Sunday, August 2, 2009

Puttu Uppumavu – Breakfast Puttu gets makeover at the teatime!

There’s an image etched in my memories, woven into my life in past and present, by god’s grace ….the sight of my parents casually sitting in our sit-out, either sipping evening tea or just relaxing and having a chit-chat……a sight that is part of my childhood, school and college days and I don’t remember the innumerable times I have asked them this particular question those days, “ what do you have so much to talk even after 20-25 years of marriage…?? “ as this was a routine repeated in their morning newspaper session, evening tea, pre dinner and post dinner and if it was a weekend, pre lunch and post lunch too!!!! I would consider myself “ blessed” if CJJ and I can have the same when we reach that phase in life.

And I detested the thought of not seeing them there when I returned from school as I never liked the idea of going to my uncle’s house in the neighbourhood to get the keys, opening the doors and letting myself in and having my evening snacks all alone, especially if they re store -bought. That’s how much one can get spoilt, if you have a stay-at home mom who makes sure that she serves homemade evening snacks all 5 days of the week coz her husband, especially her daughter, a rebellious and thankless teenager need something homemade to munch on when they return home in the evening !! Well, the regulars here probably have an idea by now how spoilt I was and how I was tamed eventually!

Unlike my brother who could be satisfied even with a bowl of store-bought spicy Kerala mixture, so he could run to his friends place, play cricket or ride his BSA Champ, I always wanted something simple, filling yet fresh and homemade snacks for teatime. Somehow my mother managed to satisfy me playing around with certain main ingredients like ripe plantain, beaten rice, rice flour or all –purpose flour etc. At times some of the items she made always triggered some tension between me and my father as those were our hot favourites and we could never get enough of them….like Neyyil varattiya pazham /ripe plantains caramelised in ghee/clarified butter and sprinkled with sugar granules…….Poruthal ada/Orotti, the country style rustic flat bread roasted in a clay pot lined with banana leaves and then soaked in sweetened coconut milk ……the grainy Avalose podi, sweetened with sugar and mashed with Poovan-pazham, a variety of ripe banana……Kappa Puzhungiyathu/boiled cassava with Ulli Mulaku chammanthi, a relish with pearl onions and green chillies and coconut oil……and then some of the leftover preparations like Puttu Uppumavu and Idiappam Uppumaavu………if it was any of these snacks, the gluttonous me always wanted a share from my father’s plate too and the latter never showed any overly fatherly love when it comes to sharing such things and was quite possessive about his share…...hope he doesn’t read this :P

I wanted not only a share from his plate, but a share from his tea too, as me and my brother were never encouraged to have tea/coffee while growing up. As a compromise deal, sometimes they gave us just a gulp before they finished their tea. That one gulp of the hot beverage with a plate of spicy Puttu Uppumavu or Idiappam Uppumaavu , with a note of heat from the green chillies and ginger was my all time favourite and a lively and colourlful thread in my memories…….

All these visuals were dancing in my head from the time I saw Tina’s post around two months back I guess and wanted to have some Puttu Uppumavu very badly but due to several reasons, Puttu never appeared in our menu all these weeks. Finally, last Friday I happened to make some Puttu for dinner and deliberately made some extra to get leftovers and satisfied my cravings the next day and relived some of those cherished moments. Thank you, Tina for for helping me take a dive back to my treasured days :)

Puttu Uppumavu is nothing but a leftover evening snack whipped up in a hurry in most of the Kerala homes and is made with our classic breakfast, Puttu, a steamed cake with rice flour and coconut flakes. By the tea time, Puttu gets a spicy makeover with some green chillies, ginger , onion and curry leaves seasoned with fragrant coconut oil and mustard seeds. I have given the ingredient list and method to make the classic version of Puttu at the how-to section of my post on Erachi/Meat Puttu which is a variation from the original. Please check that if you re totally new to Puttu, before proceeding to make this dish.

Here’s how we make this evening snack at home:

  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • ¾ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp Uzhunnu parippu/black gram
  • 2 dry red chillies, broken
  • ½ cup finely chopped big onion
  • 3 finely chopped Indian green chillies or to taste
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1-2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups steam cooked puttu, crushed well
  • Salt (Optional)
  • 1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
  • Heat oil in shallow pan; splutter mustard seeds , followed by black gram and dry red chilllies. Throw in the chopped onion and sauté till they turn transparent. Now add green chillies and ginger and when everything turn soft, add the curry leaves and coarsely crushed and already steam cooked Puttu; blend everything well and stir until Puttu is reheated and combined thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients. Do a taste test and add salt only if required. Before turning off the stove, make a small well in the centre of the mixture and pour ghee and immediately stir well and combine everything. Serve hot with tea/coffee.
  • If you re using refrigerated leftover Puttu, I suggest drizzling some water on top and microwaving (reheating) the Puttu before adding it to the pan as it helps to get a soft and moist texture.
  • Variation : You can replace Puttu with Idiappam or Idli and make equally yummy snacks though the one with Idiappam is more appealing.
Related Posts:

Kanji Pidi Kozhukkatta Ela Ada Pazham Pori Ariyunda Plantain Pudding Diamond cuts Chakkappazham Porichathu


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  1. Hi Ur First Paragraph made me homesick. Ur right, our parents have so much to share and talk, even I used to ask them the same question. Now married, I sometimes wonder we are too busy in our own worlds, sittng with a laptop or watching movie or tv, going out so much we do together but still not that much to talk about.I'll wait few more years and than will see....

  2. The upma we make with rice rava looks like this. I have never made puttu, so Idly might be the option. I love the background of the pic.

  3. wow, this is really something i should try. All these years of making puttu, we never made puttu uppumavu at home.

