Against the backdrop of coffee plantations is a staggering bounty of indigenous greens, weeds, flowers, fruits, berries, nuts, mushrooms and shoots, many of which play a starring role in the local cuisine. Coorg’s jungle bounty includes wild pepper, wild ginger, wild cloves, bitter local oranges known as kachampuli, rose apples, jungle mangoes, plums, several kinds of bamboo shoots, and over 60 ferns. Locals keep their eyes open to what’s growing around them, constantly sizing up culinary possibilities. This is what makes Coorg special. It’s wildness.
Coorg is also known for its honey, made from wild roses and forest blooms. We grew up drizzling this on hot paputtu’s or akki /rice rotis, and ghee for breakfast. Today, I introduce to you one of the most effortless, Coorg dish Paputtu which makes a classic combination with Koli/chicken curry.
‘Paputtu’, basically is a shorter version of ‘paal puttu’. Paal is milk while Puttu is steamed rice cakes usually cooked with milk and shredded coconut. The flavours and fragrance of warm cardamom, creamy coconut and milk, mingle to perfection in this steamed rice cake. Traditionally like Kadambuttus, Paputtu is traditionally cooked in a steamer called as ‘Sekala’. The Thari’ or coarse rice powder used here is a slightly coarser grain than what is used for Kaddambuttu.
This recipe is fairly quick and effortless and doesn’t include hours of fermenting the batter. Paputtu’s can be served as delicacy for lunch or dinner while for breakfasts a sweeter version is served.
Here is how to make Paputtu at home.
2 cups thari or coarse rice rava
1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh grated coconut
2 cups whole milk / light coconut milk
2 cups water
1 tsp cardamom powder
Salt to taste
Oil to grease
- A steamer (*Traditionally a sekala is used to steam puttus. But a wide pressure cooker or idli steamers that can accommodate the plates will suffice)
- 2 deep steel plates as used to make Dhoklas
- Flat wooden sticks or chopsticks to separate the plates when stacking in the Sekala
- Wash the rice thari and soak for 1/2 an hour in the 2 cups of water
- Add the milk, cardamom and salt and mix well
- Squeeze the fresh grated coconut to extract a little milk and add it all to the mixture
- Grease the plates with little oil
- Pour the prepared mixture into the greased plates till two-thirds full to allow room for the thari to expand
- Divide equally between plates and steam for 25-30 minutes or until done
- The puttu should look firm, with no soggy bits in the centre. Cover the plates with a clean tea cloth and allow the puttu to cool a little before cutting into pieces.
- Best eaten with Chicken/Koli curry, Mutton/Erachi curry or Egg curry. Chutneys and veg curries are also good accompaniments to these puttus
For more recipes from Coorg, try these:
- Bale Murukk: Coorg Banana Fritters
- Morkoole : Coorg style Curd rice
- Kaad Mange Curry: Coorg Mango Curry
- Akki Roti
- Pandi Curry : Coorg Pandi Curry
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Love & Hugs,