Monday, 24 February 2014

Dhokla (Indian Snack)

A typical Gujarati Meal of Dhokla, Khichadi,Kadi, vegetables,Roti, Papad and Chutney
Dhokla is a Gujarati savory made from rice and mixture of split pulses. It is very healthy and nourishing snack. A typical Gujarati meal consists of Dhokla, Farsan, Khichadi, kadi, aloo sabji, puri/roti and chutney. Of course gulab jamun cannot be missed as sweet. Another variation of Dhokla is made from besan (Split black gram flour) which is quite often mistaken for Dhokla, it is actually called Khaman. It can be made instantly without the hassle of soaking, grinding and fermenting. But the taste of Dhokla and Khaman are absolutely different and both have a their own place in the platter and taste buds. I always used to make Khaman as I did not know how to make Dhokla. In Ethiopia I learnt it from Sefali my wonderful young friend from Gujarat. Now I can fulfill my desire to have Dhokla also. My  thanks to Sefali. 

Preparation Time: 15 min. (Soaking and fermentation time not included)
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes each batch
Servings: 30-40 Medium size Dhokla pieces

Ingredients Required For Making Dhokla:
(Measurements should be done with the same cup)
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1/2 cup Split black gram (Chana dal)
  • 1/2Cup Dhuli Urd Dal
  • 1 Cup Thick Curd (200gm)
  • 4-6 Green Chilies
  • 2 Inch Ginger piece
  • I Pinch of Asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon ghee (2-3ml)
  • 2 Tea spoon (4-5 ml)/cooing oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cooking Soda (soda bi Carbonate)/ENO/Fruit salt
  • 10-12 Black Pepper Seeds
  • 1 Tea spoon cumin Powder
  • 1 Tea spoon Red chili Powder
  • 1/4Teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Optional)
  • 3-4 Teaspoons White Sesame Seeds
  • 3-4 Sprigs of Cilantro
  • 8-10 Curry leafs
Directions For Making Dhokla:
  • Wash Rice and both the dal in flowing water till water comes out clean.
  • Make coarse powder of pepper seeds.
  • Make paste of ginger piece.
  • Wash and pat dry coriander sprigs and cut fine.
  • Mix the washed rice and pulses and soak them for 6-8 hours.
  • Drain all water and grind to fine paste using as little water as possible.
  • Cover the paste and keep aside for 4-5 hours in summers (the temperature is high) for 6-8 hours in winters (the temperature is low). The batter should rise due to fermentation.
Fermented Paste of Dal and rice in Curd
  • Fill the container of double boiler half with water and keep for heating on high flame. When the water boils then lower the flame.
  • Beat the batter with a fork/spoon and add:
    • Curd
    • 2 Teaspoon oil
    • Turmeric
    • Ginger paste
    • Green chili pieces
    • Coarsely ground Pepper
    • Salt
    • Sugar
  • Mix nicely.
  • Add soda bi carbonate (eating soda)/ENO/fruit salt and mix with a fork/spoon. Batter will start becoming fluffy due to carbon-di-oxide coming out of soda-bi-carb/ENO/fruit salt.
  • The batter should be like cake batter neither too thick nor too thin, it should be pourable like cake batter.

Fermented Dhokla Paste Mixed With Spices
  • Immediately transfer the batter to the oiled plate of double boiler of Dhokla maker. Sprinkle one teaspoon red chili powder and cumin powder. Keep the plate with batter in the Dhokla making container with water boiling in it.
Plate of Double Boiler Oiled
Dhokla Batter in the Plate of Double Boiler
Plate With Dhokla Batter Placed In Double Boiler
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Keep checking by poking a dry stick/needle in the Dhokla mixture. If it comes out clean then the Dhokla is cooked otherwise cook till it comes out clean
Steaming Dhokla Ready, Before being Cut to Pieces
  • Remove the Dhokla plate with cooked Dhokla from boiler and let it cool. 
  • Cut to pieces of required shape and size.
Dhokla Cut To Pieces After Being Cut To Pieces

  • Heat ghee/oil in a wok and when it is hot add curry leaves and sesame seeds. Cook till the sesame seeds splutter.
  • Add cooked Dhokla and mix by turning them upside down carefully.
    Dhokla Pieces Being Tempered With Sesame Seeds
  • Remove tempered Dhokla from wok and garnish with finely cut cilantro and serve hot/cold with coriander-mint chutney.
  • Dhokla in Gujarat is very important side dish. It also is very healthy, nourishing and light snack.
    Sefali with Dhokla
A typical Gujarati Meal of Dhokla, Khichadi,Kadi, vegetables,Roti and Chutney
  • Depending upon the temperature change the time for which the paste of pulses and rice is kept for fermentation. The idea is that batter should be nicely fermented.
  • Check the sharpness of green chilies before adding and increase/decrease the amount according to your taste and the sharpness of chilies.
  • Do not use ghee in solid state if it is being added to batter. Better add oil keep ghee for tempering only.
  • If double boiler of Dhokla is not available oil any steel plate with edges and keep it on a broad mouthed container, do not cover with flat cover which will touch the batter when it rises while cooking, with water and cook.
  • Curd should be thick else the batter will become thin.
Suggested Variations:
  • Finely cut green chilies can be added to tempering.
  • Green chilies can be replaced with flakes/powder of red chilies.
  • Turmeric can be avoided to get white color Dhokla.
  • Idli maker can be used to make round shape Dhokla.
  • Batter can be divided to three parts, to one part add turmeric, to second part add paste of coriander leafs (Cilantro leafs) and let the third part be white. Put the batter in three layers in the oiled plate and cook to get three layered Dhokla.

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