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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Khaman Dhokla

Dhokla or 'Khaman' is a snack from the Indian state of Gujarat made with a fermented batter of gram (chickpeas). Split chickpeas or besan in some recipes, are soaked overnight.

This paste is fermented for four to five hours, then is spiced by adding chile pepper, ginger, and baking soda.

The dhokla is then steamed for about 15 minutes on a flat dish and cut into pieces. It is seasoned in a distinct way, where in oil is heated with mustard seeds in it, until mustard cracks, then assafoetida and chopped green chilies added to this.

Sometimes, equal amount of water also added with little sugar to this oil, and then it is poured over the Khaman, after this only pieces are removed from dish.

Khatta dhokla, Khaman dhokla, Rasia dhokla, Sandwich Dhokla and cheese dhokla are varieties of dhokla prepared by Gujarati households and are now also locally available in snack shops all over Western part of India.

The following recipe yields about 6-8 servings.


For Batter:

3 & 1/2 cup of Gram flour / Besan

2 cups Plain yogurt

2 cups water

3 table spoon cream of wheat

1/4 teaspoon Asafetida

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon ginger chili paste

Salt to taste

3-4 small packets of Eno salt (fruit salt)* (see below for description)

For tempering the Dhokla (not to be mixed in batter)

1/4 spoon sugar

1/3 cup water

Juice of fresh large lime

Oil - 4 tablespoon

1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds

1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds

4 pods of dry red chilies

3 teaspoon Sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoon of Asafetida

1/4 cup of Chopped green chilies (I used Jalapenos)

Handful of Fresh Curry leaves

For Garnish:

1/4 cup Grated coconut (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh Coriander leaves


Mix first water and yogurt and whisk it together until smooth buttermilk consistency.

Add gram flour (besan) and cream of wheat, mix well until batter is smooth without lumps.

Keep it aside to rise for 4-6 hours.

Add Turmeric powder, green chili / ginger paste and salt in the batter.

Mix well, set aside.

How to steam Dhokla:

• Grease a 8” stainless steel dish (thali) with a high rim grease it with oil.

• Take a steamer with 2 inches water for steaming.

• Use stand that comes with steamer or another bowl at the bottom of the pot to prop up the dish out of the water.

• Cover the pot and allow the water to come to a boil.

• In the mean time take out 3 ladles of batter in small bowl and add 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda or Eno, mix well in one direction to aerate the batter.

• When the water starts to steam, uncover the pot.

• Pour the batter in to greased dish and place the dish on the stand in the pot.

• Cover the pot and place some weight on the cover. (I use my mortal for weight and steam for 15 minutes)

• After 12-15 minutes, remove the steamed batter from the pot let it cool.

• In the mean time prepare another plate and batter the same way and steam another plate of Dhokla.

• When first dish is cool, cut the Dhokla in to squares, and empty them in large platter.

• Repeat the process and keep making the Dhokla until all the batter is gone.

• Once all the Dhokla are in the platter, Mix Water/Sugar/lime juice solution and mix well.

• Drizzle this over the Dhokla pieces and allow them to absorb all of the liquid.

* For seasoning, heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when these crackle add fenugreek seeds, dry red chili pods, curry leaves, sesame seeds, and chopped green chilies. Stir for few seconds.

* Add asafetida and remove and pour over the dhokla.

* Garnish with chopped cilantro and grated coconut if desired.

* Let it cool for a while. If you want perfect shaped ones and not the crumbling, cut and handle gently.

* Serve with deep fried chilies on the side, and side of Coriander or Mint chutney or green papaya and chili relish (all of these recipes on this blog).

What is Eno fruit salt:

Eno is the most global of GSK's gastrointestinal products. The fast-acting effervescent fruit salts, used as an antacid and reliever of bloatedness, was invented in the 1850s by James Crossley Eno (1827-1915). It has sales of nearly £30 million, with its major markets being Spain, India, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia and Thailand. It is frequently used as a substitute for baking powder. Word of caution: Sodium content is very high.

Source for Description of Eno
Source for Description of Dhokla:

Recipe by my mom Mrs. Kasturben S.
Photographs by Surekha.

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