Saturday, August 12, 2006

Putu Piring/Putu Bambu

Putu piring/putu bambu is a local traditional steamed cake of the South East Asian. It's soft and has cottony texture with a dash of palm sugar in the middle. It's normally served hot on a banana leaf with some grated coconut. Putu piring is pupular in Singapore and Malaysia whereas Putu Bambu is a more well known term in Indonesia. The ingredients are basically the same,the only difference is the moulds. Putu piring uses flat plate mould where as putu bambu uses bamboo mould of about 5-7 cm height.

This cake always brings back my childhood memory in Indonesia. At where I used to stay, we rarely found "abang-abang"(meaning brother---aka the seller), selling putu bambu on his push card at night. I would be so excited when I heard the "tu-tu" sound given out by the steamer. As the abang-abang didn't frequent our street that often, putu bambu was always the long awaited night snack. I remembered once when Mum and I, heard the faint "tu-tu" sound after our dinner. Knowing that I love putu, Mum asked our helper to track where the sound came from, and buy a dozen of them. Wrapped in a banana leaf, the putu bambu smelled wonderfully pleasant. Once I put it into my mouth, a warm squirt of palm sugar burst out. The combination of sweet palm sugar with slightly salty grated coconut was just marvelous!

After reading a recipe about "putu ayu", which is another type of steamed cake, I get inspired to find putu bambu/putu piring recipe. I managed to find only one Singaporean's recipe from the net. There is another Indonesian's recipe, though the name is Putu Ayu, the recipe somewhat similar to putu piring's recipe.

This time, I tried the Singapore's recipe. The putu came out soft and cottony, however when it turned cold, the texture became harder. I will try the Indonesian recipe next time and see if it remains soft even it has turned cold.

2 cups of rice flour
160 ml water + 1/2 tsp of salt, mixed well
6 pandan leaves, torn into pieces

1/3 cup of desiccated coconut with 1/2 tsp of salt, steamed
150 g palm sugar/gula melaka/gula jawa

For serving:
banana leaves
1/3 cup coconut without skin, grated

On a frying pan, roast rice flour with pandan leaves in batches for about 3-4 minutes. Take out the leaves and let cool.

Combine finely chopped palm sugar with desiccated coconut.

Pour water on to the roasted flour.

Using a sieve, press the dough through to form A breadcrump look alike texture.

Take a spoonful of A onto the mould. Add in 2 tsp of palm sugar filling and cover it with another spoonful of A.

Steam for 5 minutes. Serve on a banana leaf and sprinkle with steamed grated coconut.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

I love Putu Piring (Kueh Tutu), brings back memories when I was a kid in Singapore...just like you, waiting for my favorite kueh hawker to come by. Now living in California, have to learn to make it myself. So, glad to have found your recipe online. Yeah, wonder what is the secret in keeping the kueh tutu soft when it is cold! Can you also share your Indonesian recipe as well? By surfing the internet, it seems that the Indian type rice flour, which is ground from aged rice has a better texture than the chinese type rice flour. However, I am not sure where I can even find this type of Indian rice flour here in CA. Another tip I found is to blend the rice flour with some glutinous rice flour together to give the kueh a better texture? Any advice since you already know how to make the kueh...what do you think? Appreciate your step by step instructions on how to make the kueh though, that is good and I will give it a try myself sometime...Elizabeth

6:16 am  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I tried your Putu Piring recipe today. How did you get yours to come out so nicely? Unfortunately for mine, it was a disaster. I just did half the recipe, using 1 cup of rice flour and 80ml of water. I followed the steps to get the bread crumb like texture and steamed the kuehs. I checked every 5 mins. but even after 15 mins., the kuehs did not look cooked at all, unlike yours. So, what did I do wrong, please advice...

5:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can I get the steamer and the mould equipments here in Singapore? Pls sms me at 83824880 with title putu piring. Thanks.

8:05 pm  
Blogger mnflynn said...

Where can i purchase the Putu Steamer? I am in USA and would like to find one.

thank you

12:00 am  
Anonymous Surish said...

Hi! There, I'm a Singaporean residing in Vientiane, Laos with my family. My family love to eat Putu Piring and Putu Bambu. I've tried your recipe and others numerous time but failed to get it perfect 100% cooked soft and fluffy. I would appreciate if you could kindly disclose the actual secret hidden in the mixture of the rice flour content. You can e-mail me at ( or SMS me at (+8562077615400). Much appreciated. Surish

9:31 am  
Blogger Tan said...

I tried your Putu Piring/Bamboo recipe today. Unfortunately for my result, it was unsucessfully.I followed the steps to get the bread crumb like texture and steamed,the kuehs did not look cooked at all, unlike yours, looks good. What did I do wrong, please advice...
My question also:
1:how to keep soft when it's cold?
2:what kind of rice flour you use?
if can pls recommend brand/country?
3:I just manage to get the fresh bamboo stick, still green, what should i do to keep this stick lasting. because what i saw someone selling from the stall is brownish?
Pls share with me your professional process/idea.

6:29 pm  
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