1 – 1 1/2 cups grated coconut (fresh please!) 2 cups whole milk 2 cups water 1 tbsp cardamom seeds 1 1/2 tbsp sugar or to taste Salt to taste You will need small thalis with raised rims, or dhokla plates. Do try and find some plates with reasonable depth – paputtu is best in thick slices. A sekala, idli steamer or a pressure cooker wide enough to accommodate the plates you are using. If using the latter, steam without the weight on. A bamboo steamer will work too, but you may need to increase the cooking time by 10 to 15 minutes. Flat wooden sticks to separate the plates when stacking in the sekala. Improvise with anything that provides a stable base for the plates to rest on and that doesn’t restrict the flow of steam.
Wash the thari and soak for 1/2 an hour in the 2 cups of water. Add the grated coconut, milk, cardamom, sugar and salt and mix well, squeezing the coconut to extract a little milk. Divide equally between plates and steam for 25-30 minutes or until done. The puttu should look firm, with no soggy bits in the centre. Cover the plates with a clean tea cloth and allow the puttu to cool a little before cutting into pieces. Best eaten with a simple mutton or chicken curry.