Monday, June 1, 2009

Putu Mayam/String Hoppers



Putu Mayam is one of my favorites when i was a child which is a long long time ago. During that time, hawkers come to your doorstep, they will promptly be at your street, the same time everyday, some on bicycles, push carts and some on foot. Recalling some of these friendly hawkers who had become friends from our frequent beckonings, bring fond memories especially the Kacang Putih man, who will call me LULU. The Kacang Putih man and the Putu Mayam man were Indian, so, i have always assoicated Putu Mayam as an Indian Cuisine and indeed it is - a Sri Lankan Delight. I only realised that this light and satisfying snack was called 'String Hoppers" when i was able to read.

Making Putu Mayam was fun while it lasted, my arm muscles had improved from all the pressing - the texture of the dough had to be just right to fasilitate easy flow of noodles.

Putu Mayam has to be fluffy and dry, the strands of noodles, be the fineness ever and to achieved this, one has to have the proper size template to be used in a 'muruku mould'. I made a template out of a plastic jar cover and pricked very tiny holes in it. My first batch of Putu Mayam turned out to be thick beehoon and loh see fun, luckily the template worked and i succeeded making a batch of Putu Mayam to satisfy me.


2 cups rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch
550 ml boiling water
1-2 tsp salt
1 cup grated coconut - white only - steam with 1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Parchment papers - perforated to make steam holes
A Muruku Press with a very fine template/Putu Mayam Press


Line basket for steaming with a clean napkin, put in the dry rice flour, steam for about 1 hour.

Put the rice flour and tapioca starch in a bowl. Pour boiling water, add salt all at once onto the flour, stirring with the handle of a wooden spoon until the flour is moistened. When cool enough, gather it together with the hand and ensure there are no pockets of dry flour by kneading lightly.
Fill Muruku/Putu Mayam Press with enough dough, squeeze dough through the fine holes in the Press at the same time moving the Press over each parchment paper, so that the fine strings fall in two circles.
Repeat making noodles and when done, put the noodles to steam over fast boiling water for 5 - 8 minutes or until noodles are cooked and translucent.
Remove from steamer, allow to cool slightly, then gently peel the putu mayam off the parchment paper away.
Serve with steamed coconut and brown sugar.


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