Monday, April 1, 2013

Red rice puttu and Kadala curry


Today's treat is Puttu made with store-bought red rice flour. A very healthy and delicious breakfast. I prepared this dish for the 1st time after my marriage. I love it so much so that whenever i visit to my hometown makes different types of puttus specially for me using different ingredients ie semolina puttu or white rice puttus or ragi puttu.But never tried this red rice puttu.
During my growing up years my mom typically made puttu from scratch. This dish is quite popular in South-India. I love to have it with coconut, little sugar sprinkled, and banana. DH loves to accompany it with kadala curry. You can find the recipe for kadala curry here. Puttu is a breakfast dish of steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with coconut eaten usually with papadum, plantain, fish curry, jackfruit, mango, chicken curry and kadala curry. It is highly popular in the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as in many areas of Sri Lanka, where it is also known as pittu. Puttu is made by slowly adding water to ground rice until the correct texture is achieved. It is then spiced, formed and steamed with layers of grated coconut and served hot for breakfast. Puttu is generally cooked in a metal puttu kutti vessel with two sections. The lower section holds water and the upper section holds the puttu รข�� where the rice mixture is inserted with layers of grated coconut. Perforated lids separate the sections to allow the steam to pass between them. The best point to taste puttu is any of the tea shops in the villages of Kerala where it is served hot along with spicy kadala



Ingredients:
For puttu
  • 2 cups Red rice puttu flour
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Freshly grated coconut
  • 2tbsp Sugar
  • Water as required (approx 2/3 cup)
For kadala curry:
  • 1 cup Black Chick Peas/Kadala (soaked overnight in water) -
  • 2 large Onion (sliced)
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 11/2 cup Coconut
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera/cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel seed/saunf
  • 3 tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 tsp Sambar or garam masala powder
  • 3 Green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 spring Curry leaves
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp Coconut or any veg oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix shredded coconut with sugar and keep aside.
  2. Take red rice flour in a wide bowl, mix it with salt,you can add little more if you want.
  3. Sprinkle Hot water little by little on red rice flour and mix it well (do not use spoon for mixing, use your hand to sprinkle water and mixing) gently mix it continuously until the flour becomes moist. It should be a bread crumb consistency and not form a dough. (you can make a ball shape with the mixed flour but when u broke the ball , it should be able to crumble back again..thats the perfect consistency)
  4. Once you finished mixing,keep aside at least an hour covered
  5. Puttu is generally cooked in a metal puttu kutti vessel with two sections. The lower section holds water and the upper section holds the puttu where the rice mixture is inserted with layers of grated coconut. Perforated lids separate the sections to allow the steam to pass between them.
  6. A number of alternative cooking vessels are used, such as traditional vessels where a perforated coconut shell is attached to a section of bamboo, or a chiratta puttu made of a coconut shell or of metal shaped similarly to a coconut shell.
  7. But today i am here with one more interesting puttu maker.I have used my chakli maker and one small chembu/pot underneath to hold the water.
  8. Fill the pot (the broader vessel) with 11/2 cups of water. Close the top with the given lid that has the nozzle.Start heating it.
  9. Now take the cylindrical puttu maker/ puttu kuzhal ,grease it lightly with some coconut oil(to fill the processed rice flour) and Place the round perforated disc with holes inside the puttu mould such that it fits well at the bottom of the mould. Place 2 tbsps of grated coconut at the bottom of the puttu mould. Carefully and slowly pour about 6 tbsps of the puttu powder from a height followed by another layer of 2 tbsps of grated coconut. Again layer with 6 tbsps of puttu powder and finish off with 2 tbps of grated coconut on the top. Place the lid over the puttu mould annd place the mould over the water vessel.If you are using idli maker then spread the moist rice flour in the idli pan and spread some grated coconut.Cover it with a lid and cook until we see steam out of the top of puttu maker or idli steamer.
  10. Then continue heating for 5 minutes and switch off.
  11. Turn off heat and wait for 2 to 3 mts before removing the puttu from the mould with the help of a wooden ladle or spoon. Hold the puttu mould parallel to the serving plate and with the help of a long ladle gently push the bottom disc such that the puttu slides onto the plate. Serve warm with Kadala curry or banana and pappadam.

Kadala/chickpea curry:
  1. Soak Chick Peas overnight in water. Cook it in pressure cooker adding enough water and salt.
  2. First Grind half of the onions,ginger and garlic to paste and keep aside.
  3. Now Grind coconut and fennel seeds to smooth paste using a cup of water.
  4. Heat little oil in a pan and ground onion paste and saute until brown colour.
  5. Now add chopped tomatoes into the onion paste and cook till soft and mushy. Add all the spice powder ,half of the curry leaves, half of the sliced onions and sliced green chilies cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add cooked chick peas along with water into the pan. Mix well and allow it to boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the ground paste into the curry & mix well. Simmer it for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Now prepare the tempering by heating 2tsp of coconut /any veg oil in a small pan add mustard,let it splutter,then add curry leaves and switch off the gas and pour this over the curry.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with puttu.
Tip for Kadala curry:
  • if you want the nice nutty flavour then Heat little oil in a pan and fry grated coconut till golden brown and then ground it to paste along with fennel seeds.
Tips for Puttu:
  1. If you are making puttu using chakli maker then choose exact fitting pot so that the steam doesn't escape from the bottom while boiling or secure it with a thin cloth at the bottom to make sure the steam passes through inside the cylinder/chakli maker. 
  2. You can add little of ghee to get softer puttu.
  3. The right consistency of puttu powder is achieved when you take the prepared flour in your fist and close it to form shape. Leave aside this prepared rice mixture for an hour or two at room temperature. When the mixture sits, water is absorbed. After sitting time of 1 or 2 hours, if you find that the mixture is slightly dry, add a little more water and mix.
  4. Once the puttu is steamed, remove the mould and leave it aside for 3-5 minutes and then gently push the finished puttu onto a plate.
  5. Store bought puttu podi/powder can be used right away.
  6. If using any other rice flour then you need to roast it on low flame for 5-7 minutes before using it.
  7. Rice flour can be prepared at home. Soak rice for 1-2 hours, drain the water and dry the rice on a cloth. Once dry, grind to a powder. Roast this rice flour on low flame for 4-5 minutes or till you get the nice roasted aroma and moisture free and slips off the ladle. Spread this powder on a plate and leave aside for a few minutes before using.Prepare this flour in advance and store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for a month.

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