Thursday, 7 March 2019

Gajar ka halwa | Gajar Halwa | Carrot Halwa Recipe | Easy Carrot Halwa recipe with full fat milk


Gajar ha Halwa is a traditional Indian dessert made with fresh red (Delhi) carrots, milk and sugar and of course some ghee. It is a winter delicacy as these carrots can be seen in market only during winters and especially in North India. It is a rare sight in the South. These carrots (most of them) are juicy and very yum to have as such, my little one loves to munch on them :) And the other special dish that can be made using them is this Carrot halwa or Gajar ka Halwa. I have also posted a Carrot Pudding last year using the same variety of carrots. If you are not able to find the red Delhi carrots but still would love to enjoy some halwa, go ahead and prepare with the normal carrots at hand. They too taste yum :)

This dish is a common sight in many weddings and so often you can find it in the Indian dessert section in the restaurant buffets. One of the best combos that you can go for is pair this halwa with a dollop of ice cream. I just love that combination. If you are not in a mood or like to have too much sweet, then this is an ideal way as the ice cream balances the sweetness of the halwa yet giving a rich feel :) 

There are many variations to this recipe, like using condensed milk or khoya. The richness varies with each variant. I & my family prefer it using full fat milk and hence the recipe I'm posting today is also the same. I always make this halwa using a heavy bottomed vessel but you can very well prepare it using pressure cooker or in a microwave as well. Somehow I believe the taste is a notch higher when you prepare the traditional way in a pan rather than pressure cook. 



Some tips that I follow to get my halwa great :)


1. Whenever available use red (Delhi) carrots to make this halwa. Also choose fresh carrots that are tender and juicy. Do not keep in fridge for a few days before you make it. Choosing it as fresh as possible makes a great halwa

2. Grate the carrots to medium thickness. Too thin will make your halwa mushy and too little in quantity. Preferably grate them using a hand held grater. Food processors make your life easier, but trust me, doing some things the traditional way will bring out better results :) After all, it's not everyday that we get to make the halwa, right :)

3. Some recipe calls for frying the carrot before adding milk. But that changes the colour of the halwa and I like the taste better when the carrots are not fried but just cooked in simmer in full fat milk

4. They stay good for a week in the fridge. You can serve hot or cold. If you like to serve warm, then microwave for a minute or two before serving

Serves: 3 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes



I Used:


Delhi Carrots - 1 cup (heaped)
Full fat Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 6 tbsp
Ghee 
Cardamom Powder
-
-
1 tbsp + 2-3 tbsp for frying cashews
½ tsp
Cashew Nuts - 10-12 nos

The Way:


1. Rinse the carrots well in water. Then peel them and trim their ends

2. Grate them to medium thickness using a hand held grater (preferably) or a food processor

3. In a heavy bottomed pan (or kadai) add the grated carrots and milk and allow them to come to a boil on a medium heat. Then simmer


4. While on simmer, keep an eye, stirring in between. The carrots will cook in the milk and the milk will start to reduce and evaporate

5. When the milk has almost reduced, add the sugar, ghee and cardamom powder. 

6. Stir well and continue to cook on simmer, stirring in between 


7. In the meantime, heat ghee (around 2-3 tbsp) in a tadka pan. Fry the cashews on a low flame. Take care not to burn. Once they turn colour to golden, switch off the flame

8. Once all the milk is evaporated and the halwa becomes dry, add the fried cashews. Give a stir and switch off the flame


Serve warm or cold. Can garnish with more almonds, nuts or other dry fruits before serving !

Cheers,
Chitz

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Potato Ishtu | Easy Potato stew | Kerala Ishtu Recipe


So folks, I am back with yet another breakfast special recipe. Well, last time I posted how to prepare Idiyappam and so following that I am going to write how to make the Potato Stew or Ishtu, today, which is one of the commonly prepared side dish for Idiyappam at our place. It is unimaginably simple and sooper delicious and subtle and light on the tummy as well. The only prep work needed for the Ishtu is the coconut milk. If you have a tin of ready made milk or that instant powder to prepare coconut milk, then it's uber easy. 

