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Steamed Ragi Cake – Puttu

27 August 2010 20 Comments
steamed ragi cake

Soft and fluffy from inside

Ragi or Finger millet was never there in my cooking dictionary till I  got married and came to the Southern part of India. My mom is still unaware of these mighty grains!

Though a very popular and an integral part of food in South of India, Ragi remains a mystery to the rest of India and a good dry flower decoration in my vase  🙂

This whole grain was the first weaning food for my toddlers introduced by my mother-in-law and still remains an important meal in the form of Ragi porridge for them. Over the years many recipes and healthy Ragi dishes have been added to my treasure. And I love to use this goldmine of health for all kinds of meals, be it for the lunch, breakfast or for baking cakes and cookies.

finger millet

This Steamed Ragi cake or Puttu as is called in Kerala is a very traditional yet healthy breakfast of this region. I make it with Ragi powder, Brown rice powder or plain white rice powder. Its very easy and simple to prepare provided you have the Puttu maker with you.

finger millet

Crumbled Ragi flour


  • 2 cups of Ragi powder
  • 1 cup of grated coconut
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5-6 tsp. of Water

Method:  Heat a wok (kadai) and dry fry the ragi flour for a few minutes. You can avoid this step but it gives a better flavor to the recipe. Take the flour in a big and broad vessel. Mix in the salt and sprinkle 1-2 tsp of water in it. Mix the flour lightly by rubbing in between the palms.

Repeat the same process till you use 5-6 tsp of water and the whole mixture resembles breadcrumbs (above). Make sure that there are no lumps in the mix.

Grate the coconut and keep aside.

ragi puttu mould

Puttu Maker

A traditional Puttu maker which is readily available in the market.

a healthy breakfast of steamed Ragi or finger millet cake

From Inside

Take a clean Puttu mould, place the mesh inside and put a big ladle of ragi flour in it. Put another layer of gated coconut over the ragi flour and press it gently. Repeat the same process with another layer of ragi flour, coconut and again ragi at the top.

Fill the bottom vessel of the puttu maker with water and adjust the puttu maker. Keep it on the flame on high for 4-5 minutes and put off the flame.

A very delicate and moist steamed ragi cake is ready to serve.

a healthy breakfast of steamed Ragi or finger millet cake

Take out the steamed Ragi cake and serve hot with black Channa or any other vegetable curry.


  • Brown rice flour and white rice flour makes delicious Puttus.
  • These steamed cakes are a very healthy and filling breakfast.
  • Puttu is low-cal food with zero fat in it.
  • The same recipe can be transformed into a scrumptious dessert.

Hope you like this traditional and healthy recipe, check the Ragi Dessert also. Stay connected, take care.


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  • prathibha said:

    wow…it looks super yummmy..healthy one indeed

  • Rosa said:

    Very interesting and so healthy!



  • G.pavani said:

    healthy n yum yum cake…

  • Sharmilee said:

    Healthy n tasty!!

  • smita said:

    The Puttu looks absolutly moist n yummy . Although i’m not aware of this availability of this grain here
    but this quick n healthy recipe motivates me to check out the S indian stores here .
    Following you to keep updated abt all the culinary delights here !!

    Also thanks for visiting my space n putting in such a lovely comment .

  • Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said:

    Loving the puttu, never cooked with Ragi flour before.

  • Monet said:

    I have never heard or tasted these…and I’m so glad that I’ve discovered your site and this unique recipe!

  • Joanne said:

    I’ve heard of millet but never used it! It looks fantastic in this cake!

  • Adelina said:

    though my hubby is South Indian as well, never heard of it, but looks delicious!

  • Ananda Rajashekar said:

    Another wonderful one….I love this for BF…How healthy!

  • Poonam said:

    well, this puttu is new to me, but looks healthy, though i hav used ragi for khakra….

  • Sweet Artichoke said:

    I love millet! So healthy and tasty! Never had puttu, but it looks delicious.

  • Juliana said:

    I never had this…it sure sounds very interesting 🙂

  • Sarah said:

    Beautiful clicks..looks so delicious..

  • Panchpakwan said:

    Looks so healhty and filling.

  • Heavenly Housewife said:

    I have never heard of this ingredient, but I’d love to try it.
    Because this dish has a lot of coconut in it, I’m pretty sure I would love it.
    *kisses* HH

  • sangeeta said:

    I never tried roasting the ragi flour and your tip is great about it.
    i make the puttu like idli in the microwave but mixed with the coconut , this layering looks great.

    It is a super nutritious grain for sure.

  • Emma said:

    wow, looks delicious and healthy! I’d love to try it. No idea where I could find a puttu maker though. When you say to put it over flame, do you mean the stove? I only have an electric stove unfortunately. Is there an adaptation for making this cake that could work with an conventional oven, electric stove, microwave, basic rice cooker or electric steamer?

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Emma, You could use any elongated vessel and steam the Puttu on stove top or in microwave, using the same recipe. you may not get the authentic Puttu shape though.

  • Shannon | Just As Delish said:

    thanks for your recipe! It’s very similar to Malaysian Putu Piring (Putu on a plate). I’ve tried your recipe and posted on my blog.
    Shannon | Just As Delish recently posted..ABC Soup (Luo Song Tang)My Profile

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