Kadambuttus are an old-fashioned favourite – plump, steamed rice puttus, faintly glossy on the outside, firm and moist in texture. They are cooked piled up neatly, and swathed in damp muslin in a traditional steamer. They are a personal favourite, equally good with the classic pandi curry, or with a simple curry of vegetables and dal. At breakfast, they can be eaten with fresh butter or ghee, and a selection of homemade jams, or honey
- 2 cups tari or idly rava
- 4 cups water
- a pinch of salt
- about 3-4 tsp melted ghee
- Keep a traditional steamer (sakala) or a pressure cooker, covered with a lid, water simmering below a separator, ready to take the kadambuttus. There should be a gap of about 4 inches between the simmering water and the vessel that holds the puttus. If you are using a pressure cooker, do not use the weight.
- Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium sized vessel.
- Drop in a tablespoonful of tari, and a pinch of salt.
- Stir with a wooden spoon, lower the heat to a simmer, adding the tari in large tablespoonfuls, allowing it to cook before adding the next batch. This is an almost continuous process, as the small batches of tari will cook quickly.
- Stir firmly until the water is absorbed, and the tari is cooked, but still moist and soft, not dried out.
- Cover the vessel, and allow it to cool for a minute or two.
- Apply some of the melted ghee to the palms of your hands, scoop up slightly larger than lemon sized portions of the hot, cooked tari.
- Roll it into smooth, compact balls between the palms, exerting a slight pressure.
- If using a pressure cooker, line a stainless steel vessel with a fine, damp muslin cloth, and stack the kadambuttus carefully, cover loosely with muslin cloth, place the vessel on the separator. There should be a gap of about 4 inches between the water and the vessel that contains the puttus.
- Steam on a full flame (without the weight) for 15 – 20 minutes.
(2 cups of tari should give you approximately 15 kadambuttus, depending on the size that you roll out)
Tari is rice, which is washed, dried and hand-pounded so that each grain is broken into roughly three pieces. Idly rava or rice rava, is an easily available, reasonably good substitute. See note on ingredients.
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