But I always like to prepare coconut milk from scratch. I usually have grated coconut ready in my fridge if else I grate them and prepare fresh milk out of it. It smells and makes the dish extra special and fresh :) There is one more way of preparing stew which is my mom's way for me, that will have to wait for another day now. This is my mil's way of  making stew. In fact this ishtu is also a dish for our Onam Sadhya too. That time we make it a little less watery :) So let's see how to make this tasty and yummy side dish for Idiyappam.



Serves: 3 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes



I Used:


Onion - 2-3 medium sized (sliced)
Potato - 1 medium-big sized (cubed)
Green Chilly - 2 nos - slit
Ginger - An inch piece - sliced
Coconut Milk - 1 cup (from half a medium sized coconut)
Curry Leaves - 2 sprig
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As Needed
Water - ½ cup



The Way:


1. Slice the onions into thin slices. Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes (size as per your preference). I make them into small cubes and once cooked mash them well

2. Slit the green chillies. Slice the ginger into thin strips (Alternately you can chop the ginger finely as well)

3. Take all of them - sliced onions, cubed potatoes, slit green chilly and sliced ginger in a pressure cooker or pan. Add salt and little water, around ½ cup

4. Pressure cook them till done. I keep for 2 whistles in high and 3-4 in sim 

5. Adding more water while cooking can dilute the stew. If you fear that the stew will get burnt at the bottom while cooking then add little more water. Once cooked and the pressure is released, open the cooker and cook on sim to allow the water to evaporate. This step is completely optional and is required only if you add more water

6. Mash the potatoes a bit. If you like them whole then don't mash. While mashing the potatoes, chances are the green chillies might also get mashed. This can increase the heat of the stew. If you do not prefer then remove the chillies before mashing


7. Keep the flame on simmer. Add the thick coconut milk (If you are making the isthu for sadhya then add ½ or ¾ cup of coconut milk as you would need the ishtu to be more thicker) and give a gentle stir. Do not keep on flame for long. A minute or two is more than sufficient. Switch off the flame

8. Add the curry leaves and drizzle the coconut oil on top. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with idiyappams or appams


Notes


  • If you like you can add carrots too along with potato. Cut them in the same size as that of the potato and add along with the potatoes


Cheers,
Chitz

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Idiyappam | Nool Puttu | Sevai | How to make Kerala Idiyappam with rice flour | String Hoppers Recipe


Who doesn't love idiyappam? Well I know some folks who are not a great fan but setting them aside, many of you would love eating idiyappam right? For those who are not very aware of what it is, is a string hopper made from rice flour. Rice flour is made into a dough using hot water and then the dough is pressed into string hoppers and steamed. It is a very healthy and light on the tummy dish that can be had as a breakfast, dinner or snack. 

It pairs beautifully with many side dishes like Stew, Potato stew, Veg Kurma, Kadala Curry, Egg Curry, Chicken Curry, Chicken Stew, Mutton Stew.. And it can be had with simple sweetened (with sugar or jaggery) coconut milk or just sweetened milk. Kids love that combo. It can even be used as a base and made into other snacks like Masala Idiyappam, Sweet Sevai, Lemon Sevai or Tomato Sevai. While some find it a tedious process to make idiyappams, what I personally have experienced is, if there is some roasted rice flour handy, it can make a yummy and tasty breakfast within 15-20 minutes :) And there are some tips and tricks that I have learnt over the years for a fluffy and soft idiyappam which I am sharing below with you guys :)


What kind of rice flour should be used?

I always use plain rice flour for making idiyappams. Either roasted or plain. If it is not roasted, I roast it for a few minutes and then add water (boiling hot). If using roasted flour, then I do not roast it again but add hot water that has been heated to a rolling boil. I generally do not use store bought idiyappam flour but my mil uses it and it gives good results too. Some people use puttu flour to make idiyappam. If you have access to good quality rice flour or puttu or idiyappam flour, use that. Do not use old rice flour as it compromises the taste of the idiyappam

How much water to use?

