How difficult it is to get the breakfast of your choice? Well on seeing the title, you might think, yes it is difficult to make puttu kadala at home and you will not get it on demand. With time running fast and we people moving on to diet conscious corn flakes and oats as breakfast, people hardly make idlis. Where is the time to roast the rice flour and steam the puttu? On top of it we need kadala curry as side dish? Yes, very difficult. But that was not the case here. I am in Guruvayur, Kerala where puttu kadala is one of the famous breakfasts along with appam, iddiappam and all we had to do was order it in a hotel. How difficult can it get?
It is not that I have never tasted puttu. Puttu has always been one of my favorite breakfast dishes. Whenever I am home I ask my mom to prepare puttu and there, piping hot puttu with shredded coconut lacing it will be there on my plate. I love it with sugar and banana. Mix good amount of coconut and sugar with it and yummm it will be. To increase the yumminess, make lumps of this puttu with mashed ripe banana and they would be going on inside, one after another. Another yummiest combination is to mix it with little milk and have. It tastes almost like khova. But I have never ever tasted it with kadala curry and I was curious to see how it will taste. Rice flour is powdery texture, how will kadala curry go with it? We make kadala curry and have it with rice but puttu? Curious huh! Cuisines vary from place to place and may be puttu texture will be different in Kerala. I got a chance to try Sri Lankan puttu and it was broken red rice, steamed to form puttu. Oh and that puttu tasted so yum with soya curry. So I was all excited to try the puttu with kadala curry.
We were not very keen on the puttu kadala until we saw the menu card! I and my friend were sitting in a restaurant after a tiring day at Guruvayur for dinner. The first thing that caught our eyes was puttu kadala curry and we eagerly asked the waiter to get one. He smiled and said, “That is breakfast item madam”. Ok what else Kerala special do we have for dinner? I settled for Kerala parotta and my friend settled for curd rice. Being from Tamil nadu, Kerala parotta is not so difficult to get but still it gives some kind of pleasure to have the native cuisine when you are in a place. With one day passing like this we decided to have puttu kadala curry for the next day breakfast. We had a free schedule the next day and our only aim was to have puttu kadala curry tomorrow!
The tiring day before made us sleep tight and when we woke up the next day it was already 9am. Errr.. Breakfast will usually get over by 10am right! Let’s hurry up and go for puttu kadala curry. But knowing me of all the girls, getting ready before 10 was not an easy task! Though puttu was very motivating, both of us knew we were not going to get ready so soon. Room service! Super idea na. We dial up eagerly and ask for puttu kadala and voila! Nope! No voila! “Puttu illa, idli, doshai, masala doshai, poori”.. Tuck! We kept off the phone! Idli? Noooo.. We can make it at home only. So we decide to hurry up and venture out on our expedition in search of puttu. We went down to the receptionist and asked for a restaurant to have breakfast, the guy gave a broad smile and said, “We have a restorant madam”. Hee hee, no we want puttu kadala. And we started walking towards the temple as there were so many hotels in that area. Our first encounter was a small Kerala mess. Most of the time, such small messes are the ones which carry surprises. Let’s go! Just four tables with small steel chairs and one old man came with plantain leaf. Before settling down, we popped out, “Puttu kadala curry?” “Illa kutty, puttu illa, idly kadala?” No puttu!! Oh no! How can we settle down on our first try only. So we start our expedition further down the road. The next mess! Let’s run there, “Puttu?” “Puttu illa kutty!” Ok sirae.. Next, Puttu? Next, Puttu? Next.. Ok let us make our constraint less, it can be puttu, idiappam, appam, anything! Next.. Puttu? “Illa kutty”. “Chetaa puttu, idiappam, appam?” “Puttu kalinju, idiyappam kalinju, appam kalinju, yella kalinju kutty” Boo hooo.. To summarize that, nothing was there. Somehow everybody managed to sweetly say, “illa kutty”. We both were walking further down the road knocking each restaurant door for puttu. Soon it sounded like, “amma chetta puttu kitto?” Nobody had it. We both grew silent in hunger and anger that there was no puttu. It became 11o’clock and now I was ready to settle for even poori. With no options left on the road, we decided to enter Saravana Bhavan. You see othentic Kerala cuisine we get there! Bu ha ha ha ha.. Funny na.. That was our state too.. We went and found a seat at Saravana bhavan. Still our spirits had not died. We look up to the waiter and ask, “Puttu?” “Illa chechi, puttu illa.” This guy was younger, so chechi sounded better than kutty! Ok, no puttu, “poori?” “illa chechi, idly doshai, masala doshai”. What?! We had to settle down for Idly? “Chetta vada?” “Illa chechi” Ok!! Two idlis! Two idlis after all this search and hunger, how will it be enough? So we quickly order Doshai! Ghee doshaa comes with coconut chutney. And we both are blinking at each other hoping that sambar is on its way! The wait made us feel hungrier and we stop a chetta for sambar and the chetta says, “Sambaru kaali chechi, time edukku.” All the sarangis were playing sad music behind us! As a last minute savior, Chetta brought us some alu masala, left over poori side dish. What ever! Doshai tasted better with it.
And so our expedition was super flop.. We landed up with idly, doshai and no puttu. Boo hoo hoo hooo.. mummyy.. How on earth will puttu kadala curry taste??