Puttu – a South Indian breakfast dish

Cylinders of ground rice and layered coconut along with sweet ripe bananas and spicy kadala – breakfast fit for the Gods – Puttu

I have had many searches on my site related to methods on how to make puttu. This is a short post for the pals out there who need to familiarize with preparing puttu. This is the easiest among all breakfast dishes prepared in kerala.  It is a easy to prepare, almost instant, no grinding and mashing breakfast that can be served in about 15 minutes time.

There are two kinds of puttu – kutti puttu and cheratta puttu. The first variety Is prepared in a long cylindrical mould and is pushed out and served in the shape of a beautiful white cylinder. The second variety is however a coconut shell shaped puttu. It is semi circular in shape but tastes the same as the previous one. The difference is only in the shape because the ingredients are the same and the method is the same.. There are moulds available for both these varieties in the market.  So make the puttu as per the shape you prefer.


  • Rice flour – 1 cup
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Water – as required
  • Coconut gratings – 3/4  cup
  • Extra water to boil in the steamer pot

Take a deep bottomed utensil. Add the rice flour and the salt together. Add enough batter to make the flour like moist breadcrumbs. The texture of the wet dough is very important, as the amount of water used can make the diference between a wet sticky dough, a dry crumbly mess and an impressive turnout. So caution needs to be used. Add water little by little and incorporate it into the flour. At the end of it, the dough should feel moist and form a ball when clumped together in your fist, yet be easily breakable when you press it lightly with your finger.  Mix about 3 Tbsp coconut in it and keep aside.

Heat water in the steamer pot that come along with the cylinder mould. If you are using a pressure cooker, heat water in it and let the steam come out. Do not put on the whistle. Now take your cylindrical mould. Make sure the circular disc at the bottom of the cylinder is in place. Add 1 Tbsp of coconut gratings into the cylinder, on top of the circle. Top it half with the wet flour. Again add 1 Tbsp coconut gratings on top and repeat the next layer. Finally top with coconut. Place this above the pot directly on top of the nozzle through which steam is coming. Steam 10 minutes, you will see steam coming out of the top of the cylinder in a steady flow. Now push it out onto a plate and serve with bananas or kadala curry. The recipe for this yummy Kadala curry can be found here.

World record attempt   –   Source wikipedia

In 2006 students of the Oriental school of Hotel Management in Wayanad in north Kerala made a 10 foot long puttu. They cooked the giant puttu in a specially designed 12 foot long aluminium mould, using 20 coconuts and 26 kg of powdered rice. It took about one and a half hours to cook.

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