I generally need around 1.3 cups of hot water for 1 cup of rice flour. It again depends on the quality of the rice flour. It takes around 1.25 to 1.5 cups of hot water for 1 cup of rice flour. Use hot water as it makes the dough smooth and soft. This is the key to soft idiyappams. Finally use your hands and knead to a smooth lump free dough. Also some use a mix of water and coconut milk (thick one) in an approximate ratio of 1:(0.3) to make softer idiyappams. I have not tried yet though :) coz making a smooth and soft dough always helps me in making soft idiyappams. Feel free to try adding coconut milk if you need. 

What makes the idiyappam hard?

1. Lesser water in the dough can make your idiyappam hard
So after using a spatula to mix the hot water onto the rice flour, use your hands and knead the dough to a smooth and soft texture. Any lumps should be removed. Feel the dough and you will know the difference. It should be as smooth as a baby bum :D 

2. If you over roast the flour, it can make the idiyappam hard or brittle 
Roast the flour on medium flame till it is hot and it starts to turn yellow at the bottom of the pan. The flour should turn from it's smooth consistency to a free flow consistency while you roast.

3. Keeping the dough open can make it dry and hence the idiyappam too
If you make a big batch of dough, keep the remaining dough (while you wait for the first batch to get steamed on the idly cooker) covered with a wet cloth and place it in a covered vessel. If you keep it open it will loose it's moisture and turn hard. Also use the entire batch immediately. I would not recommend to refrigerate the dough or use it later. 

4. Do not steam for more than 5-6 minutes
The rice flour would already have cooked almost half when you add hot water, so do not steam for a long time.It turns the idiyappam hard

So I believe I have covered and answered most of your queries. So let's see in detail how to make some soft and fluffy idiyappams with step by step pics. If you still have more questions feel free to drop a comment below or write to me :)






Makes: 12 nos


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 minutes



I Used:


Rice Flour/Idiyappam Flour - 1 cup
Salt - As Needed
Hot Water - 1.25 - 1.5 cups
Oil - 1-2 tbsp


The Way:



1. Take 1 cup rice flour in a kadai/pan. Add salt and mix. Heat the kadai on a low flame. If the rice flour that you have at hand is roasted, then ignore till step 4

2. Roast the rice flour for about 4-5 minutes on this low flame, stirring as frequently as possible to ensure that it doesn't get burnt at the bottom

3. Take care not to brown the flour. It should just start to turn yellow at the bottom of the kadai and the flour should become very hot to touch

4. Do not over roast as the flour as the idiyappam will become brittle. If the rice flour that you have at hand is roasted, then ignore the above steps


5. While roasting the flour, boil 1.5 - 2 cups water in a saucepan. When it starts boiling switch off the flame

6. Once the rice flour is roasted, add the hot water little by little and mix well using a ladle or spoon. You will need somewhere between 1.25 to 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice flour

7. Keep mixing using the spoon. When the heat becomes bearable, use your hands and knead gently to a smooth and soft dough. The dough should still be hot when you knead


8. If the dough looks dry, then add few drops of water and knead. If it is sticky then add few tablespoons of rice flour and knead

9. Once the dough is ready, take the idly moulds/plates and grease each mould with little oil and keep aside. If you prefer add little (1 tsp or more as per your liking) grated coconut into each moulds. In the step by step pics I have not added grated coconut but in the final pics idiyappam I have done that

10. You need an idiyappam maker to make this. It is a cylindrical shaped apparatus with a twister handle at the top end and perforated disc at the bottom end. The perforated disc comes in various shapes and sizes. If you choose a disc with smaller holes the idiyappam will be more thin


11. Now grease the idiyappam maker with little oil (inside the cylinder and on the perforated disc) if preferred. Divide the prepared dough into 2-3 portions and make a log with one portion and place it in the idiyappam maker. Cover the pan that contains the rest of the dough while you press the idiyappam using the first portion, else the dough will turn dry


