The amount of water required will depend on the quality of rice flour. So, you can add accordingly.

water sprinkled all over on puttu flour.

5. Begin to mix the rice flour with the water with your fingertips.

mixing water into the puttu flour with fingertips.

6. Mix very well.

water mixed well with the puttu flour.

7. To get soft Puttu, the amount of rice flour to water ratio is important. To check this, gently press a small portion of the flour between your palms.

It should form a lump. When you press this flour lump more, then it breaks and crumbles. This should be the texture of the flour.

checking the right texture of the flour mixture.

8. Break all the tiny lumps in the flour with your fingertips.

You can even grind this rice flour mixture in a grinder to break lumps. But grind in small batches and use the pulse option of mixer-grinder.

puttu flour mixture.

9. Now, pour 2 to 3 cups water in the base vessel of the puttu kudam.

pouring water in the base vessel of puttu kudam.

10. Keep on stovetop and let it get heated.

heating the water in the kudam.

Steam Puttu

11. Meanwhile, first place the perforated disc inside the cylindrical vessel. Then, add 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut in the cylindrical vessel of the puttu kudam and spread evenly.

adding fresh grated coconut in the cylindrical vessel of kudam.

12. Then, gently add the puttu flour mixture till it reaches half of the cylindrical vessel.

adding puttu flour mixture in the vessel.

13. Then, again layer with 2 to 3 tablespoons grated coconut and spread evenly.

repeat a layer again with the grated coconut.

14. Then, add the puttu flour again.

repeat a layer again with the flour mixture.

15. Cover the top portion with 2 to 3 tablespoons grated coconut and spread evenly. Cover the top with the lid.

grated coconut spread evenly on the top.

16. Place the cylindrical portion on top of the base vessel in which the water must have come to a boil.

cylindrical vessel fitted on the base vessel with boiling water.

17. Steam the Puttu on medium heat till you see steam releasing from the top vent of the cylindrical vessel. Then, turn off the heat.

It took me about 9 minutes as I have used a large Puttu maker. If using a medium size or regular one, the time will be about 5 to 6 minutes.

steam releasing from the puttu kudam.

18. Carefully, remove the cylindrical part from the base vessel and allow the Puttu inside to cool for 3 to 4 minutes.

cylindrical part of kudam.

19. Then, using a wooden skewer or stick that accompanies the kudam, remove the steamed puttu.

removing steamed puttu from the kudam.

20. Serve Kerala Puttu hot or warm with Kadala KariVegetable Stew or Potato Stew. It will also go well with South Indian Chickpea Curry. Also, serve some bananas and papadums by the side.

puttu served on a green colored plate with black chickpea curry on it and text layover.

Expert Tips

  1. Based on the quality and texture of the rice flour, add water as needed.
  2. The rice flour to water ratio is important for making soft ones. Check by gently pressing a small portion of the flour between your palms. If it forms a lump, then you press it more. Finally, it should crumble and break.
  3. While mixing the flour with the water, keep breaking all the tiny lumps with your fingertips. You can break the lumps by grinding the mixture too. but make sure to grind in batches, using the pulse option.
  4. The time taken to steam the dish will vary with the size of the puttu kudam/maker. Since I used a large one, it took me about 9 minutes. If you are using a medium or regular size maker, it will take you about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. In the absence of a puttu maker, you can utilize an idli pan instead. Simply layer each idli mould with alternating layers of puttu flour and coconut, repeating the sequence until the moulds are filled. Then, steam the prepared mixture until cooked.

More Kerala Recipes To Try!

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puttu served on a green colored plate with a bowl of black chickpea curry kept on the side.

