Kerala's favourite dish 'puttu' is prepared by steaming rice powder that has been dampened suitably along with scraped coconut. The usual combination is puttu with Bengal gram curry, a green gram dish, 'papad' or banana. However, puttu also has become a new generation dish now. A large variety of curries are available along with the steamed rice delicacy.
Vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes accompany puttu. Moreover, apart from rice, powdered wheat, semolina (rava), finger millet (ragi), maize and tapioca are used to make puttu. In addition, 'variety puttus' are available in many restaurants. Instead of a metal utensil, coconut shells or bamboo stem are used in the preparation.
Among the eateries offering different combinations of puttu, an eatery at Vaduthala in Ernakulam stands apart with the taste of the dishes. Popularly known as 'Puttukada', the shop offers beef stew and potti curry along with puttu. The menu of the restaurant is very short but the beef stew and potti draw a big crowd whenever the outlet is open. George 'chettan', who runs the eatery, is also the main chef.
Interestingly, there is no name board for the small restaurant. Many regular customers have coined the title 'Georgettan's shop' for the eatery after tasting the beef stew and potti with puttu. The biggest attraction of the eatery is the beef stew made with potato, coconut milk and masalas. Meanwhile, potti too has numerous fans. It is prepared by grinding fried coconuts, adding pepper, cinnamon and masalas to it and cooking the entire mixture with meat.
'Georgettan's shop' is located opposite K R Bakery at Vaduthala on Chittoor Road in Ernakulam. There are regular customers, including local people, at the eatery. Lissy, George's wife is always present at the shop helping the chef. 'Puttukada' was started in 1989 and has since created a tradition of its own. It is located adjacent to George's house. A curious aspect about the shop is that the same menu has been followed all these years. But George has not diluted the taste or quality.
The puttu shop remains open from 5-8.30 pm every day. But in case the dishes are sold off before closing time, George promptly downs the shutters. “We never resort to preparing the dishes for a second time. While puttu-potti combination is priced at Rs 70, puttu and beef are charged Rs 80. For parcels, an extra Rs 10 is collected but the amount of food too increases,” says the shop owner.