Puto Bumbong is a type of street food also considered as a delicacy that us traditionally served during the Christmas season, a rice cake made of steamed black glutinous rice (puto) called “pirurutong” cooked in bamboo (bumbong) then served with margarine, grated coconut and palm sugar granules. December 16 marks the first day of the traditional Christmas dawn masses back home and street food like this alongside bibingka is popularly sold outside churches and on popular streets that leads to and from the church.
Before I thought it was a totally Filipino recipe but after I moved to Malaysia I saw something similar in the name of Kue putu but instead of purple colour the Malaysian version is green flavoured with pandan leaves. Then after more research I found out that this type of dish is believed to have originated from Indian puttu.
Here in New Zealand its quite hard to make it since you need two special items and ingredients to make it right, first is the black glutinous rice which luckily is available at the Asian grocers here and another one is where it is cooked, a vessel that technically is a steamer but it should be able to direct the steam into a bamboo tube where the puto will be cooked. Apart from that the process in making this requires a lot of waiting time since the traditional way of making need at least an overnight soaking of the glutinous rice, grinding the rice on a grinding stone manually and draining excess water using a cotton sack to dry it out leaving the moisture only. Luckily, I found a way to making this without some of the key elements but still tastes the same, so if you want to do it also at home continue on to the recipe below and let me know how it turned out for you.
- In a large bowl combine both types of glutinous rice, add enough water to fully soak them and leave in a cool place for 24 hours.
- Fully drain your rice then place them in a food processor or a blender, pulse to have a grainy wet consistency and add a bit of water while grinding them. You need to achieve a gritty but fine consistency similar to a moist sand.
- Place the mixture in a lightly greased shallow tray, place in a steamer then steam for 20 minutes in really high heat or until cooked and tender.
- Remove the cooked puto bumbong from the tray, slice and shape into small cylinders, place on a banana leaf lined plate then spread some margarine on top, generously sprinkle it with freshly grated coconut and some palm sugar granules then serve.