Exploring the Extraordinary Putu Mayam

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Putu Mayam, also known as string hoppers or idiyappam, is a popular traditional delicacy in Malaysia. This delectable dish, made from rice flour and served with a variety of condiments, holds a special place in Malaysian cuisine. In this article, we will delve into the origins, preparation, and cultural significance of Putu Mayam, highlighting its unique flavours and inviting aroma.

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Origins of Putu Mayam

Putu Mayam traces its roots back to the Indian subcontinent, particularly the Tamil Nadu region. Indian immigrants brought this culinary gem to Malaysia, where it eventually became an integral part of Malaysian cuisine. Over time, the dish underwent subtle modifications and adaptations to suit local preferences, resulting in the creation of the beloved Putu Mayam we know today.

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Preparation and Ingredients

To make Putu Mayam, finely ground rice flour is mixed with water and salt to form a smooth dough. The dough is then passed through a special cylindrical press with small holes, creating thin noodles. These delicate strands are steamed until they become soft and fluffy. Traditionally, the noodles are steamed inside conical bamboo containers, imparting a unique aroma to the dish.

Serving and Condiments

Putu Mayam is typically served with an array of flavourful condiments. Grated coconut, often mixed with a hint of salt or palm sugar, is a popular accompaniment. The fragrant coconut adds richness and texture to the dish. Another common condiment is gula Melaka, a type of palm sugar syrup, which provides a delightful sweetness. Some variations also include toppings like roasted peanuts or pandan leaves for an added depth of flavour.

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Cultural Significance

Putu Mayam holds a special place in Malaysian culture, especially during festive occasions and breakfast meals. It is often enjoyed with friends and family, fostering a sense of togetherness and celebration. The skill of making Putu Mayam has been passed down through generations, creating a shared culinary heritage.


Putu Mayam stands as a testament to the multicultural fabric of Malaysian cuisine, blending Indian influence with local adaptations. Its delicate rice noodles, paired with a myriad of flavourful condiments, offer a unique gastronomic experience. Whether you savour it during festive gatherings or indulge in it as a breakfast treat, Putu Mayam is sure to captivate your taste buds and leave you craving more.


  1. FoodRepublic.com. (n.d.). Putu Mayam: Deliciousness Steamed and Shredded.
  2. TheStar.com.my. (2019, October 6). Malaysia’s street food – Putu Mayam.

Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal