One of my all time favourite, all time food combinations – steam cake & steamed banana. We Malayalees coloquially call it puttu & pazham.
Puttu like other Kerala breakfast food items is made of rice powder and preapred by steaming. It is a dry sort of item, so the accompaniment needs to be wet. Otherwise, you’ll tell me the puttu you suggested to taste was so dry it stuck to the walls of your throat. It happened, yes, to my neighbour who was so upset after tasting puttu at some kerala restaurant she asked me, what is so tasty about this dry meal. I couldn’t help but laugh! Then I prepared puttu for them with a loose gravy of bengal gram, and showed them how to eat it 🙂 food is important, so is the combination and how you have it.
The usual sides for puttu are anything with a coconut milk gravy, since it is the easiest of things ro make if there is readymade coconut milk in a tetrapack, or the coconut milk powder or grated coconut. If not, make a gravy with any stock, the main ingriedient of the dish could be any meat, fish or vegetable or even paneer. My mother loves her bowl of puttu with homemade ghee and sugar, I love it with any variety of banana like in the picture. Or sometimes i drop two or three tablespoons of puttu into my mug of coffee. You get it, don’t you. It can be had with anything. I haven’t tried it with toor or urad dall but we make a side dish with moong dal. But puttu and kadala is a standard combination.
Puttu like water takes the shape of the vessel it is prepared. The puttu in this post is made in semi circular coconut shells, streamed on the nossle of a pressure cooker. These days, there are semicircular puttu moulds to prepare it. Otherwise, puttu is cylindrical in shape. A kind of a vessel is available in the market, a combination of a pot and a cylinder. Boil the water in the pot over the gas stove, aseemble the prepared rice powder and coconut mix in the cylindrical mould, place it over the boiling pot, and puttu is cooked with the steam from the boiling water from the pot. Or, if you don’t have any of these moulds, you can make loose puttu in a rice cooker.