Puttu Recipe | Kerala Puttu

Puttu are basically steamed rice flour and coconut logs. The Kerala Puttu is as interesting in its flavor and texture, as it is in its looks. Puttu served with Kadala Kari is one of the popular breakfast from Kerala.
4.89 from 17 votes
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Kerala, South Indian
Course Breakfast
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 2 large puttu
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 cup puttu flour
  • cup water or add as required
  • teaspoon salt or add as required
  • ½ cup coconut – fresh, grated
  • 2 to 3 cups water for steaming

Instructions
 

Making puttu flour mixture

  • Take 1 cup puttu flour in a mixing bowl or a pan.
  • Add ⅓ teaspoon salt or as required.
  • Now sprinkle ⅓ cup water all over. The amount of water required will depend on the quality of rice flour. So you can add accordingly.
  • Begin to mix the rice flour with the water with your fingertips.
  • To get soft puttu, the amount of rice flour to water ratio is important. To check this gently press a small portion of the flour between your palms.
    It should form a lump. When you press this flour lump more, then it breaks and crumbles. This should be the texture of the flour.
  • Break all the tiny lumps in the flour with your fingertips.
    You can even grind this rice flour mixture in a grinder to break lumps. But grind in small batches and use the pulse option of mixer-grinder.
  • Now pour 2 cups water in the base vessel of the puttu kudam.
  • Keep on stove top and let the water get heated.

Assembling & Steaming puttu

  • Meanwhile first place the perforated disc inside the cylindrical vessel. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh coconut in the cylindrical vessel of the puttu kudam and spread evenly.
  • Then gently add the puttu flour till it reaches half of the cylindrical vessel.
  • Again add 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated coconut and spread evenly.
  • Then add the puttu flour again.
  • Cover the top portion with 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated coconut and spread evenly. Cover with the top lid. 
  • Place the cylindrical portion on top of the base vessel in which the water must have come to a boil.
  • Steam puttu on medium flame till you see steam releasing from the top vents of the cylindrical vessel. Then turn off the the heat. 
  • Remove carefully with the help of a kitchen towel, the cylindrical part from the bottom vessel and allow the puttu inside to cool for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Then using a wooden skewer or the stick that accompanied the puttu kudam, remove the steamed puttu.
  • Serve puttu hot or warm with Kadala Curry, Vegetable Stew or Potato Stew. It will also go well with this coconut based South Indian Chickpea Curry.

Notes

  1. Adjust the water quantity according to the texture and quality of the rice flour.
  2. Achieving the right ratio of rice flour to water is crucial for achieving soft results. To determine this, gently press a small portion of the flour between your palms. If it clumps together, continue pressing until it crumbles and breaks apart.
  3. While incorporating the water into the flour, ensure to eliminate any small lumps by using your fingertips. Alternatively, you can grind the mixture in batches using the pulse function of your blender or grinder.
  4. The steaming time will vary depending on the size of the puttu kudam/maker. For a large one like mine, it took approximately 9 minutes. Smaller or regular-sized makers will require about 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. If you don’t have a puttu maker, you can use an idli pan instead. Layer each idli mould with alternating layers of puttu flour and coconut, then steam until cooked.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Puttu Recipe | Kerala Puttu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 364 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Sodium 406mg18%
Potassium 132mg4%
Carbohydrates 67g22%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Calcium 16mg2%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 8µg2%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 37mg9%
Phosphorus 101mg10%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Puttu Recipe from the archives was first published on November 2017. It has been updated and republished on February 2024.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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6 Comments

  1. When I was in Kerala, I fell in love with puttu. Now I feel so happy finding this recipe and making it for myself at home.5 stars

  2. I just returned back to California after spending 5 days in Kerala. I feel in love with Puttu. I ordered a Puttu maker that arrived yesterday along with Puttu flour. This morning I followed your recipe and I felt like I was back in Kerala. Amazing! I made kadala and served it with bananas and a bit of jaggery sugar. Thank you for sharing and easy step by step guide. Yum!!!!5 stars

    1. Welcome Heidi. Glad to know that this recipe helped you to make puttu at home.

  3. Though I am a north indian but this is one of my favorite breakfast recipes..actually i can eat it anytime.. going to buy a puttu maker and puttu podi soon. Thank you so much for the clear instructions! can’t wait to try it. btw, puttu tastes amazing with ripe mangoes also!5 stars

    1. thanks aru. its my favorite breakfast too. i am sure with ripe mangoes puttu will taste amazing.