Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tukang Putu Bambu

You can only find Tukang Putu Bambu after the dusk. They usually will walk around the neighborhood with their carts until late at night, and you can tell directly when they pass in front of your house from the special sound comes out from their steam.

I believe that some of you are already familiar with the name of Putu Bambu because it's a quite well known snack also in Singapore and Malaysia.

Sometimes, I got confused with the origin of the food because some food in Indonesia are the same in Malaysia. So, again like the cendol drink, I made a little research and found out that Putu Bambu is originally an Indonesian traditional snack (source: wikipedia/kue putu). The famous Putu Bambu is from Medan (capital city of North Sumatra - Indonesia).

So, what is Putu Bambu?

Putu Bambu is steamed cake made from rice flour and filled with aren sugar (palm sugar) in the middle of it then steamed in bamboos.


The empty bamboos ready to be used. Coconut and the grater.

The process of making Putu Bambu.

Steam for about 5 minutes.
While steaming, the vendor prepares the banana leaf, then after the Putu Bambu has been steamed for 5 minutes, he uses a long stick to push the Putu Bambu out from the bamboo case.Adds grated coconut mixed with salt for the final touch.


Putu Bambu has soft and cottony texture with wonderful sweet fragrance from the palm sugar and banana leaf. The best time to eat Putu Bambu when it's still warm.

1 Putu Bambu costs Rp. 1.300 ( about US 15 cents).


Some of the vendors also sell "Kue Lupis" which is made from glutinous rice and grated coconut wrapped in banana leaf before being boiled for about 4 hours, It's eaten with brown sugar sauce.

There're also "Klepon" and "Cenil".

Cenil is made from cassava starch (tapioca) and water plus red food coloring, boiled and then served with grated coconut and sprinkle white sugar.

Klepon is small balls made from glutinous rice flour and filled with brown sugar, the green color is from suji leaf (cat's claw leaf) then rolled into grated coconut and salt.
Whenever I eat klepon, I will put the whole one ball of klepon into my mouth. I love the sensation when I bite it, the brown sugar will pop inside my mouth, so fun and yummy..... hehehe...

60 comments:

  1. Just wondering....
    did you , by any chance, find this at Pluit ?
    the cart and the food settings look familiar :)

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  2. HR: No, not in Pluit but in West Jakarta area. Well, the tukang putu's carts are almost all look the same, right? ;)

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  3. These look like delicious treats and I enjoy learning about them.

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  4. donna-ffw: and.... I enjoy sharing them ;)

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  5. I've seen putu bambu before, but never knew the correct name for it. Such a great example of simple flavors that when put together become delicious. I love all the pictures of the process as well. I will be trying it for sure!

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  6. lori: Wow! You have seen it before? that's cool! Hope that you will give it a try next time when you see it again :)

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  7. Talk about look like a fantastic treat! I love the fact that you have night time street vendors too. Looks like delicious foos 24/7!

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  8. Ooo you love it Selba, your description was so cute.
    xxx

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  9. KA: Yes, we do have night time street vendors, actually at night there are more street vendors around than in the day time ;)

    DA: hehehe... is it? ;)

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  10. Ah, I'm such a sucker for sticky rice snacks and treats. These look awesome!

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  11. mica: sticky, chewy... those are heavenly! LOL

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  12. I've seen this before but don't know how it taste like!

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  13. buzzingbee: if you like grated coconut and brown sugar (gula melaka), then probably you will love this putu bambu :)

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  14. we have something similar to this. Puto Bumbong but its only available during the Christmas season.I bet this is delicious!

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  15. we called putu bambu- putu piring.
    while klepon is ondeh ondeh.
    similar but different names.

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  16. hahahahw e got similar putu bamboo now in KL! :)

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  17. It's very difficult to find putu bambu here in Singapore any more. I think the nearest version is likely to be putu piring but they use a different version of gula merah which I don't really like. I still like to original version.

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  18. this such great advertising and marketing - I want to visit your country so bad!

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  19. More great food for me to look forward to, and I somehow missed your shake ice cream post, but read it and I remember the first time I had red bean curd ice cream, Oh My Gosh! Now I always look for it in the Asian market and restaurants...

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  20. What a delicious treat! I love the food you show us. I keep coming back for more.

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  21. same name that putu bambu in here....
    and that kelpon
    here we name it onde onde....

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  22. What a yummy late night treat! They look so good with that delicious coconut!

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  23. These both look so delicious! I love that the putu bambu is steamed in bamboo, how pretty!

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  24. Hi Selba!!

    I love reading about the foods in your country! The pictures are so good and I love to learn about the fantastic foods that are available to you!

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  25. I'm far to get Putu Bambu here but looks delicious..how many you can eat? I bet a lotss hehe

    Cheers!

    Gera

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  26. Thank you so much for bringing such a wonderful sweet memories. Oh, I am so homesick now ... if only I can replicate this delicate Putu Bumbung(that what my mum called them) in the US, I'd be a very happy camper :-)

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  27. These look like such delightful little treats, especially the one with brown sugar!