12. Gently press (or turn the handle, depends on the type of the idiyappam maker that you have) the idiyappam maker and allow the dough to fall into concentric round circles onto the idly mould

13. I make 3-4 rounds of the dough in one mould. Make sure that the dough does not rise too high in one mould and touch the bottom of the idly plate that is placed on top. So eyeball the amount of dough to be pressed onto a mould based on that

14. In a similar manner press the dough onto the remaining idly moulds as well. Here in the below pic, in the final plate I have pressed the remaining flour all over the idly plate (as I didn't have enough dough to make another batch and wanted to do in one go) Hence it looks different


15. The dough has to be hot while pressing. So immediately after roasting and adding water and making the dough, press it onto the idly plates. Do not allow to rest the dough

16. In a pressure cooker or pan (in which you usually make idly), take 2 cups of water. Place the prepped idly stand into the cooker and switch on the flame

17. Allow the idiyappam to steam for 5-6 minutes in high flame. Do not use the weight if steaming in cooker. Then switch off and allow the steam to be released (takes 1-2 minutes)


18. Then remove the idly stand from the cooker, remove the idiyappams onto the plate or a casserole if serving later

Serve warm with sweetened Coconut Milk or sweetened Milk or Stew or Potato stew or or Veg Kurma or Kadala Curry or Egg Curry or Chicken Curry or Chicken Stew or Mutton Stew (The list is endless ;)) !

Cheers,
Chitz

Monday, 21 January 2019

Semiya Upma | Vermicelli Upma | Seviyan Upma | Easy Breakfast Recipes



I'm going on a spree and continuing to post breakfast recipes on a row now. This Semiya Upma is one of the most simple and quick fix recipe that you can make, especially if you are on an intense hunger pang and want something filling & yum to keep you through for a couple of hours. This can be had as a breakfast or dinner or even snack. Since it has veggies and also peanuts for the crunch, it can be had as such without any side dish but if you are a little particular you can have it with coconut chutney or peanut chutney :) It is such a simple dish that I thought twice before posting it but since I like it so much I thought I will go ahead and post it :)

Serves: 2 persons


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


I Used:


Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Urd Dal - 1 tsp
Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - A sprig
Roasted Vermicelli/Semiya - 1 cup
Onion - 1 no (medium sized - chopped)
Veggies (Carrot, Beans & Peas) - ¼ cup
Roasted Peanuts - ¼ cup
Green Chilly - 2-3 nos  
Water - 2 cups
Salt - As needed


The Way:


1. Heat oil in a kadai/pan. Roast the vermicelli for 3-4 minutes in low flame till it changes to golden. Take care not to burn. Once they turn golden, remove them onto a plate and keep them aside. If you are using peanuts and do not have the roasted ones, then add a tsp more of oil and roast the peanuts on low flame for 3-4 minutes till they turn crisp


2. Splutter mustard. When it splutters reduce the flame to simmer and add the urd dal and channa dal. Allow it to turn golden. Take care not to burn

3. Add curry leaves, chopped onions and green chilly. Saute. Add salt as well and saute till they slightly turn colour. I don't make them brown and just saute for 2-3 minutes 



4. Then add the chopped veggies (carrots, beans and green peas) and give a quick saute. Then add the roasted peanuts as well 

5. Now close the lid and allow the veggies to cook for around 3-4 minutes. Check in between and saute so that it does not burn and stick to the bottom

6. Once the veggies are cooked add water (refer notes) and check salt. It should taste salty. If not adjust salt. Allow the water to boil



7. Once it boils, reduce the flame and add the roasted vermicelli and keep constantly stirring with your other hand 

8. The vermicelli will absorb the water. Once the water is absorbed, close the pan with a lid and cook in low flame for about 4-5 minutes

9. One done, fluff it with a fork and serve



Garnish with little grated coconut and(or) coriander leaves before you serve ! Serve as is or with coconut chutney.

