Indonesian Putu Bambu (Steamed Rice Cake in Bamboo)

Indonesian Putu Bambu (Steamed Rice Cake in Bamboo)

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Indonesian
Author: Marvellina
Learn how to make Indonesia putu bambu with the right texture. All the tips you need to know to make it the right way.
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  • 150 gr finely grated coconut (thawed if frozen)
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  • Prepare the topping by mixing the grated coconut and salt and steam for 5 minutes
  • Get the steamer ready with some water on high heat. Place the rice flour in a large mixing bowl. Adding the water a little bit at a time. I can't stress enough the importance of not dumping the water all at once. Continue until you use up most of the water (or all) and you get a fine powdery consistency (not large granules, that means it's too wet!). If you press your finger on the mixture, it will hold its shape and if you push it with your finger again, it will crumble. You know you have the right consistency if you can do this

If you use idly maker (I haven't tried this myself):

  • The process is very similar to using kueh tutu mold. Layer with flour mixture, then the gula jawa and then cover with more flour. The only difference is you don't need to remove any mold or flip over anything. It's probably much easier. Steam for about 10-15 minutes

If you use bamboo tube like I do:

  • Put some of the flour mixture inside the tube (with the coin already inserted inside the pipe), about 3/4 of the height of the tube. DO NOT PACK/PRESS the flour. It is supposed to be loose, then gently use your thumb to make a hole in the middle and fill it up with gula jawa and cover with more flour all the way to the top. Repeat with the rest 
  • Place the tube in the steamer and steam over high heat for 20 minutes 
  • When ready, push the Putu Bambu out. You can use a chopstick and slowly push the coin out and the Putu Bambu will slide out. Don't panic if it doesn't really hold its shape. Line your serving dish with banana leaves if you want. That's how it was served in Indonesia


  • Sprinkle with the grated coconut and salt mixture along with a generous amount of sugar on top of it. Ready to Chow ;)


1. The challenging part of making this putu bambu is really getting the right consistency of the flour mixture. If it's too wet, it will come out rubbery and gummy (I had that at least 3 times!)
2. I didn't prepare the rice flour from scratch. I use Thai rice flour (readily available at Asian grocery store or see affiliate link below) and I did not stir fry the flour anymore