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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


easy recipe khaman dhokla indian spicy steamed chickpea flour gujarathi delicacy

Dhokla is a Gujarathi dish that can be served throughout the day, as a snack, at mealtime, or even at dinner.

As it is steamed, like south indian idlees, it has a shiny top side and a textured underside.

Besan is chickpea flour. As far as I understand, Khaman Dhokla uses rice, urad and moong dals, soaked, ground, even fermented a bit before cooking. But, Besan Dhokla simply uses chickpea flour. I use the terms Khaman Dhokla and Besan Dhokla interchangeably.

Typically, Dhokla is only about an inch thick, cut into squares or diamonds and served warm or at room temperature, with chutneys. But, I made a dhokla cake-of-sorts close to 2" thick, cut into wedges and served warm.

easy recipe khaman dhokla indian steamed vegan chickpea flour gujarathi delicacy

The ratio that has worked for me is roughly 2:1 chickpea-flour:sour-yogurt, but, adjust as needed to get a thick pancake-like batter that steams well. The besan batter for this needs to be left overnight or so to develop, before it can be steamed.

A greased cake tin or a shallow bowl can be used for steaming the dhokla. Also, some sort of steaming equipment is needed: pressure cooker without the weight on top works - place the pan on a smallish bowl to keep the bottom of the pan about 3 inches or so above the bottom of the pressure cooker liquid. Or Idlee steamer works well too, if you have it handy...

1 cup chickpea flour, measured after sifting
½ cup sour yogurt (maybe a little more)
2 Tbsp finely grated ginger
1-2 green chili finely minced
½ medium onion finely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
2-3 Tbsp canola oil for greasing
salt to taste
water as needed, for steaming
for garnish:
¼ cup fresh or dry grated coconut
1 Tbsp canola oil for tempering
½ tsp mustard seeds, for tempering
½ tsp cumin seeds, for tempering
½ Tbsp chana dal, for tempering
some chopped cilantro


combine the sifted chickpea flour, yogurt, ginger and some salt, stir gently to remove lumps to make a fairly thick pancake like batter; cover with a breathable kitchen towel and leave overnight in a warm place

when ready to cook, get the steamer apparatus ready, grease the cake tin or plate; keep handy

add the chilies, onion, and baking powder to the chickpea batter and stir gently till well incorporated

pour the batter into the prepared greased dish, steam for 10-15 minutes; check for doneness: insert a toothpick, if it comes clean, good, else, let it steam longer as needed till cooked through (the dhokla cake pictured above took me about 45 minutes of steaming time)

meanwhile, as dhokla is steaming, prepare the garnish: heat oil for tempering in a pan, when hot enough, add the chana dal, when it turns golden brown, add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the cumin seeds, turn off heat, add the coconut and stir well and let it brown in the residual heat of the pan; set aside

when dhokla is done, remove from steamer, allow to cool a little, release carefully from the pan, garnish with the tempering, coconut and cilantro

cut into wedges or squares and serve warm with curry leaf chutney or mint chutney or tamarind chutney or coconut cutney

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  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger Biby Cletus said…

    hey there nice work the article Dhokla is good and like to try at home let see how ti come. like to visit you again with new recipe be in touch

    regards Biby - Blog

  • At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Lost in the kitchen said…

    I was wondering about the process for making sour yogurt


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