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
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.