Kue putu

Kue putu
Kue putu in Indonesia
Alternative names Putu bambu, putu buluh, puto bumbong
Type Sweet dumpling
Course Dessert
Place of origin Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines
Region or state Maritime Southeast Asia
Created by Derived from Indian puttu
Serving temperature Room temperature
Main ingredients Rice flour, palm sugar, grated coconut
Variations puttu, puto
Cookbook: Kue putu  Media: Kue putu

Kue putu or putu bambu, putu buluh or puto bumbong is a traditional cylindrical-shaped and green-colored steamed cake.[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, which includes Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippines cuisines, and believed to be derived from Indian puttu of Keralaite origin. 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

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.


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]

In the majority-Catholic Philippines, kue putu, locally known as puto bumbong is commonly served as a snack during the Christmas season, and is usually associated with the nine-day traditional Simbang Gabi novena, where stalls serving snacks including puto bumbong & refreshments await the faithful outside. Puto bumbong is different from its Asian cousins in that instead of being colored green, it is purple due to its main ingredient, a unique violet-colored rice variety called pirurutong. Symbolically, purple is the main liturgical color of the Advent season, the time when the Simbang Gabi usually takes place.

See also


  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.
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