Tuesday 7 August 2012

Puttu with Kadala Curry

Puttu is one of Malayali's favourite breakfast. Puttu is basically steamed rice flour and kadala curry is kala channa curry. Puttu can also be had with a combination of dry moong dal curry/papad (Check recipe for that in the kanjiyum payarum). Another awesome combination is with banana - typically palayam thodan or etha pazham. I found it interesting that I have never posted a recipe in my blog. So when the Avant Garde Cookies selected Breakfast as the theme, I knew I am making this.

Puttu Kutti / Puttu Kuzhal - equipment needed

It uses a special equipment called Puttu Kuzhal. Kuzhal literally means Tube. It is also available in the form of a bowl (resembling coconut shell). You can the top part alone that goes on the top of a pressure cooker. But remember that if you have a prestige pressure cooker, the cooker top does not work as the newer cooker has a notch that prevents the kuzhal from sitting on the top. Even if you do not have a kuzhal, you can still roll it into a ball by holding your hand like a fist and steam it (in an idli plate) or make blocks by putting in a small bowl and inverting into a steaming plate. Options are many.

To prepare the puttu

Puttu is super easy to prepare. Just 3 ingredients

Rice Flour 2 cups, preferably puttu flour
Salt 1 tsp
Coconut (as needed, see below) about 3/4 cup
Water about 11/4 cups

Method of Preparation

1. Take the rice flour in a bowl. Then rice flour is should not be fine. Most shops sell puttu flour. Puttu can be made with white rice flour or with red rice flour (chemba rice flour). I love chemba puttu. But my dad loves white ones. So try both to find which one you like best. The flour should be roasted flour (most store bought ones are). Alternatively, you can soak rice in water for 1 hour. Drain and dry overnight. Powder to a coarse powder. Sieve and then roast.

2. Add salt. Mix well. Add water little at a time kneading all the time. We are trying to make a powdery wet flour. The end result should be wet to touch, should be able to roll into a ball with the fist, but should powder back when crumbled. See photos. But incase you do not get the right stage, don't worry. If you add less water, it will come out a little powdered out of the kuzhal after steaming. If you add more, it will stick to kuzhal. Other than that taste does not vary much.

3. Let it sit for 30 minutes (not mandatory). Time to fill the kuzhal. There is a chip at the base of the kuzhal. Put that in. It acts as stopper. Heat and bring to boil water in the bottom pot.

4. Add a small layer of coconut about 1 tbsp. Add a handful and some more of rice flour. Fill to half the kuzhal. Add another layer of coconut. Add another handful of rice flour and top with a layer of coconut. Close the lid. Put it on the top of the boiling pot of water.

5. Steam for about 10-12 minutes. Steam will come out of the top of the kuzhal. If you did everything perfectly, you may even see the puttu pushing out of the lid.

6. Remove from the pot and push the puttu out by using a stick or a knife. Serve with Kadala Curry - recipe below.

To prepare the kadala curry


Black Channa 2 cups dry

Coconut milk 2 cups
Bay Leaf 1
Cardamom 1
Clove 3
Onion 2 sliced
Green Chilli 3
Curry leaf few
Ginger 1 inch piece
Garlic 8 pods
Coriander leaves for garnish

Oil and Salt to taste

Make a paste
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Cumin powder 1 tbsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Soak Kala Channa overnight and pressure cook with about 3 cups of water till it is well cooked.

2. Make a paste of ginger and garlic.

3. Add a little water to the 'Make a paste' spices and mix. Keep aside.

4. Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaf, cardamom and clove. When it sizzles, add sliced onions, green chilli, ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves. Saute till the onions are nice and brown.

5. Add the spice paste. Mix well and saute for another 2 minutes.

6. Add the coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer.

7. Drain water from the channa and keep the water. Add the channa and some salt. Add some of the cooking water if needed.

8. Cook in a low flame till the sauce thickens. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with Puttu.

How to eat!!

Just a note on how to eat this. When I served this to many North Indian friends, they always ask me how do you eat this... most ppl cut a piece with spoon and dip in curry and eat... No No No.... Let me tell you how a mallu will eat this...

Take puttu in a plate.. Break it (powder it). Pour the curry over it. Mix either the whole thing or a little at a time from the sides and eat...

A pappadam (papad) will make a nice accompaniment to this... Enjoy!

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 

Linking this to Show me your hits - Rice - Event by Sangee, hosted by Vardhini


  1. An awesome breakfast combo...Like your version of kadala curry..looks delicious

  2. delicious breakfast.. like this combo..

  3. Delicious combo and I love puttu always I add sugar and have it must try these combos too :)
    Recent recipe-Spiced Guava Slices
    You Too Can Cook Indian Food Recipes

  4. delicious & yummy combo.. perfect breakfast.

  5. looks so yummy... i used to have sweet puttu only...

  6. OMG. Rosh, you just can't get more authentic that this. Lovely awesome combo.

  7. Delicious combo....Lovely clicks too....

  8. Rosh!! This is brilliant! Semma famous dish idhu! Mum has always wanted to learn this one! I'll show it to her now! :)

    One more thing. Can you update my link with this one? (http://foodomania.com/category/special-recipes/avant-garde-cookies/) the link you've provided doesn't have anything in it. :)

  9. Oh this is my H s favorite and you ve nailed it wonderfully! Great start to TAGC rosh

  10. One of my favorite,looks so tempting and perfectly made...

  11. yummy, totally new dish for me. loved the details


  12. ആശംസകള്‍................ ബ്ലോഗില്‍ പുതിയ പോസ്റ്റ്‌........ കൊല്ലാം , പക്ഷെ തോല്‍പ്പിക്കാനാവില്ല......... വായിക്കണേ.............

  13. my hubby's fav ! this lethal combo makes a killer breakfast !

  14. Love this ever traditional Keralite food...

  15. Inviting puttu. We do not use the puttu maker, but just make it like dumplings.

  16. My fav too. Me a keralite too. Happy to follow u :)

  17. but what if you don't have a puttu kutti?

  18. puttu n fish curry r also a great combination !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. omg!!! this is my ever favorite dish....scrumptious it is!

  20. Hi Roshini,

    I made your kadala recipe last night and my husband who hates black channa couldn't stop eating. Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe.


    1. Thanks for the feedback Viji.. Glad you and your husband liked the recipe. (btb, are you someone I know personally. I know a couple of ppl by name Viji and was wondering if you are one of them) :-)

  21. Hi Roshni, I made your Kadala curry two days ago for breakfast... It was yummy, will be using this recipe often now... Thank you... :)

    1. thank you Anisha for the feedback... glad you liked it.

  22. That's too tempting but how to do it without a puttu kutty

    1. bhagyalakshmi, you can make it without the kutty too.. just make balls with of flour with you fist and steam in idli maker or any steamer. it will work.. you will not get shape, but still good.

  23. Thank u. I did try de recipe for kadala curry. Its really awesome. Can I pls provide me with the recipe of greengram curry

    1. bhagyalakshmi, there is a recipe for a gravy with green moong dal..

      is that what you are looking for?