Monday, July 30, 2007

Puttu (steamed rice cake)

Delicious Puttu Ready :)

Removing the steel plate before serving.

Notice the round steel plate which falls off outside the puttu vessel. This plate ensures even heating of the puttu as well as ensures that the puttu powder does not fall back from the bottom of the vessel.

Using the stick to push the puttu from the vessel after it is cooked.

The Puttu vessel . The thin long stick is used to push the puttu from the bottom of the vessel after it is cooked. The cap of Puttu vessel has many vents to let out the steam to ensure the Puttu is properly cooked.

Inside the puttu making vessel

When I remember Puttu, I remember a funny dialog in a malayalam movie where a chef wants to impress his client with his culinary skills by telling that he knows to prepare "steamed rice cake" :)...well none of the people in Kerala would know when you ask them about steamed rice cake, hence the comedian just wanted to add a "stylish" touch by giving a english name for the traditional name for the dish , ie "Puttu" ....Anyways Puttum Kadalayum has been the favorite among keralites . Puttu is prepared with rice flour and grated coconut (fresh not the dry version) in a special vessel. I have posted the pic above. You get this vessel in most of the indian stores. Here is the recipe:

Rice flour - 2 cups
Grated Coconut - 1 cup

Mix rice flour and salt. Sprinkle water over this mixture and mix it well until it forms crumbs. That is the correct consistency. Grease the vessel in which you are preparing the puttu. Add the rice mixture first to form the major layer, followed by grated coconut alternativly to form a small layer alternativly. Never press the mixture inside the vessel as this prevents the steam while cooking the Puttu to come out of the vents of the vessel . The vessel I use for preparing puttu can be used over the vent of a pressure cooker. So I fill the my pressure cooker with sufficient water , and when the steam comes through the vent of the pressure cooker, I cover it with the Puttu vessel. Cook until the steam comes out of the vents on the Puttu vessel. Check if the steam is escaping from the bottom of the Puttu vessel if you are unable to see steam coming out of the Puttu vessel for 30 minutes. I cover the bottom with a cloth to prevent the steam from escaping. The usual cooking time is 5-10 minutes. Serve it along with coconut milk, or kadala curry, or with ripe banana or just plain sugar.

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vada is a easy snack to prepare once you have the Vadas ready (read my previous entry for uzhunnu vada

It is also called Thairu Vada (thairu means curd in malayalam).



Curd - Sufficient enough for vadas to be soaked properly. You can add more dahi if you are fond of the spiced curd of dahi vada :)

For Tadka: Oil, Mustard seeds, oil, Cumin seeds, Green chilli minced



Smooth the cord to avoid lumps. Add water if necessary to make it less thick. Heat oil, and add the tadka ingredients. When all the ingredients splutter, add it to the curd and add salt at the end.

Add the prepared vadas (hot or cold), in water for 30 minutes. Squeeze the vadas to let out excess oil from the vadas. Then add the vadas to the spiced curd. Decorate with coriander leaves and sprinkle with chaat masala and green chutney before serving.

Uzhunnu Vada (Urad Dal Vada)

Uzhunnu Vada is yet another snack loved by all. Its similar to Parippu Vada except that it is much softer inside than the crunchy Parippu Vada. It is made with soaked urad dal, and the procedure is the same. Hence you can refer my previous entry for Parippu Vada for the recipe substituting urad dal in place of thuvar dal.

Parippu Vada

Parippu Vada is known to each and every person in South India, especially in Kerala. In the evenings, "Parippuvadayum chayayum" which means Parippu Vada and Tea makes such a satisfying evening snack. People just crowd on the road-side shops, after their hard work be it in office or under the sun to refresh with a cup of tea in one hand and parippu vada in another :) ...Love preparing this for my husband who also likes it a lot!


Thuvar dal - 1 cup
Onion - chopped very finely - 1/2 cup
Green chilli minced - 3-4 green chillies
Curry leaves chopped finely - 4-6 leaves
water for grinding (very little if your mixie does not co-operate or null)
oil for deep frying


Soak Thuvar dal in water for atleast 4-5 hours
Drain the water and grind it to a fine paste , thick enough to make small lemon sized balls.
Mix the rest of the ingredients .
Keep a small container filled with water. This is for dipping your palms in water which helps to make the balls , else it makes it very difficult to make the ball as the dal would keep sticking on your fingers. This is very important.
Make small balls out of the dal mixture and deep fry in hot oil until a little darker than golden brown. Serve with tomato sauce, mint chutney, along with hot tea/coffee !

Gulab Jamun

Hi , I prepared Gulab Jamun, Dahi Vada, and Pathrodo this weekend as my husband had returned home from DC after 5 days...He thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the Dahi Vada as he is a big fan of curd. Me and his father teases him by telling that he considers curd as the main dish and anything else served is considered sidedish :)) (when everyone would otherwise tell "we take curd as a side dish, not the main dish") wont believe he takes curd even with dosa!!I got the recipe for gulab jamun from the following blog :

It came out good, except that my sugar syrup was not hot enough for the jamuns to swell. Even then it was tasty:) ...I asked Annita (the above blog's owner) , about the jamuns not swelling in the syrup I had made, and she told me that I need to add the fried jamuns immedietly in hot boiling syrup. I will try it next time. I have posted the pics anyways...

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