Notes:

  • I always use roasted vermicelli as it makes my life easier! If you are using unroasted one, then as the first step roast the vermicelli in a pan for 3-4 minutes in medium flame until you get a nice golden colour. Keep stirring else it will get burnt
  • You can add any veggies you want like carrot, beans, peas, capsicum, potato as per your personal choice
  • The quantity of water mentioned here is for a fluffy upma. I always use bambino vermicelli and the ratio works fine. If you are using some other brand, just check for the instructions behind the pack

Cheers,
Chitz

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Cherupayar Curry | Green Gram Gravy | Easy Side dish for Puttu


Since I talked quite a lot in my last post, I am in a mood for less talk and more business now ;) So what I am bringing to you today is a very easy side dish for the Puttu, the green gram gravy or the Cherupayar Curry. It is so easy that my entire preparation of puttu and this cherupayar gravy will be ready in less than 45 minutes. And since it is a legume it is quite healthy and makes the puttu-cherupayar combo a wholesome meal giving you carbs as well as protein. The only thing that will consume your time will be grating the coconut. If you have that handy then the rest is a breeze. So shall we see how to make this yummy gravy.. 

 


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

 

Serves : 2-3 persons


I Used:



Cherupayar/Green Gram - ½ cup
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Salt - As Needed
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

To Grind:
Grated Coconut - ½ cup
Cumin Seeds - ½ tsp
Green Chilly - 2 nos - slit


To Temper:
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Shallots - 6-8 nos - sliced

The Way:


1. Rinse the green gram in water 2-3 times. Then take them in a pressure cooker. Add enough water (around 2-2.5 cups) and salt. Pressure cook them till done. I keep 2-3 whistles in high and 8-10 whistles in sim flame

2. The green gram should be cooked till they turn soft and mushy. If you want to reduce the cooking time then soak the green gram in water overnight or for 3 hours before cooking

3. While the green gram is getting cooked, grind together the grated coconut, green chillies & cumin seeds to a smooth paste along with little water


4. Once the green gram is cooked, allow the pressure to release naturally. Then add the ground paste and turmeric powder and give a nice stir

5. Allow them to cook on simmer for 3-4 minutes till they come together and then switch off the flame


6. Now in another tadka/small pan, heat coconut oil. Add the sliced shallots. Reduce the flame and saute them till they change colour to golden brown. Take care that they are not burnt

7. Once they change colour, switch off flame and add them to the green gram gravy. Add the curry leaves and give a gentle stir


Serve hot with Puttu !

Cheers,
Chitz

Monday, 7 January 2019

Kerala Puttu Recipe | How to Make Soft Puttu at home | Kerala Style Kuzha Puttu Recipe

Steamed Rice Flour Logs with Grated Coconut 


Happy New Year folks.. This is my first post this year and I have been prepping this post for a while now ;) and is quite a long one too. And finally the nuances and details that I have learnt so far in making the yummy and healthy Kerala puttu is here for you all to read.

Puttu, a staple breakfast (or dinner too) of the Kerala cuisine is everything but soul and comfort food to many Malayalees.. Healthy, easy on the tummy as well as to prepare, it is one of the best breakfasts that can be had. And that would definitely be one dish that Mallus miss while going abroad to countries where Kerala restaurants are not very widely found. You can make the course as simple as you want with just the puttu paired with some bananas and sugar or make it as heavy as you like for an elaborate dinner menu with erachi puttu and the likes :)

Puttu with the spicy Kadala curry (black chickpeas gravy) or Cherupayar curry (Green Gram gravy) features regularly in our weekend breakfast menus :) And my little one likes it the best with small bananas (Njali Poovan) and sugar. Also the deep fried pappadom (pappads) can be served with any combo, be it the kadala curry or cherupayar gravy or with bananas. It just complements with everything and takes up the meal a notch higher ;) Sometimes we have the puttu paired just with the pappadam. Even that is a different combo and tastes yum.. And the baap (father) of all these combos is puttu with Nadan Chicken curry.

