3/4CupPuttu Podi / Rice Flour for Puttu(See notes)
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.