Thambuttu, a Sweet Dish From Coorg

Last month all of us celebrated the harvest festival in Coorg known as Puthari or Huthari. On this occasion we make a sweet dish out of ripe bananas which is called Thambuttu. This dish is very easy to make and is very nutritious since it contains ripe bananas, roasted sesame seeds, grated coconut and is served with clarified butter or ghee.

Thambuttu from Coorg

Thambuttu from Coorg

Here’s how to make it.


3 ripe bananas

2 tbsp. Thambuttu powder

A pinch of salt

2 tbsp. grated coconut

1 tsp. roasted sesame seeds (white)

1 tsp. melted ghee or clarified butter


  1. Mash the bananas.
  2. Mix the thambuttu powder into it a little at a time till the mixture holds its shape. Add more thambuttu powder, if needed.
  3. Transfer this mixture into a serving bowl. Make a depression at the centre. Sprinkle the grated coconut and the roasted sesame seeds.  Pour the melted ghee into the depression.

The Thambuttu is now ready to savor!

To make the Thambuttu Powder, you’ll need

1 cup par boiled rice, washed and dried

¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds

Seeds of two cardamoms


  1. Roast the rice on a slow flame till it turns brown.
  2. Roast the fenugreek seeds gently.
  3. Similarly roast the cardamom seeds.
  4. When cool, powder all the ingredients to obtain the Thambuttu powder.

This can be preserved in an air tight container for several months.



Steamed Jackfruit Cake (Koovale Puttu)

It is always a challenge to make a snack that is delicious, healthy and nutritious! Here is a recipe from my home land, Coorg, that is all of this and more! It can be made using ripe Jackfruit, when it is in season or ripe Bananas at other times. Since it is steamed, it retains most of the  nutrition. It is a favorite tea-time snack that is savored by the young and old over long conversations of the day’s happenings or of times gone by.



1 cup of very ripe Jackfruit pulp (deseed the fruit and puree it in a food processor)

1 cup broken rice (the same size as rava)

¼ cup Sugar

1/2 cup finely grated coconut

3 Cardamoms, powdered

¼ tsp Salt

1 tbsp ghee

A little water, if needed

Banana leaves, cut into 10 cm * 10 cm sections (may require 8-10 such sections)


  1. Wash the broken rice rava.
  2. To that, add the Jackfruit pulp, sugar, salt, cardamom powder, grated coconut and ghee. Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes. If you find the mixture to be too dry, add a little water so that the mixture is moist. Remember that the mixture should not be too watery.
  3. Prepare the banana leaves by passing it over a flame for a few seconds to make it soft and easy to fold.
  4. On each section of the Banana leaf, place two tbsps of the mixture prepared in step 2 and fold the piece as shown in the images below. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

5. Steam these in a steamer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove from the Banana leaf. The Koovale Puttus are ready.

To serve the Koovale puttu, heat it on a griddle with a little ghee and serve hot.


Please do share your experience of making this snack. I would love to hear from you.


  1. I have suggested the use of ¼ cup of sugar considering that the Jackfruit is very sweet. If you taste the Jackfruit/Banana that you are using and find it to be not so sweet, you can increase the sugar to ½ cup or more.
  2. The puttus can be kept in the fridge for upto two days.
  3. Koovale Puttus can also be served with a little honey drizzled over it.
  4. You can use Turmeric leaves instead of Banana leaves if you have access to it. It imparts a wonderful fragrance to the puttus.
  5. The name of the recipe is Koovale Puttu as at one point in time in Coorg, the puttus were made using koovale leaves (Schumannianthus virgatus).  Today, since they are difficult to source, we are using Banana leaves.