Srilankan Puttu


Puttu with Kathrikkai Kuzhambu (Augergines in a tamarind gravy) and Soya chunks with flat beans curry.



This main dish is a staple in Srilankan households and great with a variety of curries. It is also great gluten free and healthy way of getting some carb’s into your diet. The Srilankan version of Puttu (or Pittu as it is sometimes referred to as) often uses red rice flour, whereas in South India you will often find it made from white rice flour. Both are yummy, but the Srilankan Puttu has quite a distinct flavour and nutritionists say that red rice is less processed than white, so is healthier.

You can make this Puttu more nutritious by adding some finely sliced greens, cabbage or finely grated veg on the top of the Puttu before steaming. “Keerai Puttu” is with finely chopped Kasuri methi (Fenugreek leaves) or another type of spinach/greens.


What you need:

  • 2 cups steamed red rice flour
  • 1 cup shredded/grated coconut (0r dessicated coconut soaked in 1/2 cup water)
  • Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
  • Hot water – keep about 4 cups aside but you may need more or less depending on the consistency

How to make it:

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and make into a loose dough (but you don’t have to knead it like bread). Then roll the dough between your fingers so the dough looks like large breadcrumbs.


1. Put the ingredients into a food processor and pulse, adding the water a little at a time to get the same consistency.

If either method makes the dough too wet then you can just mix in a little rice flour.

2. Mix in the coconut and then place in a steamer. I usually cover the bottom of my steamer with a thin & damp cloth/muslin. The cloth must be big enough to then wrap up the Pittu mixture. You don’t need to tie the ends of the cloth, just place it over the mixture.

3. Steam until the Pittu is cooked fully, approximately 10 – 15 minutes (the aroma will be so nice and you will start to smell the fragrance of the coconut too!), and serve with a delicious curry like Kathrikkai Kuzhambu (aubergine in tamarind gravy) or Soya Chunks & Beans curry.

If you have roasted moong dal flour, then you can add about a tablespoon of this with the red rice flour to give an even more aromatic Pittu  🙂

3 responses to “Srilankan Puttu

  1. Pingback: Is it Feb already?! | My Kitchen Adventures

  2. Bhavani Adizie

    Thank you MKA for posting this recipe. My husband loves pittu but I have been reluctant to try making it because I do not have the traditional equipment . This recipe however gives an alternative method which works! I used white rice flour because I did not have red rice four to hand. I prefer the taste with red rice flour but the pittu came out fine using white. I also found the first time I made this that I made the dough far too watery so I tried to add some plain flour as I had run out of rice flour. The pittu tasted horrible! My advice is to add the water in small amounts till the consistency is right. Finally I used desiccated coconut which worked fine. When I made the pittu actually following the above recipe- it worked and I now have no excuse not to make pittu regularly at home!


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