Vijayadashami in Seeplaputhur, and Kuzal Puttu!
Each time we visit our village for the function, the ever smiling Rukmini has a tough time preparing about eight kilograms of sundal prasadam for distribution, and also the entire day’s meals for us. We relish her idlis which looked like white sponge balls and the hot crisp black gram dal vadais took us to new heights. She says that she used eight parts of idly rice and one part of black gram dal for the idly batter not forgetting to soak a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds along with it.
Here is Rukmini’s recipe for Kuzal Puttu.
PREPARATION OF THE RICE FOR THE PUTTU
1.Wash 500 gms of raw rice and drain well.
2. Spread the drained rice on a cloth or a paper to remove all dampness.
3. When it is dry, grind the rice into a fine flour.
4. Bundle the rice flour in a clean cloth and place it in a vessel, and steam in a pressure cooker for five minutes.
5. Break the lumps, sift if needed and air the flour, and store in a dry air tight container.
6. This flour can be used to make Puttu as and when reuired.
INGREDIENTS FOR KUZAL PUTTU
1. Puttu flour – 2 cups
2. Grated jaggery – 1 cup
3. Grated fresh coconut – 1 cup
4. Ripe banana – 1
5. Raisins – 1 tbsp
6. Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp
7. Cardamom powder (Optional) – 1 pinch
8. Salt – ¼ tsp
9. Ghee – ¼ tsp
1. Mix coconut gratings and jaggery with the puttu flour.
2. Cut ripe banana into small pieces and mix.
3. Fry raisins and cashew nuts in ghee and mix into the flour.
4. Add cardamom powder and sprinkle a little salt water just to moisten the prepared 5. flour. The texture of should be sandy, and not lumped up.
6. Add a glass of water to the puttu pot and put it on the flame.
7. Take a strip of clean cloth and line the puttu holder or the tube.
8. Fill up the tube (Kuzal) with the puttu flour mixture lightly pressing it down.
9. Fit it on the pot and cover with its perforated lid.
10. Cook till the steam comes out (for four minutes) and the aroma of jaggery fills the air.
11. Switch off flame and allow it to cool.
12. Remove the lid and hold the kuzal in one hand
13. Gently pull the ends of the cloth strip together to remove the KUZAL PUTTU.
Relish the warm kuzal puttu as it is or with a dollop of ghee.
Tip: In case you do not have the puttu kuzal you can get creative, as the objective is to simply steam the puttu mixture. My daugther’s Keralite friend made puttu in their hostel. She took a scraped out coconut shell, and made a hole in the ‘eye’ of the coconut. This shell was filled with the puttu mixture and fitted over the nozzle of the pressure cooker (the weight is not required). The coconut cup was then covered with a small plate. The steam from the cooker directly cooks the puttu mixture in the coconut cup!