Putu Ragi (Steamed Millet Cake)


If you have been following my blog, I have been trying out alternative whole grains to using wheat flour in my recipes. I absolutely love millet & quinoa and I have posted a few millet recipes and it’s benefits here. However whole grains like these are rather costly on a long-term basis as they are sold in organic health stores. As much as I support organic produce, I prefer if the general population is able to have access to whole grains as well.

When I found that finger millet or ragi is a common staple in South India, off I go to Indian grocery stores in search of Ragi flour. A packet of 500g Baba’s Ragi flour only cost RM2.50 (less than 1USD). Using Ragi flour, I’ve made Dhosa or Thosai and Putu.

This Steamed Ragi Cake or Putu is a very traditional healthy breakfast in South India. When I was about to start making Putu, only did I realise this is similar to what we have here in Malaysia using rice flour – that is Putu Piring (which means Putu in a plate). While putu maker is used in India, I improvised and used my muffin tray instead, sandwiching grated coconut and palm sugar in between Ragi flour. To add the extra fragrance, I dry fry the flour with Pandan Leaf (Screwpine Leaf) and steam with the leaf too. These Putus are very easy to prepare and makes a healthy and filling breakfast. If you prefer to have a savoury breakfast, omit palm sugar and serve putu with curry.

This recipe will be submitted to Muhibbah Malaysian Monday December Round-up 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Putu Ragi (Steamed Millet Cake)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy breakfast recipe of steaming Ragi flour (Millet) and grated coconut. Healthy and filling breakfast. Similar to Malaysian Putu Piring
Recipe type: Breakfast, Healthy Snack
Serves: 6-7 Putu
  • 1 cup Ragi Flour (or can use Rice Flour)
  • ½ cup Grated Coconut
  • 1-2 Tablespoon chopped Palm Sugar / Gula Melaka
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoon Water
  • 1 Pandan Leaf - shred into 2-3 pieces and tie into knot (Optional)
  1. Dry fry Ragi flour and Pandan Leaf for 2-3 minutes. (You can avoid this step but it gives a better flavor to the recipe)
  2. Place the flour in a bowl, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoon of water in it. Mix the flour by rubbing with your fingers. Add balance water and rub until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make sure that there are no lumps in the mix.
  3. Mix salt into the grated coconut.
  4. Place 1 tablespoon of flour mixture into a muffin tin and top with a teaspoon of grated coconut. Finally top with 1-2 tablespoon of flour mixture and gently press down. Repeat process for the balance of Putu.
  5. Place into steamer (or wok with water), steam for 5 minutes on high heat.
  6. Gently remove each putu with a spoon, and serve hot with sprinkle of grated coconut and palm sugar.
* Best to serve hot, it will hardened when gets cold * You can use Rice Flour with this recipe



  1. These look so great and very delicious! I have never tried to make putu at home earlier. I think this recipe was very helpful. Must try this. Btw what is the difference between putu ragi and putu piring? Thanks

  2. This is very interesting. I am experimenting with millet so will try these. I made lovely drop scones using millet flour, coconut milk (The rich creamy kind) an egg, some honey , pinch of salt and a little baking powder. They were really lovely as the egg held the rise. Then I tried without the egg adding some xanthan gum instead. No good at all. Became flat and sticky and just “boiled” in the pan (altho it did taste nice). I mill my own flours in a little stone mill. I am trying different ideas with small amounts of millett as we rotate our grains and have a different one each day eg amaranth, spelt, maize etc. I am going to leave out the gum which makes it sticky and try a drier mixture more like a shortcake as the coconut milk has a high fat content. If it works I’ll try leaving out the honey for a less sweet breakfast bread.

    • Wow I’m amazed you mill your own flour Annie. Wish I can get hold of a stone mill so I can mill the unhulled millet. I’ve not tried millet flour in my bakes, but usually for gluten free flour mix, it gives better texture with half flour & half starch combination. I cant get hold of xantham gum here in Malaysia, so usually I look out for recipes without gums. Recently I got to know and try a xantham substitute with Dr Jean Layton’s Pixie Dust http://glutenfreedoctor.com/pixie-dust-seed-mixture-to-replace-the-gums/. I’ve tried it once with making GF bread and it worked well

  3. Well done! I have never tried to make putu at home before. Didn’t realise is was quite easy. Must try this, thank you 🙂

  4. These do look delicious! I have not really worked with millet much, should start playing 🙂
    Hope you are having a great week

  5. Those cakes look wonderful and very healthy! I really love the photos too, stunning!

  6. These look great! So smart to shop at Indian stores instead of health food stores.

  7. Ohmigoodness! These sound delicious 🙂 And what a steal with that flour, wish we had that here! I think the savoury version would be perfect on our table…we love a little curry 🙂


    • thank you for the buzz! yeah we are lucky to have indian produce so easily available here. maybe you can check out indian stores if there is a little india at Cayman? I would love savoury curry to go with Putu too, would have to prepare some curry the night before. Cooking curry early in the morning is not something for me 🙂

  8. Wow these little cakes look so delicious and your presentation is beautiful! Feel free to stop by my blog and check out the $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway going on right now! xoxo

    • thank you for your comments especially from someone whose photos are amazing! Just started to get a hang of better photos 🙂 Excited about your giveaway, I’m off to your site now

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