  4. I really love the way you write Shn!And the way you 'uplifted' our normal puttu is WOW! I loved that click of your's! BEAUTIFUL!

  5. i have had nulputtu upma and idli upma..but this sounds new..

  6. This is a good idea. Whenever I make puttu there are leftovers and sometimes even after eating it the next day I have still more leftovers. This is a good recipe to consume the leftovers. Thanks for sharing!

  7. this is a new dish for me...infact hearing it for the first time....I have not had put for almost 7 months now!!:-( kettappol thannei kothi aayi..

    I like puttu with kadala curry....and ocassionally if the puttu is fresh, really soft and warm I like with a dollop of ghee...

    Actually the mention of puttu reminds me of the hostel days...puttu is a common item in hostel menu and often the least tasty....I get really good puttu only at home or in native..

  8. Lovely writing, how our Moms spoiled us

  9. That was really nostalgic. Reminded me of how we used to tease our mother - "puttinte fancy dress" :-)

  10. wow yummy! this sounds like 'puttu upma' to me! I will try this soon!!

    I will be linking this recipe on my blog later this week. Thanks for sharing.

  11. We make upma with left over idlis and the puttu upma is what I know from the blog world.

  12. I too have wondered what my parents talk for so long! And I hated entering home in the evening without seeing their faces! And all those mentioned snacks revives up all those deep-buried memories and how I miss my favourite Avulose podi! But puttu uppumavu never featured during tea time and is something that I wish to try out. I too had bookmarked Tina's recipe long time back but conveniently forgot! Certainly it would be delicious with flavours of coconut oil, kaduku varuthathu, spiciness of ginger and green chillies! And relishing the flavours with a cup of hot tea...ohhh heavenly! I'm surprised that you were forbid from having tea/coffee as this was one beverage which always revived me and removed that extra bit of lethargy :)

  13. Whenever we make puttu we always mix sugar ghee and coconut.Thats how it is generally made in TN.Never had the spicy version as in didnt get a chance for to that puttu upma at all.but being a fan of Idli upma and Idiyappam upma, I can imagine the delicate taste of this dish.Next time I will save some puttu without sugar for this.Thanks for the recipe and sucha wonderful post

  14. We also used to make it at home..i hated 'puttu' to the core..still does..but kinda understand why my working parents had to whip it up in different forms most of the mornings owing to the easy preparation involved...But I used to love the 'puttu thalichathu'..its quite similar..except that we add chilli powder to it..and it tastes awesome

  15. mmm.... the puttu in the picture is so fluffy and eatable.. feeling hungry!

  16. We make Idly upmavu with left over idlies.But this is something new to me!..

  17. BTW, nice to see you back blogging consistently!!! :)

  18. nice pic!! whenever i make puttu, i ened up having leftovers! gona try this next time!

  19. That was an interesting recipe! :)

  20. Bhawna, u re right....on a lighter note we can say, they didnt have so much of distractions like laptop, 200+ channels, texting, tweeting et al :D just kidding :)) but i really wish all of us could have that same rapport and relation when we reach that phase!

    My experiments.., thank you :)

    Pravs. surprsing to me...this is such a common should deft'ly give it a try...:)

    Ria, thanks a lot :) :)) click credit this time goes to CJJ :)

    Divz, i love noolputtu upma....i think u wd love this one too...

    My comfort.., true...dressing up it in a new way makes it a bit more attractive....old puttu in new dress ;)

    Mathew, I really thought it is a very common item in most homes!! oh..soft warm puttu with lil ghee and pappadam is my fav combo too...pinne, ofcourse our classic puttu kadala, puttu -meen curry ( my fav but my man thinks i am some weirdo) and puttu and erachi curry...:)

    Bong Mom, am sure u re trying ur best to spoil urs too :) thank you !

    Wanderlust, "puttinte fancy dress" LOL :)))) that was really funny...enikkishtapettu :)) thanks :)

    Jennifer, i think we re referring to the same thing as to my knowledge, upma and uppumavu is the same and the former is more like a shortened version of the latter...thanks for linking :)

    Cilantro, hope u give a try..

    Pooja, till i started reading the comments, i was under the impression that this is as commom as puttu quite surprised to read some comments! tea/coffee was forbidden till i started working i guess mother thought it's better to drink more milk..hheheh:))

    Sumi, yeah i was in TN for few years , so i know how it is made a bit differently there....hope u enjoy this version too...glad to know u enjoyed the post :)

    Jina, as a child, it was nt my fav, may be coz it was repeated often as u said for the ease of cooking...but now i love puttu ...and the name puttu thalichathu sounds more attractive to me..a bit more romantic ;) so chilly p/w for green chillies?

    Rocksea, :) I wish I could serve virtually!

    Bharathy, am surprised!

    The green heart, will wait for ur feedback :)

    Toothlesswink, hope u try :)


  21. hiya.. the best thing i like about ur blog is the pictures... I just got one complaint.. its not "google reader" friendly... can u do something about it??

  22. i think that was an very beautiful image you can treasure about your parents in this life time .....those moments and those sharing of simple day to day events makes life truly beautiful ....
    never tried puttu upma before..though have tried idiyappam and idli....

  23. Nice post! This makes a great snack with tea!

  24. Never knew uppumavu was made with left over puttu! Where have I been all these years?

    We make an uppumavu with rice rawa, somewhat similar to this though.

  25. Hi Shn, I tried this recipe yesterday & hubby is totally hooked. Looks like it's going to feature as a regular in our home:)

  26. Hadn't heard of it b4 I saw it in ur blog. I am in love with it now and I keep asking amma to make puttu and make sure there is a lot of left over..haha!! I tried substituting shallots for onion, but I think onions taste better for this one. Thanks shn! :)



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