At times when we feel like having a Kerala special dinner, we make puttu with the chicken gravy and fried chicken. That combo is just bliss and can make a mallu feel at home even when you are miles apart from the God's own country ;) And last but not least there is one more way you can eat puttu, that is with fish curry.. Be it the fiery red fish curry without coconut (Meen Mulakittathu) or the yummy creamy coconutty yellow fish curry (Kerala Fish curry with coconut), each makes the puttu taste yum and divine and brings back a lot of fond food memories to every Malayalee, right? ;)

Another way of making this simple dish more rich & heavier is to make erachi puttu. Here instead of the coconut layer in between the rice flour layers you prepare a masala using beef and use that as the stuffing. It tastes really yum and for this you do not need any other side dish :) You can also do many variants of this puttu like chicken keema puttu, chemmeen (prawns) puttu, pazham (banana/fruit) puttu and many more. Just let your imagination go wild and you can come up with many options and varieties. In Kerala, there are is a chain of restaurant "Dhe Puttu" which serves you exclusively with wide varieties and combinations of puttu. If you like puttu and would love to try some yummy and exotic varieties then you should definitely try this restaurant when you are in Kerala..

Now coming to how to prepare this easy yet yummy dish.. Traditionally in olden times , puttu was steamed in bamboo logs, which gave the puttu a nice aroma and an earthy fragrance. Nowadays we use the aluminium or stainless steel puttu kudam (bottom pot like vessel) and kutti (upper cylindrical log vessel). If you do not want to buy the puttu kudam then also you have an option to make puttu. You get to buy the puttu kutti alone which can be used in combination with a pressure cooker to make puttu. You take water in the cooker and boil it with the lid closed. When water starts to boil, steam will come out the nozzle (where you insert the weight) of the pressure cooker lid. Then gently place the puttu kutti (It comes with a small insertable hole at the bottom) on the pressure cooker nozzle and steam as you would generally do with a normal puttu kutti.

If you do not have any sort of puttu kuttis or apparatus with you to make puttu, still you can make puttu. Prepare the flour and spread them on idly plates and steam that in an idly cooker or pressure cooker. Finally when done, take the steamed rice flour in a bowl or vessel and add grated coconut and mix and serve. There is yet another versatile way that is still followed in many Kerala households, using coconut shell aka chiratta :) With that all you need is a pressure cooker to make the yummy puttu. If interested read here on how to make the yummy Chiratta puttu without a puttu making apparatus :D And nowadays the shell shaped stainless steel apparatus (that resembles the chiratta) is also available in markets :)

Now that we have talked quite a lot about the apparatus to make the puttu, let's discuss on the rice flour details. Basically the puttu flour is nothing but coarsely ground rice flour.. Either white rice or red rice or a combination of both can be used. If you are buying the rice flour, there are many brands available in market. The white rice flour would be called puttu podi and the red rice flour would be called chemba puttu podi. My mom buys the packet flour whereas my mil still partly follows the traditional way of prepping the rice at home and giving them to flour mill to be ground to the coarse puttu podi. And me and most of my friends can vouch that this way of preparing the flour guarantees the softest puttu that you can ever make or would have ever had :) It is way way way better than any store bought brands and packets of puttu podi. If you have access to a mill then I would strongly recommend you to follow this method as you can wow your family and friends with super soft homemade puttu :)

She uses white raw rice (pachari) and red rice (matta) in the ratio of 3:5. She rinses the rice in water and then dries them on large dhotis or cloth. Then they are given to the mill where it is coarsely ground to the puttu flour. If you are giving large quantities then they also roast the flour after grinding them. If they are not roasting it, make sure you do that. Roast the flour for a few minutes (4-5) before using. If you do not use the flour frequently, make sure that you roast them and store as it increases the shelf life and reduces the chance of them getting molds. Another method that I follow when I run out of store bought and homemade puttu podis is that I make them myself. I soak 1 cup red rice and 1 cup raw rice overnight in water. Then next day morning I drain them for sometime say 30 minutes. It should not become completely dry, some moisture should be there. Then grind them coarsely without water. You need not roast this podi nor add water and prep it. Just add salt and make puttu directly with it :) This method I learned from a dear blogger friend Rafee :) And also you can prepare puttu using flours of other cereals like wheat, sorgum (cholam/corn), ragi and oats in addition to rice.

