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Happy Kerala Piravi: Journey of ‘Puttu’ – From Birth to Beloved Culinary Masterpiece

Kerala Piravi, the celebration of Kerala’s birth, is a momentous occasion for every Malayali. It’s a day when Keralites come together to commemorate the rich culture, history, and heritage of this beautiful southern state in India. One integral part of this celebration is the food – and at the heart of it, there’s ‘puttu.’ In this article, we will delve deep into the origins and evolution of ‘puttu,’ the beloved culinary masterpiece that has won the hearts and taste buds of Malayalis worldwide.

The Roots of ‘Puttu’

‘Puttu,’ also known as ‘Pittu’ in some regions, is a traditional South Indian and Sri Lankan dish. The word ‘puttu’ itself means “portioned” or “divided” in Malayalam, and it aptly describes the dish’s characteristic cylindrical shape. ‘Puttu’ is made from rice flour, with or without grated coconut, and is steamed in a special cylindrical vessel. This unique cooking method is said to have its roots deep in the history of Kerala.

Historical accounts suggest that ‘puttu’ was first created in the kitchens of Malabar, a historical region in Northern Kerala. It was initially a humble dish, crafted by the inventive minds of the early settlers of the region. These settlers had to work with limited resources, leading to the creation of dishes that were not only delicious but also practical.

Evolution of ‘Puttu’

Over the centuries, ‘puttu’ evolved from its basic form into a versatile and cherished dish. It adapted to the changing times and tastes of Keralites. Several factors contributed to this evolution:

1. Introduction of New Ingredients

Kerala’s position as a trading hub exposed its residents to a variety of ingredients. These new additions, such as banana and jackfruit, began to find their way into ‘puttu’ recipes, enhancing its flavors and nutritional value.

2. Regional Variations

Kerala is known for its culinary diversity, and ‘puttu’ is no exception. Different regions of Kerala have put their unique twist on this dish. For instance, the ‘Kozhikode Puttu’ features a blend of rice and coconut, whereas ‘Kuttanad Puttu’ is more rice-dominant. These regional variations have kept ‘puttu’ fresh and exciting.

3. Modern Innovations

In the 21st century, ‘puttu’ has continued to adapt and thrive. Chefs and food enthusiasts have introduced innovative fillings, such as spicy chicken and chocolate, to cater to evolving tastes. This modern take on ‘puttu’ has found its place in contemporary Kerala cuisine.

‘Puttu’ in Kerala Piravi

Kerala Piravi celebrations are incomplete without the delectable ‘puttu.’ This dish represents the essence of Kerala’s culture and the enduring spirit of the Malayali people. Families gather to prepare and share ‘puttu’ as they recall their rich heritage and the struggles of their ancestors.


As we celebrate Kerala Piravi, it’s essential to appreciate the journey of ‘puttu’ from its humble beginnings to its cherished status in Malayali households. The dish’s history is a testament to the creativity and adaptability of the Malayali people. ‘Puttu’ has not only stood the test of time but has evolved to become a culinary masterpiece, a symbol of Kerala’s rich traditions.

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