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Kerala Cuisine - Puttu with Kadala Curry

Puttu is one of the most iconic breakfast dishes of Kerala which is made with rice flour and coconut. It is mostly served with Kadala curry (black chickpeas curry), fish curry and for a light breakfast or snack people even like to have it with ripe bananas, sugar and ghee.

Photo source: Varun Nair


In the olden days, Puttu was made steamed in a bamboo shell or a coconut shell, which gave it a very unique earthy flavour. Now the pressure cooker and the Puttu Kudam/Puttu Maker have replaced the bamboo and coconut shells.


  1. Rice flour

  2. 1/2 cup of warm water (only to moist the flour)

  3. 1/2 cup of grated coconut

  4. 1/2 tsp of salt


  • Dry roast the rice flour over medium flame and stir continuously until you see steam coming out from it. After 3-4 minutes remove it from the stove and leave it to cool.

  • Mix salt and rice flour well together, add little water to make it moist and mix well until a crumbly consistency is reached. (We know the consistency is right when it holds a shape when pressed in between your fist and when pressed more it breaks and crumbles off)

  • Fill the pressure cooker/ Puttu Kudam (or any steaming apparatus you are using) with water until it is 2/3 full and place it on the stove.

  • Fill the bottom of the mould with 2-3 tbsp of grated coconut then, fill it with the prepared rice flour until it is halfway filled.

  • Add another layer of grated coconut and fill the rest with the prepared rice flour and finally sprinkle some grated coconut on the top.

  • Steam for about 6-10 minutes, when the Puttu is ready the steam starts coming out from the lid.

  • Unmould it and serve it hot!

Note: Sugar or jaggery powder is also added to the rice flour if we wish to have Puttu without a side dish.


Kadala Curry

Kadala Curry is a spicy chickpea curry, usually served with Puttu, Appam, Idiyappam, rice, or even dosa. It has a coconut and coriander base, which forms the prominent flavour. Puttu and Kadala Curry are a very famous combination for breakfast in Kerala.


  1. 2 cups of black chickpea (soaked overnight)

  2. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

  3. 1/2 cup + 2tbsp of chopped onions

  4. 3/4 cup of grated coconut

  5. 4 dry red chillies (according to preference)

  6. 4 tbsp coriander seeds

  7. Few curry leaves

  8. 1/2 cup + 2tbsp of sliced shallots (or use red onions)

  9. Garlic cloves

  10. 1/2 tsp of jeera powder

  11. 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

  12. 2 tbsp + 2 tsp oil (preferably coconut oil)

  13. 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds


  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the grated coconut, coriander seeds, red chillies, and curry leaves. Roast until the coriander seeds turn dark golden brown.

  • Once done, turn off the flame, add 2 tbsp of chopped onion, jeera powder, ginger-garlic paste, asafoetida, and turmeric powder. Turn on the flame and cook it well. Now, leave it aside to cool.

  • Grind all these spices with little water to make a paste. Transfer the paste and soaked chickpeas to a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 3-5 whistles and wait until the steam releases.

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add some mustard seeds, wait for it to pop, add 1 tbsp of chopped onions, and some curry leaves. Roast until the onions turn golden brown.

  • Once roasted, transfer the cooked chickpea curry to the pan. Add garam masala, salt and bring it to boil.

  • Serve the Kadala curry hot with Puttu.

Thanks to Ms. Banumathi for sharing the recipe with us.


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Muthu Arumugam
Muthu Arumugam
Apr 04, 2022

Please fix the recipe for newbies! It has 2 onion listed. Missing garam masala. Also, please mention the amount of water in the cooker in cups if possible.

Aug 08, 2022
Replying to

Hi Muthu, - Two different varieties of onions are used in this recipe. Yellow onions (regular onions) usually have a strong flavour whereas, shallots are a little sweeter than regular onions and have a more subtle flavour.

- The amount of water will vary according to the size of the cooker. Fill the cooker until it's 2/3 full.

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