Kue putu

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Kue putu
Putu Labu.jpg
Kue putu in Indonesia
Alternative namesPutu bambu, putu bumbung
TypeSweet dumpling
Place of originIndonesia
Region or stateSoutheast Asia
Serving temperatureRoom temperature
Main ingredientsRice flour, palm sugar, grated coconut
Similar dishesPuttu, puto, puto bumbóng, kueh tutu, mache

Kue putu or putu bambu is a traditional Southeast Asian cylindrical-shaped and green-colored steamed cake, originating from Indonesia.[1] The cake is made of rice flour called suji and colored green with extract acquired from pandan leaf, filled with palm sugar, and steamed in bamboo tubes, hence its name, and served with grated coconut. This traditional bite-size snack is commonly found in Maritime Southeast Asia, particularly in Java, Indonesia, where the cake is called "putu bumbung". Kue putu can also be found in the Netherlands due to their colonial ties with Indonesia.[2]

In Indonesia kue putu is one of the kue or traditional snacks, a popular street food commonly sold by travelling vendors, together with klepon, which is actually ball-shaped kue putu, but made with sticky glutinous rice flour instead.

Ingredients and cooking method[edit]

It consists of rice flour with green pandan leaf coloring, filled with ground palm sugar. This green coconut-rice flour ingredients with palm sugar filling is filled into bamboo tube container. Subsequently, the filled bamboo tubes are steamed upon a steam cooker with small holes opening to blow the hot steam. The cooked tubular cakes then pushed out from the bamboo tube container, and served with grated coconut.

Kue putu
Bamboo tube being filled with rice flour
Filled bamboo tube
Kue putu being steamed
Cooked putu pushed out from the bamboo tube
Kue putu, often sold with klepon
This set of images shows the process of kue putu making in Indonesia.

Etymology and Variations[edit]

Singaporean kueh tutu or also called putu mangkok in Indonesia.

In Javanese, bumbung means "bamboo" or "a hollow cylindrical object; a tube". As the dish began to spread across the country, the name was later translated to Indonesian putu bambu (bambu: "bamboo"). This reason behind the naming is because traditionally, the dish is made by filling in the tube of a bamboo with the ingredient (see the above picture).

Putu bambu pipes in a steamer

The variations of kue putu is often in its shapes or in its fillings. Kue putu of different shapes with almost identical ingredient, filling and recipes exist in Southeast Asia. The white-colored flatter dics-like shaped putu is called putu piring (Malay for: disc/plate putu) and more common in Malaysia, while the more thicker and rounder white or green-colored putu mangkok (Indonesian for: bowl putu) is more common in Indonesia. In Singapore however, putu mangkok is called kueh tutu.

Traditionally kue putu is filled with palm sugar, today however there are several new variations using different fillings, such as chocolate or abon (beef floss).[3]

Similar dishes[edit]

In the Philippines, puto is a generic name for any steamed rice cake. A type of puto very similar to kue putu is puto bumbóng which is also cooked in bamboo tubes (bumbóng in Tagalog). However puto bumbóng does not use pandan and is traditionally cooked as whole grains, rather than rice flour. It also uses a special purple variety of glutinous rice called pirurutong which gives it a deep purple color.[4][5]

In India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka) and Sri Lanka, a similar dish is known as puttu or pittu, though it is a savory dish rather than a dessert.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anggara Mahendra (13 June 2013). "'Kue Putu' Steamed Green Cake". Baily Daily. Archived from the original on 15 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Kue Putu Bambu". Waroeng.nl. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  3. ^ Rusaidah (20 February 2012). "Kue Putu HJ Bangka Hadir dengan Tiga Pilihan Rasa" (in Indonesian). Bangka Pos. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  4. ^ Angelita M. del Mundo (1995). "Emerging Versions of Some Traditional Philippine Rice Food Products". In Harlan Walker (ed.). Disappearing Foods: Studies in Food and Dishes at Risk. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1994. Prospect Books. p. 64. ISBN 9780907325628.
  5. ^ Amy Besa & Romy Dorotan (2014). Memories of Philippine Kitchens. Abrams. ISBN 9781613128084.
  6. ^ "BBC Indian Food Made Easy: Recipe for puttu", BBC, archived from the original on 2008-12-24, retrieved 2010-08-13

External links[edit]