Instant Khaman Dhokla2013-05-08
- Yield : 25
- Servings : 3-4
- Prep Time : 5m
- Cook Time : 2m
- Ready In : 27m
One of the quickest and most nutritious snacks has to be the Dhokla, a speciality of the Gujarati community of India.
When I was young, there were a lot of Farsan shops in Mumbai selling dhoklas, patra and Cutlets. One couldn’t resist passing by these shops without buying a few of their delicious offerings.
Dhoklas are traditionally made from whole chana dal. It is a long drawn process where you soak the chickpeas overnight and then blend it to a coarse paste with ginger and other spices, ferment and then eat.
My Mom used to make dhoklas in this manner and I can assure you that although the dhoklas were really really good, I wouldn’t attempt it that way. Not that it is too hard, it just something about the new age- instant- flash generation that we belong too- waiting is not possible, especially for a good snack.
If there is someone coming over at a short notice, then this is your dish to make.
Taking 5 minutes from start to finish, I doubt if you could make a faster snack- except bread and butter of course!
- Besan or chickpea flour (Coarse if possible)-1 cup
- Yoghurt- 2 tbsp
- Warm water- 1 cup
- GInger, grated- 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
- Salt- to taste
- Effervescent friut salt- 1 heaped tsp
- Water- 2 tsp
- Lemon juice- 1 tsp ( optional)
- Semolina ( fine to medium)- 1 tbsp
- Green chilli paste- 1/2 tsp (optional)
- For the tempering:
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds- 2 tsp
- Green chillies- 2
- Asafoetida- 1 pinch
- Curry leaves- 4-5 ( optional)
- For the water:
- Water- 1/4 cup
- Sugar- 1-2 tsp
- Oil for greasing
- For the garnish:
- Grated coconut- 2 tsp
- Chopped coriander- 2 tsp
First of all , we need to grease the dhokla dish. You could use any flat microwave-proof dish with high edges, and fill it half full. I use my microwave idli container, and use the bottom to make the dhokla. Grease this well with oil.
Pour the chickpea flour (besan) into a bowl. It is good if you could get the one that is coarse ground specially for making Khaman Dhokla, which I never manage. If you do, then you do not need the semolina, but if you are using normal soft besan, then it helps to add in a heaped tablespoon of suji (semolina) to get that beautiful sponge.
In a large cup, mix the yoghurt with 1 cup of water. Remember to first beat the yoghurt and them mix in the water slowly, to avoid getting lumps in yoghurt.
Pour in this mixture slowly into the besan whilst stirring constantly. I’ve found that a balloon whisk works best and helps get a lump free batter. Notice how thick the batter is.
Add in the turmeric powder, grated ginger, green chilli paste (if using) and salt. Mix well.
Add in a heaped teaspoon of Effervescent Fruit salt.
Follow immediately with 2-3 teaspoons of water. Stir quickly. Notice how it starts foaming up as soon as you put in the water?
Now we don’t want to lose those bubbles, so we need to be really quick.
Pour that into the greased dish, cover and cook in the microwave for exactly 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes.
If using the pressure cooker, pour it into one of the containers for the pressure cooker and steam without the weight for 10 minutes.
I have noticed that if you boil water in the pressure cooker before putting in the container, it helps the dhoklas get more spongy.
Meanwhile, get the ingredients for the tempering ready.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a little pan. Add in the green chillies, mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida to the hot oil. I love chopping the chillies really small to make the dhoklas really spicy- but that was in another life. Now I have this picky fussy – everything is too hot – boy to cater to, so I just prefer to cut it in 2 pieces, to release some flavour, but not the heat.
Let it cool, and then add in 1/4 cup water and 1 tsp of sugar. If you don’t fancy a bit of sweet, you can omit this step.
After the steamed dhoklas have stood for 2 minutes, remove the lid. It is possible that some of the water has condensed in the centre and dropped in the middle, but the point is that by covering, the collected steam helps to moisten and cook the remaining bits of dhokla. If you microwave the dhokla for too long it tends to get dry. So the standing time, while covered, in the microwave is certainly the best bet.
Now remove that lid. Check out the sponge! Notice how the sides of dhokla have shrunk away from the bowl.
Although the sides have shrunk away and there is a distinct gap, I would run a knife along the circumference to rule out any sticky bits.
Nows the time to start pouring that lovely spicy tempering all over the dosa. It might seem like a lot of water, but try to put almost all of it over the dhokla, taking care to cover all the bits. This heigtens the flavour of the dhokla and adds back all the moisture it has lost while steaming. Believe me , a dry dhokla is the worst thing to have!
Sprinkle the grated coconut and chopped coriander onto the dhokla..
Tada- we are ready to serve.
Serve with tamarind chutney, or green chutney. The one I like the best was the papaya chutney that we got in the farsan shops 🙂
Check out that sponge!
Makes you feel proud of yourself eh?