Dhokla- A steamed and spongy lentil cake from the state of Gujarat
Their are so many things for which Gujarat is popular for and their snacks are one among the list .Gujarati snacks are very delicious and most of the time are made with gram flour/besan. Among the long list of their snacks/farsans – dhokla tops the list as khaman dhokla is the favourite of almost every one .
What a lot of people don’t know is that Dhokla and khaman are two different types of snacks. Dhoklas are made with rice and lentil batter, whereas khaman are made with gram flour/besan or chana daal batter. Chana daal dhokla is also named as vati daal na khaman. Besan khaman/ Nylon khaman is an instant recipe while for making chana daal dhokla you need preparation. Both khaman taste quite different as in besan khaman you need to add sugar and lemon water to make it moist else it feels very dry while eating, but vati daal nu khaman or chana daal ka dhokla is not as dry as besan khaman. Personally I prefer chana daal khaman. But both taste delicious if made perfectly.
Apart from the traditional recipes of making khaman dhokla or Surti khaman there are so many innovative versions of making dhoklas now. I often make Sooji dhokla which is my daughters’ favourite snack. There is also a dhokla with a slight Bhatia community touch –Khatta dhokla and also a masala stuffed vegetable dhokla –Stuffed dhokla .The delicious and little spicy Sandwich dhokla is also very popular now in which a layer of green chutney is spread in the middle and I often make it as every one loves it at my home.
Making khaman and dhokla is quite easy if either it is fermented well or you have added the right amount of fruit salt in it to rise well. If you add less fruit salt or soda then it will not turn soft and spongy and if added more then it will also affect the taste and some times even the appearance of the dhokla.But after few trial and errors you will master the trick.
Dhokla,Vati Daal Nu Khaman, Chana Daal Dhokla
- 2.5 cup Bengal gram /chana daal
- 4 tbsp Yogurt / Dahi
- 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder / Haldi Powder
- 1 tsp Sugar / Chini
- to taste Salt / Namak
- 2.5 tbsp Green chili paste
- 1 Tbsp Ginger paste
- 2.5 tsp Lemon Juice / Nimbu Ka Ras
- 2.5 tsp Eno fruit salt
- 5 tbsp Fresh Coriander / Cilantro / Hara Dhaniya finely chopped
- 4 tbsp Fresh Coconut, Grated
- 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 2.5 tsp Mustard Seeds / Rai *
- 1.5 tsp sesame seeds /til
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida / Hing powder
- 10 Curry Leaves / Kadi Patta
- 8 Green Chillies / Hari Mirch slit lengthwise
- wash and soak chana daal for minimum 5 hours.
- Drain the water and grind to make a coarse and thick paste with some water
- Take out the mixture in a bowl and add yogurt and salt and mix.
- Keep covered to ferment overnight or for 8 hours.
- Now add turmeric,chili paste,ginger paste,lemon juice, oil and sugar and mix gently.
- Boil enough water in a normal steamer or in a dhokla maker.
- Grease the plates in which you want to steam the dhokla.9plates should be minimum 1 inch deep.
- when the water in the steamer started boiling then add eno /fruit salt in the batter.
- Sprinkle few drops of water over the eno and mix well.
- Pour the batter in the greased plate (fill the plate 3/4)
- Put the plate in the steamer and close it tightly with the lid.
- Cook on high heat for abourt 20-25 minutes
- Open and check by inserting a knife or toothpick,If it come out clean then its done else cook further for some time
- Let it come to room temperature and then cut into pieces.
- Tempering-Heat oil in a small pan and add Mustard seeds ,sesame seeds and asafoetida.
- When seed start crackling add the green chilies and curry leaves.
- Remove it from the flame and add 2 tbsp of water(water is optional) and pour it over the dhokla pieces.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and grated coconut.
- Serve with coconut chutney and mint chutney.
- Don't make a fine paste of chana daal,it should be coarse.
- Add exact quantity of fruit salt in the batter .
- Add fruit salt only when the water in your steamer started boiling.
- You can store the batter in refrigerator for about 3 days ,add Eno only when you want to steam it.
- The consistency of the batter should be perfect for a spongy dhokla.it should neither be too thick nor too runny.