Nenthrapazham Puttu ~ Kerala Ripe Plantain Steamed Rice Cakes.
Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakathuhu, to the lovely readers of this awesome space…
As soon as I saw Umm Hamza’s post regarding her absence from her blog and her invitation for guest posts, I decided to jump at the opportunity. First of all, I totally adore her space mainly because of her simple yet tempting bakes and some very unheard of traditional recipes from Algeria. I am sure that all those who are here have come here had to come just once to get hooked to this space. I am sincerely happy to be filling up while she, InShaAllah, has a lovely time with her in-laws… I chanced upon her blog during our interactions from the MENA Challenge and then on, it has been a warm relationship…
All posts start with introductions, so a little bit about myself – my name is Rafeeda, and I blog at “The Big Sweet Tooth”. I have been blogging since 2013 and at times am surprised how I have turned from someone who loathed cooking to otherwise, only because of blogging! I am an Indian from the southern state of Kerala, residing in the UAE, and am a wife to the one I refer to as HD and the mother of two lovely girls, Alhamdulillah. Just as my blog name suggests, I have a terrible fetish for sweets in any form and life happens to be a constant struggle of having to keep away from my sugary cravings.
Deciding what to give to her was a little tough. After thinking a lot, I decided to ask her myself. She suggested me to share with her a Malabar recipe. I thought I must share a recipe close to my heart. Puttu is a steamed rice cake which is a quintessential part of our breakfast. It is one of the quickest meals that can be prepared on a lazy day. For making puttu, we get a special rice flour, which is ground coarsely. I normally make my own puttu podi, since I don’t like using the store bought ones and the homemade flour gives much tasting puttu. You can refer to this post of mine to read more about how to make puttu flour. Normally, it is cooked by steaming in a special cylindrical steamer pot, but here I have used a small pot that is filled with the mixture and steamed through the hole of a pressure cooker – you can see it in the picture. This is ideal when cooking for a small family. Normally, puttu is steamed with layers of coconut in between, but off late, you can see varieties with different fillings, like chicken, fish, vegetable, etc. The plain puttu is served with any curry or with some sugar and ripe banana, to make it sweet.
Here, I have made it sweet with a filling of coconut with ripe plantains. Plantain is another important part of our food. When raw, we chop up with the skin and make stir fry off it, which is amazing! We add it to our dishes, some parts of Kerala even add it into non-veg dishes, as the taste is similar to that of potatoes. The very famous Kerala banana chips is made of thinly sliced raw plantains. When it is ripe – we eat it as is; we steam it, chop and sprinkle fresh coconut over it, especially for new mothers; we toss it up in ghee (clarified butter) with some sugar and cardamom, and to make it even more interesting, scramble up eggs with it; the list is endless… By steaming the plantain along with the puttu flour, it becomes soft, that all it needs for the side is some sugar, sometimes you don’t even need that if the plantain is already sweet enough. All we need to do is to mash up the whole mixture and enjoy to your heart’s content! This is one of our weekend breakfasts, which everybody from the adults to the kids loves eating. Moving off to the recipe…
Kerala Ripe Plantain Steamed Rice Cakes
- 2 cups puttu flour
- 1 large ripe plantain, chopped into small pieces
- Grated coconut as needed
- Put the puttu flour into a flat bowl. Sprinkle warm water and rub into it till it resembles bread crumbs.
- In a pressure cooker, pour enough water and allow to boil. Remove off the weight of the lid and close the pressure cooker.
- Layer in the small puttu maker – first little grated coconut, a thin layer of puttu flour, then a few slices of ripe plantains, and then complete it with the puttu powder. Close the lid and hook it on the weight holder. Allow to cook on high flame till vapor passes through and appears at the top. Keep the flame on minimal and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Take off the maker and slowly flip onto a plate. It will fall off in its shape. Enjoy warm with a dash of sugar and a hot cup of chai!
• Do not add too much water to the flour, just sprinkling should do. You need just enough water to make the flour moist. • While using your normal puttu steamer (the long one), layer the same way: coconut, little flour, plantain, more flour and repeat. The idea is that the coconut will allow steam to pass by so if we layer the plantains at the bottom, steam wouldn’t pass and the puttu will not get cooked.