And then it was time for another session of blog hopping, browsing various recipes by other bloggers. Yet again things seemed to work in mysterious ways as my first blog I went through had the recipe for Dhoklas! Bookmarked the recipe. And then I switched on the television to find a lady explaining how to make dhoklas! And on another day as I sat and flipped through the pages of a magazine I came upon yet another recipe for dhokla! I found people I met during the last two weeks discussing dhoklas…!!
So khaman Dhokla is finally made at home! It was passed by all the tasters and from now on will not buy the ready mixes for sure!
What is Khaman Dhokla?
These are soft, fluffy, savory cake from the Indian State of Gujarath. They are made from a batter of besan or chickpea flour and steamed Once steamed, they are tempered with mustard seeds, sesame and coconut and served alongside with green chutney. Perfect and authentic dhoklas have the right balance of sweet, spicy and slightly sour taste.
A twist to the regular tempering here is the sprinkling of few drops water after removing the pan from heat and stirring it with sugar. This helps to keep the dhoklas soft and moist for a few hours.
For the Batter
- Besan/ Chickpea Flour – 1 cup
- Rava/ semolina – 1.5 tbsp
- Curd – 1 cup
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Ginger-Green chilli paste – 1-2 tbsp (or 1-2 chillies + 1”pices peeled ginger)
- Lime juice – 2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Eno fruit salt – 1.5 tsp
- Water – as needed
For the tadka/ tempering
- Refined oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- White Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Asafoetida/ hing powder – 1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves – 6 to 8 leaves
- Green chillies (chopped – 1)
- Sugar – 1 to 2 tsp
- Water – 1 to 2 tbsp
- Fresh coriander leaves (chopped)
- Freshly grated coconut (optional)
- In a wide bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the batter (except eno). Add enough water (approx 1/2 cup, give or take) to make a smooth pancake/ idli consistency batter. The batter should be of flowing consistency but thick enough and not watery. Taste and adjust salt, chillies, sourness. Set batter aside till the steamer is ready or 15 mins
- Grease a round, 7” to 8” diameter and 2” deep steel thali/ cake pan with a tbsp of oil.
To steam the dhoklas
- Heat some water in a steamer just sufficient to fall short of the bottom of the pan/ thali when placed on it. Place the ring which comes with the steamer. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Now add eno fruit salt to the batter and bubbles start to appear almost immediately as it starts to act up when combined with lime juice. Mix once very lightly and quickly pour the batter onto the ready thali/ pan. Do not try and spread the batter as it will result in a hard dhokla. Set this thali/ pan in the steamer over the ring. Cover with lid and cook over a high heat for 15 minutes or till done (see notes).
- Remove the thali and set aside to cool slightly, about 15 mins.
- For the tempering, heat oil in a pan and add the mustard and let them crackle. Add the sesame seeds, green chillies, curry leaves, asafoetida and sauté for 5 to 8 seconds. Now add sugar and remove the pan from heat and add water. Stir to melt the sugar. Do remove the pan from heat when you add the water, you know what how it would splatter otherwise!
- Then pour this tempering over the dhokla and spread it with a spoon. Garnish with coriander leaves and coconut. Cut into equal squares and serve with mint chutney, coriander chutney or sweet and sour tamarind chutney.
The dhoklas are cooked when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Also the color of the dhokla will be opaque yellow, looks spongy and spring back when touched. The skewer method is usually sufficient to test doneness.
Never open the lid when dhoklas are cooking for at least 10 to 15 mins as they may collapse.
Eno fruit salt, widely available in Indian groceries stores is popularly used for relief from indigestion, nausea, acidity. Fruit salt contains soda bicarbonate and citric acid.
Some people use a combination of oil, soda bicarb and lemon juice in place of eno fruit salt. A recipe I came across said 1 tsp soda bicarb, 2 tbsp oil and juice of 1 lemon to be mixed together and then added to the batter made from 2 cups besan. I have not tried this way though and not sure of the results.
If you do not have a steamer, you could steam in a large wok/ pan that has tight fitting lid. Just pour some water into it so that it comes to just below the bottom of the thali/ cake pan. Keep a pastry ring or a steel bowl upside down. Then keep the thali/cake pan filled with the batter. Cover pan with lid and steam till done.