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  28. peachkins: Puto Bumbong? Sounds quite close to Putu Bambu :) Does bumbong mean bamboo in tagalong? Why only available during Christmas season, any particular reason?

    foodbin: Here in Indonesia, ondeh – ondeh is the name for tang yuan :)

    BBO: nice! Do you like it?

    jo: Oh… probably they are using the plain brown sugar not the palm sugar?

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  29. doggybloggy: Hahaha… there’s no purpose of advertising nor marketing at all actually.

    chef e: Red bean ice cream is very famous in Asia :) Good to know that you can find it it Asian market.

    mary: Thanks, Mary! So glad that my posts keep make you coming back for more.

    PG 115,nf: Tang yuan is called onde – onde in Indonesia :)

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  30. Kerstin: Yes, they are yummy and so nice to have it late at night 

    faith: If you listen to the steam from the bamboo, it’s sounds interesting ;)

    jenn: thank you for your kind compliments, Jenn :) So happy that you enjoy my posts!

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  31. gera: Hehehe… not too many coz’ there’s still klepon and cenil to be eaten ;)

    tuty: Oh no… sorry to make you homesick… uhmmm, maybe it’s already time for you to going back home, ya? ;)

    5 SF: Yes, it is indeed :)

    WN: Come.. come here! ;)

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  32. hhmm..we mz hv a discussion of why so many Indo food is similar to Msia's!
    Only diff names!! I mz come indo soon..

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  33. They look amazing! I would like so much to taste them!

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  34. What beautiful exotic sweets! I would love to try some.

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  35. TNG: Hahaha... It's gonna be fund to discuss about it ;) It would be great if you can come to visit me in Indo, we can go hunting for food, eh.. btw, fasting month is almost in the corner which means a bit difficult to find food on the street! It will be better if you come after the hari raya so everything is back to the normal ;)

    HoGF: Hope that you will have the chance to try it :)

    heather: Hehehe... not an exotic sweet to us ;)

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  36. Klepon reminds me of mochi! Seems like the sellers put an awful lot of work into making their sweet treats for a small fee (US $-wise). This was a great post, so informative and colorful!
    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  37. Is this a relative of the Indian Keralit 'Puttu'? It seems similar!

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  38. I would give anything to try each and every one of those treatsm especially the Putu Bambu as is! Your photos capture these sweet treats perfectly!

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  39. They are similar to our putu piring and ondeh-ondeh. Both are my all-time favourite!

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  40. so tang yuan there called onde onde.....

    here tang yuan we called......
    tang yuan
    LOLz
    XD

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  41. The putu bambu looks really tasty & so do all of the other treats!

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  42. lasinthekitchen: Hi there, welcome to my blog :) Yes, you are right, klepon is like mochi, the difference is the filling and the cover of it :)

    miakoda: Hello Miakoda, thanks for dropping by my blog. True! Putu Bambu is a "relative" of Indian puttu :)

    lisa michelle: thank you for your compliments, Lisa :)

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  43. FFT: I'm not familiar with putu piring, ah... must be interesting to find it out :)

    PG 115: hahaha... tang yuan is tang yuan!

    sophie: they are tasty because of the coconut :)

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  44. Mmmmm I never had them, but I bet I will like them, I love coconut. Have a fabulous weekend darling.

    Duchess xx

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  45. DoT: Have a fabulous weekend too, Duchess :)

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  46. oooh i would need TIME to go through all the delish posts here......hi there, this is coco's mum
    have a good weekend

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  47. cocorue: Hi Coco's mum, welcome to my food blog... please take your time :)

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  48. Mmm, yummy I love the soft-textured sweet coconutty, rice flour type Asian desserts. Such a nice way to top off a spicy dinner.

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  49. FwLT: it is :)

    livvie: yes, you described it perfectly ;)

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  50. Darling I hope you had a lovely weekend. I just stopped by to wish you a sunny day!!

    ♥ hugs ♥

    Duchess

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  51. DoT: dear Duchess, thank you for wishing me a sunny day. I also hope that you also have a beautiful and sunny day with a cup of nice warm tea :)

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  52. I'm repeating Peachy: I've had puto bumbong in the Philippines and I would totally love putu bambu. How I wish these were available close to me but instead, I have to fly thousands of miles for some. Actually, that's probably a good thing - I don't know if I could stop eating these! 8-)

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  53. ok, love your blog!! I want to try all these interesting foods I've never heard of before, how neat :)

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  54. TN: So, it's actually good that there's no putu bambu vendor around your area? Hehehe... :)

    kristen :): Thank you.. thank you for loving my blog.. :)

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  55. From what I know, the term 'Putu' is an Indian sweets. The reason it's available in many countries is because of the Indian merchants travelling to our countries to trade, bringing these foods with them.

    In Singapore (and maybe M'sia) 'Cenil' is knows as 'Awel-awel'. 'Klepon' is known as 'Ondeh-ondeh'.

    Lupis is called similarly here.

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  56. CT: Yes, you are right, "Putu" is an Indian sweets :) I guess the idea of Putu Bambu came from the Indian sweets - Putu. But then as far as I know the way of using bambu and steaming for making Putu is originally from Indonesia :)

    Ondeh-ondeh is tang yuan in Indonesia.

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  57. Thanks for covering this, really brought back memories :)

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  58. bioslaya: Glad that it brings back memories, I believe it's good memories, right? ;)

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