If it’s not the ice cream man or paper lama van passing through your neighbourhood roads in the evenings, then it’s definitely the putu mayam man on his motorcycle honking away, indicating that he has some fresh putu mayam to sell. Although that hasn’t changed for generations, putu mayam itself is going through a much-awaited transformation thanks to this father and son duo.
24-year-old R. Navin Kumar and his father L. Ravi from Ipoh have brought the putu mayam game up a notch with their local delivery service Ravi Putumayam Ipoh – where they sell colourful flavoured variants of the traditional dish.
Ravi started out making the standard white putu mayam before his son Navin joined him and learned how to make the famous Southern Indian and Sri Lankan delicacy from scratch.
However, Navin had bigger ideas inspired by the flavour of cakes and decided to incorporate that into the snack.
At first, Navin started with strawberry flavour that made the white putu mayam turn pink which garnered the attention of netizens.
After some experimentation, Navin and Ravi decided to proceed with the idea and now the duo sells other flavours such as yam, mango, pandan, mocha, cappuccino and orange for only RM2 per piece.
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Due to the overwhelming success, Navin currently makes at least 300 pieces putu mayam manually a day which takes at least 4 to 5 hours to complete.
At this point, he’s also looking to secure a machine that costs RM20,000 that will automate the process to relieve his labour.
Navin is also one heck of a trooper – despite his past injuries from a motorcycle accident that still hurts, he manages to complete his daily orders.
It’s always refreshing to see modern spins on traditional delicacies when they’re done right. Hopefully, culinary innovations like these will put Malaysia on the world food map once again.