And now coming to how to prepare the ground and roast puttu podi or rice flour, I have detailed 2 methods below. I used to generally use the first method for store bought flour and second method for the flour given to me by mil (the one where the flour is ground in flour mill). But nowadays I find that I can use the second method for store bought flour as well. It makes the prep easier as well as confusion free as you need not bother about the quantity of water required to prep the flour ;) So I know that I have talked a lot today but wanted to share all that I have learnt and experienced so far and hence went ahead and wrote this quite a long post :) Hope some of you might find this useful. If so do write back so that it makes my day too :)




I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

 

Serves : 2 persons


I Used:


Rice Flour/Store Bought Puttu Podi  - 1 cup *(refer notes)
Salt - ½ tsp
Water - 1 cup (or As Needed)
Grated Coconut - ½ cup

The Way:


Method 1:


I use this method with store bought puttu flour. This method is slightly tricky as you need to eyeball and decide the amount of water needed for the rice flour. And the quantity of water depends on the quality of the rice flour that you are using. Nowadays I sometimes follow the 2nd method for store bought flour as well. If the water ratio is more for that particular flour, then I add little more flour and adjust and vice versa.

1. Take the puttu podi/flour in a wide pan/vessel and add salt as needed

2. Now start sprinkling water little by little and mix the podi/flour, a little at a time, with your finger tips. Mix thoroughly and make sure there are no lumps present. Wet the flour a small portion at a time so that it is easy to handle and also ensures that the lumps formed are lesser and easier to break. You can see that the volume of the flour increases once you start adding water to it

3. The amount of water required depends on the quality of the puttu podi/rice flour that you use. And the softness of the puttu depends on the flour and water ratio. If the water is less then the puttu will turn dry and if the water is more it will turn lumpy and you will not get the nice grainy texture

4. Hence mix the flour well till you reach a breadcrumb consistency. The flour should be wet and not lumpy. You can test for the right consistency by pressing a small portion of the flour in your fist, it should form a firm shape and not crumble. When you press it a little more it should break and crumble



5. Break all the tiny crumbs with your finger tips. You can do this by taking small batches of the wet flour in the small jar of the mixer-grinder and grind them using the pulse option (only). This will ensure a smooth and lump free flour (for pics see method 2)

6. Now take 2 cups of water (2/3 rd of the base vessel) in the base vessel. Keep on stove and heat it

7. Meanwhile, let's fill the cylindrical part with the puttu podi/flour. First place the perforated disc inside the cylindrical vessel. Then add 2-3 tablespoon of grated coconut in the cylindrical vessel. It should be spread evenly and should not stay in a slanting position



8. Then gently add 2-3 handfuls of the prepared flour evenly on top of the coconut in the cylindrical vessel. The amount of flour to be added depends on your preference and the length of the puttu kutti (cylindrical vessel). If you want 2 pieces of puttu, then fill almost half of the kutti with the prepared flour. Alternate with 2-3 tablespoons of grated coconut. If you want three pieces of the puttu from one kutti, then fill about 1/3 rd of the kutti with the prepared flour and alternate with 2-3 tablespoons of grated coconut

9. Once done cover the top portion with 2-3 tablespoons of grated coconut and spread evenly. Close with the top lid



10. By now water must have come to a boil in the bottom vessel. Now place the cylindrical vessel on top of the bottom vessel. In the pic you can see that I have used a small piece of cloth at the top of the cylindrical vessel. This is because after long use (or if the quality of the vessel is poor), the bottom of the cylindrical vessel starts to crack. Then the steam from the bottom vessel will start to escape through those cracks rather than steaming the puttu in the cylindrical vessel. In order to prevent that the top of the bottom vessel is covered with a wet cotton piece of cloth which does not allow the steam to escape

11. After placing the cylindrical vessel of top of the bottom vessel, steam the puttu on high flame till you see steam releasing from the top vents of the lid. Then reduce the flame to sim and allow it to steam for another 4-5 minutes



12. Then switch off the flame. Carefully remove the top part of the vessel from the bottom part. The vessel will be very hot and hence handle carefully. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes

13. Using the back side of a spoon or the stick that comes with the puttu vessel, gently push the steamed puttu from the bottom end of the cylindrical vessel and allow it to slide on to a plate or a serving dish

Method 2:

This method I religiously follow for the rice flour that is ground in mills. The 1:1 ratio of flour and water just works perfectly fine every time. Here raw rice (pachari) and red rice (matta) are taken in the ratio 3:5 and rinsed well and dried. Then is given for grinding into coarse flour in flour mills. Then it is roasted on a low-medium flame for 4-5 minutes. And you can store this roasted flour in air tight containers for future use. While making puttu, follow the below steps.

1. Take 1 cup rice flour in a wide pan/vessel. Add the salt and mix


2. Now add 1 cup water (same ratio as the rice flour) to the rice flour. Do not mix, just pour water to the rice flour and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes



3. After 20 minutes, you can see that the rice flour has absorbed all water. Now using your fingertips gently break the flour and make it lump free. The flour would have doubled in volume now. Do not omit this step, else the flour will be lumpy and will not become grainy as needed



4. Now take small batches of the prepared flour in the small jar of the mixer-grinder and grind them using the pulse option (only) for 2-3 pulses. This will ensure a smooth and lump free flour (for pics see method 2)



5. Now take 2 cups of water (2/3 rd of the base vessel) in the base vessel. Keep on stove and heat it

6. Meanwhile, let's fill the cylindrical part with the puttu podi/flour. First place the perforated disc inside the cylindrical vessel. Then add 2-3 tablespoon of grated coconut in the cylindrical vessel. It should be spread evenly and should not stay in a slanting position



7. Then gently add 2-3 handfuls of the prepared flour evenly on top of the coconut in the cylindrical vessel. The amount of flour to be added depends on your preference and the length of the puttu kutti (cylindrical vessel). If you want 2 pieces of puttu, then fill almost half of the kutti with the prepared flour. Alternate with 2-3 tablespoons of grated coconut. If you want three pieces of the puttu from one kutti, then fill about 1/3 rd of the kutti with the prepared flour and alternate with 2-3 tablespoons of grated coconut

8. Once done cover the top portion with 2-3 tablespoons of grated coconut and spread evenly. Close with the top lid



9. By now water must have come to a boil in the bottom vessel. Now place the cylindrical vessel on top of the bottom vessel. In the pic you can see that I have used a small piece of cloth at the top of the cylindrical vessel. This is because after long use (or if the quality of the vessel is poor), the bottom of the cylindrical vessel starts to crack. Then the steam from the bottom vessel will start to escape through those cracks rather than steaming the puttu in the cylindrical vessel. In order to prevent that the top of the bottom vessel is covered with a wet cotton piece of cloth which does not allow the steam to escape

10. After placing the cylindrical vessel of top of the bottom vessel, steam the puttu on high flame till you see steam releasing from the top vents of the lid. Then reduce the flame to sim and allow it to steam for another 4-5 minutes

11. Then switch off the flame. Carefully remove the top part of the vessel from the bottom part. The vessel will be very hot and hence handle carefully. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes



12. Using the back side of a spoon or the stick that comes with the puttu vessel, gently push the steamed puttu from the bottom end of the cylindrical vessel and allow it to slide on to a plate or a serving dish

Enjoy hot with kadala curry or cherupayar curry or banana and sugar or pappadoms :)


Notes:

  • If using home made rice flour or mill ground flour, make sure to roast the flour for a few minutes before prepping the flour for making puttu
  • If you do not have the apparatus for making puttu, you can prep the flour and spread them on idly plates and steam them for 5-7 minutes in an idly cooker or pressure cooker. Also you can make chiratta puttu (refer the link for details)
  • For more methods on how to make puttu without the actual puttu kudam & kutti, read the foreword of this post 

Cheers,
Chitz