Recipe courtesy of Cookworks

Steamed Pittu with Crab

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 55 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
For a mouthwatering accompaniment to curries and stews, create these small steamed logs layered with flour, ground coconut and tender crab meat. A celebrated breakfast in South India and Sri Lanka, pittu (typically made with rice flour) adds an impressive touch to any meal.



Special equipment:
a steamer or steamer baskets, cheesecloth or paper towel, food processor and Pittu steamer, see Cook's Note**
  1. Line a steamer with several layers of cheesecloth and fill with the all purpose flour. Steam for 45 minutes. Spread the steamed flour on a baking sheet to cool. 
  2. Combine the steamed flour, roasted urad dal flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add the hot water, a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the dough resembles cornmeal (may not need all the water). Place the mixture in a food processor and pulse until it resembles couscous. 
  3. Pour into a large bowl and mix in the crab meat, 1/2 cup grated coconut, shallots and basil. Pack the Pittu steamer** with 1 tablespoon of coconut then 1/2 cup Pittu mix, repeat until the steamer is full. Steam for 5 to 7 minutes, until the steam comes out the top of the steamer. Push the Pittu out of the steamer onto a platter.

Cook’s Note

* Urad dal flour is ground split white gram beans. It can be found in Indian stores. ** Pittu steamers can be found in specialty Sri Lankan stores.