This month on the Shhhh Secretly Cooking group we celebrate the cuisine of Kerala. My contribution to this cooking spree is Chiratta Puttu and Kadala Curry, one of Kerala’s ultimate comfort foods.Jump to Recipe
Kerala, God’s Own Country, has been in my thoughts because of the unparalleled devastation it has suffered. I have so many close friends from this beautiful state that I felt my own family was imperilled.
Coming back to positive thoughts, Kerala is a state whose people I admire for the way they make use of natural resources; to live, to cook, to heal and more.
Consider this recipe for Chiratta Puttu; it is puttu cooked in a coconut shell. No separate vessels needed. It uses the natural vents formed by the “eyes” of the coconut shell to conduct steam and cook the Puttu mix.Jump to Recipe
Everything about the Chiratta Puttu and Kadala Curry is healthy. Chickpeas (Kadala) are a great source of plant-based protein as well as dietary fibre. Chickpeas are also rich in micro-nutrients like potassium, iron, Vitamin C, and more.
I made Chiratta Puttu with red rice, which is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, dietary fibre and more. The carbohydrates in the Puttu help in digestion and absorption of the protein in Kadala Curry. This is further aided by the fats in the coconut and coconut oil used in the Kadala Curry.
I must thank Prathima Shivraj, my partner for this challenge, for giving me rice and black chickpeas as my ingredients.
I am waiting to see what Prathima cooked with the ingredients I gave her. 🙂
I have detailed pictures for every stage and will update this post soon. Till then please consider this a living document. Last updated on September 30, 2018.
Recipe for Chiratta Puttu
Chiratta Puttu | Puttu Made in a Coconut Shell
- 3/4 Cup Puttu Podi / Rice Flour for Puttu (See notes)
- 1/3 Cup Grated Coconut
- Salt to Taste
- Water, as required
- 1/2 Shell of Coconut (the tail end) OR Steel Chiratta Puttu Maker
Preparing the Coconut Shell (Skip if using a Chiratta Puttu Maker)
- Break a coconut neatly in half.
- From the half of the shell that has the “tail”, scoop out the coconut flesh.
- From the outer part remove all the fibre. You will see 2 or 3 spots or holes. These are called the “eyes”.
- If the “eyes” are covered, soak the shell in warm water for 30 minutes and then gently tap the eye portion with a sharp object. I used a screw driver.
- Set the prepared Coconut Shell aside.
Get the Steam Going
- If you are using a coconut shell: In the bottom half of a traditional puttu maker (or any vessel whose mouth is narrow-enough to hold the coconut shell), fill water. Bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let the water simmer.
- If you are using a ready made steel Chiratta Puttu Maker: Fill a pressure cooker with enough water and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let the water simmer.
Getting the Puttu Podi Ready
- In a large plate or bowl, mix the puttu podi and salt together.
- Gradually add a little water at a time and mix well till the flour is damp and has the consistency of sand/bread crumbs. I test it by making a lump that holds shape but breaks instantly at the lightest pressure.
Making the Puttu
- Place a 1/4″ layer of coconut at the bottom of the Coconut Shell or the Chiratta Puttu Maker.
- Fill the rest of the vessel/shell with the prepared Puttu mix.
- If you are using a coconut shell, cover with a damp cloth. For the steel puttu maker, cover with the provided lid.
- If you are using a coconut shell, place the coconut shell on the mouth of the puttu maker. Turn up the heat and let the Puttu steam for about 6 minutes.
- If you are using a steel puttu maker:, Remove the weight from the lid of the pressure cooker. Fix the lid on to the pressure cooker. Place the Puttu Maker in the place of the weight. Turn up the heat and let the Puttu steam for about 6 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the Puttu cool for 5 minutes.
- Gently uptun the puttu into a plate.
- Serve while hot with Kadala Curry.
Recipe for a No Onion, No Garlic Kadala Curry
Kerala’s Famous Kadala Curry (No Onion, No Garlic Version)
- 1/2 Cup Kadala, Black Chickpeas (~100 gms)
- 1/4 Cup Grated Coconut
- 1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper Corns
- 2″ Piece Cinnamon
- 4 to 6 Cloves
- 1 Petal Star Anise
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 tsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 Red Chillies
- 2 Green Chillies, Vertically Sliced
- 6 to 8 Curry Leaves
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- Salt to Taste
Cooking the Kadala
- Wash the black chickpeas well and soak them in 2 cups water for at least six hours.
- Drain all the water and add 3/4 cup fresh water.
- Pressure cook for 3 whistles.
- Set aside.
Making the Masala
- Over medium flame, heat the coconut oil.
- Add coriander seeds, pepper corns, fennel, star anise, cinnamon and cloves.
- Stir-fry for 2 minutes or till aromatic.
- Add coconut and stir-fry till coconut changes colour to golden brown.
- Let the mix cool and then grind with a little water to a fine paste. I use the water in which the chickpeas are cooked while grinding.
Making the Kadala Curry
- In a kadai, heat 2 tsp oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.
- Add red chillies, green chillies and curry leaves.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the cooked chick peas with the water, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt.
- Mix well and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the ground masala and mix well.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve the Kadala Curry with Puttu or Chapati.
You can see what my fellow bloggers have made for the Kerala fest by clicking on the logo below.