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Last Updated Sunday December 04 2016 07:27 AM IST

Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

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elizabeth-abraham-paper-cup-puttu

If you're a Malayali, you're most likely a fan of the crumbly yet sturdy divinity that's served for breakfast in Kerala, the puttu. But if you're a diasporic Malayali who forgot the puttu maker in your hometown in Kerala, there is news that will quickly replace your sighs with happy chirping sounds. Now you can take another glance at the title, we sure mean it!

Need proof? Dr. Elizabeth Abraham would vouch for it. A research scholar at the University of Minnesotta and a veterinarian, who also handles the role of a busy mother to a toddler, Elizabeth sure juggles multiple roles. And it was while enroute to a breakfast decision during one of her culinary adventures when this amusing discovery of making puttu in paper cups was made.

  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    Puttu with egg roast, a fitting breakfast

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    A perfectly cooked puttu to be relished with spicy egg roast

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    Cooked puttu with fine coconut layers

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    Puttu being steam cooked

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    Puttu getting made inside paper cups cooked in a steamer

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    The steamer in which the puttu will get cooked

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    Puttu powder stuffed inside paper cups

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    The paper cups all set to filled

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!
  • Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

    Paper cups with a tiny hole at the bottom readied to be filled with puttu powder

    Steaming hot puttu gets made in paper cups too!

So going back to that point, how did she think up of this quirky way to make puttu?

One morning, my father in law was home for breakfast. I decided to make him some traditional Malayali food for him, which would also be easily edible, since he experiences difficulty in swallowing. That's when I thought of puttu. Unfortunately, I had no puttu making vessel, since I had never made it in the US. That's when I decided to do something innovative with Dixie paper cups!

And how did it turn out the first time?

My experience with the paper cup puttu was great. I was able to make traditional food without its rigorous complexities. For someone who was born and raised outside Kerala, my mom's cooking always kept me grounded to our roots and Kerala cuisine. I'm blessed with the best cook in the world, my mother, but unfortunately, that has heaped expectations on me. I always try to excel, but leading busy lives makes cooking authentic food all the more difficult, and that's where being innovative helps.

Curious question, does it get made just as soft as the puttu made in the puttu maker?

We cannot expect the paper cup puttu to be as soft and authentic as the one made in traditional vessels. But like I said, being innovative is a life saver when you are away from your country and lead busy lives. Paper cup puttu can be an alternative when you have neither the puttu vessel, nor the luxury of 'cherratas' lying around in the kitchen.

I did not see any shortcomings in the ones I made, except that the paper cups should be of good quality, ones that won't tear open from its seams while steaming them. I used the Dixie paper cups, and made a hole at the bottom of each cup.

Did the puttu spread as much happiness as she wanted it to?

My husband was overjoyed to see me make puttu without the vessel. He said it tasted good as well.

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