Breakfast Snacks I Appetizers

DHOKLA – INSTANT I SPONGY I FLUFFY

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Dhokla is a staple Gujarati snack recipe. For those hearing the term ‘Dhokla’ for the first time, imagine a soft sponge like savoury steamed cake made with gram flour! Might sound weird but it’s really flavourful. What’s best is that it is vegan and gluten free too.

I tried making this for the first time and the texture and taste, both were brilliant. It’s a little sweet, a little tangy and a whole lot tasty! Dhokla makes for a great breakfast or snack option and since this is an instant recipe, this won’t even take much time to prepare.

INGREDIENTS I DHOKLA
1 Cup Gram Flour (Besan)
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Lemon
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Packet Fruit Salt OR 3/4 Tsp Baking Soda

INGREDIENTS I TEMPERING
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Green Chilli
1 String Curry Leaves
1 Tsp Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Water

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METHOD

  • You will need a steamer to make the dhokla. I used an Idli steamer. You can use any pan with a tight lid and by sealing the hole (if any) on the lid with a little dough or match stick ends, should work as a good steamer.
  • In the pan or idli cooker, add water. Around a cup of water.
  • Now place a steel bowl or steamer ring in the center. I used a bowl. To secure the bowl in the center, add something heavy like 2-3 cooker whistles or a steel mortar. I used the later.
  • Now let’s prepare the Dhokla batter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add gram flour.
  • To this add salt, sugar and turmeric powder and mix well.
  • To this add the juice of half a lemon after discarding the seeds. Mix well.
  • Add little water at a time to avoid forming lumps. Keep mixing and adding water until the consistency is thick like melted chocolate. It should pour in a smooth flow and there should be no lumps.
  • Now add the oil and whisk with a spoon or a manual beater in one circular direction for at least 5 minutes. You will notice a few bubbles and that’s a good sign. You need to air the batter so that the dhokla turns out fluffy and light.
  • Now let this batter rest for 5 minutes, covered.
  • In the meantime, grease a big steel container with oil. Choose a container that fits well in the steamer. You can also use 3-4 steel bowls. Keep this aside.
  • Place the steamer on high flame. When we place the dhokla batter, the water should be just boiling.
  • Now take the batter and add one small sachet of fruit salt. I’ve used Eno Lemon Flavour. Try to use either regular or lemon so you don’t get a weird taste in your dhokla. If you don’t have eno, you can use baking soda. I haven’t tried with soda yet, so I’m not sure of the result.
  • After you add eno, immediately mix and combine the batter very well. You will notice the batter turning really frothy and light. Don’t waste a lot of time mixing. We need this frothy batter to go into the steamer as soon as possible. Just make sure it’s all blended evenly.
  • Pour this mixture into your greased container, leaving some space for it to rise.
  • Place this container over the stand in the steamer and cover the lid.
  • Reduce the flame to medium-high and keep it covered for 20 minutes. Check at 15-18 minutes once.
  • Poke with a clean knife to check whether the dhokla is done. The knife should come out clean.
  • Switch off flame and take it out of the steamer.
  • Let it rest and cool down.
  • In the meantime, prepare the tempering.
  • Take a wide pan, heat oil.
  • Splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add finely chopped green chilli and curry leaves.
  • Add water. Also add sugar and salt. I haven’t used a lot of sugar. Adjust the quantity as per taste.
  • You don’t need to heat this a lot. Just until the sugar melts.
  • Take the dhokla and run a knife on the edges to separate from the mould.
  • Invert this on a plate.
  • Add the tempering all over dhokla.
  • Cut into equal pieces.
  • Serve with mint chutney or green chutney and and a side of raw papaya salad.
  • I didn’t have coriander leaves, so i made chutney using tomato, curry leaves, green chillies, tamarind, salt and roasted black chickpeas (sattu).
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So this is how I prepared a sturdy stand for my dhoklas to steam.
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Make sure the bowl you use to pour in the dhokla batter for steaming, fits in well.

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The Idli cooker I used for steaming Dhokla
Besan or gram flour is made from split black gram dal and not chickpeas.
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Thick pouring consistency!
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Bubbles, after airing and resting the batter
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Frothy, after mixing in the fruit salt.
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Batter poured in a greased utensil.
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Well cooked, knife tested. Getting cool!
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Inverted and looks so good, already!
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Sweet watery tempering
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Look at this! So gorgeous.
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Served with Chutney!
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Divyashree Mangalorkar Gupta
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