Sunday, February 6, 2011

Puttu & Kadala curry(Steamed flour-coconut mix with Black Garbanzo curry)…!!

Yes,even I am amazed that I never blogged about this..Well,not really..I will tell you why in a minute..For those who don't know/haven’t heard about Puttu –Kadala curry,It can be termed as the King of all Kerala breakfast items.The quintessential nostalgic fragrant-memory that drives all the Malayali’s nuts,especially who are away from their home.Puttu, is the flour of your choice ,wetted ,layered with fresh coconut flakes and steamed in a puttu maker.Its usually long and cylindrical in shape(taking the shape of the vessel).Kadala curry is black garbanzo beans cooked in a spicy gravy of roasted coconut and traditional spices.These two are a match made in heaven..!:)
There are few fragrances that are close to my heart and the fragrance of coconut being roasted with spices for the preparation of this Kadala curry,easily tops the list.I have talked before in this space about ,how it had the power to kick me out of bed on those lazy weekend mornings.Mom used to pair it with hot pristine Ari puttu as well as lacy pillowy appams..But I like it more with the Puttu..Puttu-Kadala-boiled egg-a glass of piping hot tea-This makes the best breakfast in the whole wide world,for me..:)
When I make it,I want it to be in full perfection..So I make it from scratch,right from roasting the flour for puttu..Hence it requires some time,planning and quick multitasking ,especially when you are making it way past 10 AM on a hungry weekend morning…yea ,am cool like that..:D..The whole thing should be made and had fresh off from the no cooking at evenings and refrigerating it for next morning,though I have to do that with left-over's to feed our hungry stomach’s for the weekdays that come after..and let me tell you when that fragrance of the Kadala curry hits you,your already hungry stomach just starts kicking your now you know why I didn't blog this before..I simply didn't have the patience to wait and click pictures..and that explains the half-hearted pics you see here..quite genuine ,right? :D
I have always got so many requests for this recipe..sorry all you readers,for being so late..But I have tried to compensate it by giving it out in real detail.Hope that helps you all..Don't be scared by the length..its quite a breeze..:) You can only go so much wrong,may be with wetting the flour..but that will definitely be ok with lil care and practice..I still remember the dreaded rock hard puttu n flavorless kadala curry in college hostel..
How to make Puttu ?
* To make puttu you will need a puttu maker which is an apparatus consisting of a puttu cooker which is a small cooker kind of thing with steam vent,a puttu holder which is a steel cylindrical vessel,a small disc all sieved that fits inside the cylinder,a steel rod with a holder.
There are round/elliptical shaped ones and also cute small single ones made with chiratta(coconut shell) also in market ,but the authentic picture of puttu in a Malayali's mind is always cylindrical.well,it IS for me..
I don't use the puttu cooker,instead use the regular cooker.

For 1 cylinder full of puttu you will need:
1 Cup Flour (white rice /red rice(chemba) /wheat)(I like chemba puttu the most..They turn out so soft like small round pillows :))
3/4-1 Cup fresh grated coconut (not dried)
*Now with this amount of rice and coconut you may have a mix for more than 1 cylinder puttu,depending on the size of it.I always get half more of cylinder with it)
In a pan roast the flour,sautéing it continuously .Don't let it turn brown.The flour should just get very hot and then the roasted smell would come out.
Take the flour in a plate or bowl ,and mix it with salt.
Fill a puttu cooker or regular cooker with water and switch on the stove to a high heat to let the steam come out in full force through the whistle-opening.
When the flour is slightly cooled,slowly drizzle water little at a time,rubbing the flour after each drizzle..Keep repeating until the whole flour is just wet,not soaked will see tiny balls of flour and when held in your fist it will form a wet clump.This process called 'podi nanakkal'(wetting the flour) is the key to making yummy puttu.The wet flour should be just as it should be,not soaking wet or too dry.
Once the flour and the coconut mix is ready ,put the 'chillu'(disc with holes) in the puttu maker (don't forget that..:D ) and pop in few tablespoons of coconut as first layer.Then top it with a handful of flour.repeat the process until the puttu maker is filled to almost top.The top layer should be coconut.
When the steam starts coming out in full strength from the cooker-whistle-hole,put the puttu maker over it and close the lid.
After few mins you will notice the steam coming out the holes of the puttu maker lid.
Let it steam for few more mins (2-4) after that, depending on the flour used.Wheat flour might take longer time comparatively.
Take out the puttu maker ,open and with the rod,pop out the steaming hot puttu from the rear end.
The cylinder should be just loosely filled,not tightly packed.
The cylinder should not be filled to brim,overflowing it.
Overcooking will make the puttu go hard.
Some like to just mix the flour and coconut and fill the maker,instead of layering it..but the layering gives it the best flavor as the steam seeps through each layer and gives such a perfect and pretty final outcome..:)
Using the same method ,you can layer the flour with this shrimp roast mix or chicken roast mix to get the very yummy chemmeen puttu or erachi puttu.
Vegetarians can substitute that with fresh grated carrots or beans or pre-cooked peas for a nutritious version.
You will just have to steam for a little longer time as the steam will take bit more to find its way through these layers.
So we have the puttu now ...All we need is the ubiquitously awesome Kadala curry (Black garbanzo bean curry).Well,in real life don't wait to make the puttu and then go make the have to have the puttu piping hot with this curry.So better start off with the curry and when its in the final stage, you can quickly make the puttu.
To make the Kadala curry/Black chana curry you need:
1 Cup Black garbanzo beans (kadala) pre-soaked and cooked in a pressure cooker with little salt and lil
turmeric powder
Meanwhile ,In a pan heat 1 tsp oil and roast:
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp pepper corns
a small one inch stick of cinnamon
2 small cloves
a small pearl onion sliced fine (kochulli)
4-5 curry leaves
When they give out that great aroma pop in,
3/4-1 cup of Fresh grated coconut.
keep sautéing and roasting till the coconut turns golden brown.Don't wait for it to turn dark.
Immediately switch off heat and add:
2 tsp chilli powder
3 tsp coriander powder
and mix and sauté it along with the roasted coconut mix till the powders are nicely roasted.
Cool the mix a little and blend it to fine powder,without adding water.water dilutes the roasted taste while blending.
Open the cooker ,and add the blended coconut mix and :
1 small tomato chopped
Mix well,add more warm water if needed ,lower the heat and close the cooker .
Let the gravy blend with the chana/Kadala and the tomatoes soften for a while.
Afterwards,open the cooker and do the tempering.
For that heat:
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
and pop in:
1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 broken dried red chillies
handful of curry leaves
Add also:
1/4 cup of fresh coconut slices
and sauté till the coconut slices turn golden.
Finally add 2 pinches of fenugreek powder to this,mix and pour over the gravy.
Close and let rest for a while if possible ,before use.
I wont give a verdict for this,because its just too awesome for that.Do try the recipe if you have been freaking out from making this all the time..n do get back to me..ok?:)
Happy cooking ..
xo :) StumbleUpon
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