1 cup puttu podi (you get this in the indian stores)
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
a pinch of salt
Water - as required
The picture above shows one made with brown rice in an idli steamer and the other with white rice using a puttu steamer placed over cooker.
Place the puttu flour in a wide mixing bowl, the coconut and add salt into it. Add water a little at a time to make the flour moist. Add water a little at a time and rub into the flour, until you notice that when you try to make a fistfull of ball, it will hold together and when you press the ball it will it will crumble down. When you get this consistency, stop adding water, your puttu mixture is ready for steaming.
The longer the time you take to reach this, the better and softer will be the puttu. So essentially add water a little at a time so the warmth of the hand will allow the flour to absorb more water. Keep the dough covered for atleast 15 minutes.
Boil water in a pressure cooker. When the steam starts coming, take the puttu maker (puttukutti) and spoon in the prepared dough mixture till you reach the top, finishing it with a tablespoon of grated coconut. Dont press the mixture down into the puttu maker, it will become hard.
Keep this on the top of the pressure cooker and let the steam come through the top. Reduce the heat (make sure steady steam is still present) and cook till done. This takes 5 to 6 minutes approximately.
1. Rice flour (puttupodi/puttu powder) is available in all Indian stores. But in case it isn't available, here is how you can prepare your rice flour at home:
Soak 1/2 kg raw rice in water for 4 hours. Drain, dry well in sun and grind to a fine powder. Dry roast the flour and store in an air-tight container.
2. You can reduce the amount of coconut used in this dish to make it healthier. But of course, as always, coconut definitely enhances the flavor.
3. Puttu is generally made in a Puttu maker. (also available in Indian stores) If you don't have one, don't worry, you can make this in a steamer too. But you do not get the shape, though the taste is the same. But in case you are using a steamer, make sure the dough has more water content and you must mix in the grated coconut also into this. Coconut usage is much more if you are using this method.
4. You could use either the white rice flour or red rice flour for making Puttu. I have used the white variety here.