Cooking for grandma

It’s December holidays and my parents are out of town in business while my grandma is baby sitting me, myson and my sisters along with my aunt and cousin. My grandma cooks well and her food smells good. I remember my grans house filled with aromas from the fresh curry leave plant at the back yard besides the pandan leaves tree which was so huge and my granny never had to buy pandan leaves or curry leaves which ends up in every vegetable and curry cooked while the tempering of the onions and the variety of vegetables and curries release a delicious aroma that wakes up the appetite early before lunch time. Now I’ve got a chance to cook for my grandma who has a liking for western food while some medical precautions restrict her from eating what she wants and she is now obliged to eat what is good for her health. So I’ve gotta make some soft food, unfried and sugar less naturally. She does not restrict sugar from her teas and enjoys a slice of cake or a scoop of ice cream sometimes amidst her diabetics. I decided to make some soft pittu for her to be served with some fish gravy made for lunch.
I was so happy to hear her words of satisfaction and contentment of having a good home cooked pittu dinner.

Making pittu is so easy and can be prepared for a family of 6 within an hour including all side dishes such as sambol, gravy and eggs.
Pittu is often served with a good chicken, mutton or fish curry accompanied with a very spicy onion or maldives fish sambol. You can even serve it with a milk gravy and some boiled eggs which are optional for those who are lazy to run over to groceries for missing meat and ingredients while you have an unexpected guest. Pittue is not just a dinner time meal we often have it for breakfast as well though it best suits dinner time as a heavy meal. We generally consider pittu as a festive breakfast served along with the delicious sooji porridge refer my post on porridges.
So here is how you make a pittu.
You can make it in a mould thays used for making pittu like the one in the picture below or use an idly pan. If you wanna just try it out you dont have to spend and buy anything as this can be made on a plate or even steamed on a rice cooker.
To steam on a rice cooker take a large piece of soft cloth and put the entire flour mixture and secure into a bundle and place on the steaming attachment that comes with most rice cookers and steam.

To do it on a plate you’ll need a small plate plus a large piece of cotton cloth cum a pot that has a mouth the size of your plate. Oil the plate and place the flour mixture. Wet the cloth and sqeeze out excess water. Cover the plate with the wet cloth and turn it over with the back of the plate facing upwards and wrap gently the excess cloth to cover the back of your plate. Fill the pot with half water and boil. Place the plate over the pot making sure it doesn’t touch the boiling water and is stable, reduce heat and steam for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Once done lift the cloth and place on your work top. Take off the plate using a pot holder and lift the cloth to spill the pittu on to a bowl or tray. If the mixture is perfectly cooked it will be firm and come out easily like a large idly with cracks. In case if you didn’t tap the plate or press the mixture together to level it, it might fall off into pieces as long as the color is changed and tastes cooked it is fine to serve. This pittu made on a plate is called plate pittu.

The utensil I used to make pittus which we call bamboo pittu.
The pittu mixture once done would look like this
A cooked pittu would look like

Rice cakes.

Red/white raw rice roated/unroasted Flour 3 cups
Scraped coconut or dessicated coconut 1 cup
Salt 1 teaspoon
Tap water as required

Add flour, scraped or dessicated coconut amd salt.
Mix by adding some water until tge mixture resembles flaked bread like shown in the picture above.
Once its perfectly mixed the raw flour smell with not be there so use you senses to identify the perfect texture.
Add into the pittu bamboo, a plate, idly moulds or just bundle into a cloth and steam.
It might take sometime depending on the utensil.
A pittu bamboo will take 15 minutes medium heat.
A Plate might take 15 minutes medium heat.
An idly pot time may vary depending on the size.
Bundling on a rice cooker might take 20 minutes or more as you keep the entire contents in one bundle.
Always use your own experience for perfect cooking times.
Bamboo pittus taste better than any others.
Use red or brown raw rice for a diabetic friendly meal.
Call these rice cakes if explaining pittu is tough.
For a healthier version grate and add some carrot, leeks and cabbages into the mixture and steam.


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