Khaman Dhokla – soft and fluffy instant savoury cake made from gram flour. These delightfully warm, feathery and velvety khaman dhokla can be made in minutes using gram flour and a leavening agent. These delectable steamed cakes can be served as a snack or as an appetizer along with green chutney.
This is a recipe I adapted from Dassana’s Veg Recipes.
Link to Dassana’s website : vegrecipesofindia.com
Khaman Dhokla is an instant version of the dhokla varieties that does not require fermentation. A leavening agent such as Eno / fruit salt is added to make the batter fluffy and soft.
Eno or fruit salt is a term used for compounds that are effervescent. The components of Eno or fruit salt include organic acids like citric acid or tartaric acid and salts such as sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate. In addition to this they may contain some flavouring agents and sugar. These fruit salts are widely used as antacids and as a leavening agent in Indian cuisine.
For making the batter:
|Gram flour / Besan flour or Chickpea flour||1.5 cups|
|Semolina / Sooji||1 tablespoon|
|Turmeric powder||2 to 3 pinches|
|Asafoetida / Hing||2 to 3 pinches|
|Ginger||1 to 1 1/2 inch|
|Lime or lemon juice||1 1/2 tablespoon|
|Eno / Fruit salt||2 teaspoons|
|Mustard seeds||1 teaspoon|
|Curry leaves||few ( around 10)|
|Green Chilli||1 (chopped)|
Step by Step Instructions:
- Before you start making the batter, grease a round steamer pan with 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil. See that both the base of the pan and the sides are greased well with oil. This will make the steamed dhokla come out of the pan easily without creating a mess.
- Preparing the steamer– Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water to a steamer pan / dhokla steamer or idli steamer or pressure cooker. Boil the steamer pan while you get ready with the batter.
- Preparing the batter – Grind 2 green chillies and 1 1/2 inch ginger to a smooth paste. You can add little water while grinding if you prefer.
- Take a medium size mixing bowl. Add 1.5 cups of besan flour/ gram flour. ( Instead of gram flour, you can also substitute it with chickpea flour).
- To the mixing bowl containing gram flour, add 2-3 pinches of turmeric powder, 2-3 pinches of hing, 1 1/2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice, ginger -green chilli paste, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon oil.
- Now add 1 cup water. Mix well to make a smooth batter. The batter should be thick yet smooth and free flowing without any lumps. If there are lumps, then crush the small lumps using hand or mash it using a masher. The amount of water required may vary depending on the quality of the flour you are using. You might need little bit more or less water. I have added just 1 cup water to get a smooth flowing batter. Using a whisk, stir well the contents to get a uniform mixture.
- Now add 1 tablespoon rava / sooji / semolina. Adding rava / sooji is optional but addition of this magic ingredient yields a nice texture to the dhokla.
- Stir the contents again using a whisk to get a uniform and smooth flowing batter. If the batter is too thin, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of gram flour and mix well.
- Before adding the leavening agent – Eno / fruit salt, see that the water in the steamer pan is boiling and ready to use.
- Now add 2 teaspoons of Eno / fruit salt to the batter. Eno or fruit salt is the leavening agent for the dhokla. Addition of Eno / fruit salt gives a soft and fluffy dhokla. ( Instead of Eno /fruit salt, you can also add baking soda. Use 1/2 to 3/4 th teaspoon of baking soda ).
- After adding the Eno / fruit salt, the batter will become frothy. Stir the batter quickly using a whisk. See that the fruit salt is uniformly mixed in the batter as uneven mixing will not yield a smooth texture to the dhokla.
- Steaming the batter – Transfer the batter quickly to the already greased pan and shake the pan gently so that the batter is evenly spread.
- Place the pan containing the batter in the steamer/ pressure cooker. Before keeping the pan inside, the water in the steamer should be boiling. Close the steamer with a lid. If using pressure cooker, close it with the pressure cooker lid and do not use weight.
- Steam the batter in medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes.
- After 12 to 15 minutes, insert a knife or spoon into the steamed dhokla to check. If it comes out clean, then it is perfectly steamed. If the spoon / knife has small bits of batter sticking to it, then steam the dhokla for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Allow the dhokla to cool down. Gently slide a sharp and greased knife on to the sides / edges to release the dhokla from the pan. Do this on all sides. Now place a similar size plate on top of the pan and then invert it. The dhokla will easily slide out of the pan if the pan is well greased. Use a sharp and greased knife to slice the dhokla into medium size squares.
- Tempering – This step is very important so as to to infuse the dhokla with some moisture and flavour. Heat a pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and 1 green chilli (finely chopped). Stir for 10 seconds and switch off the flame. Now add 1/3 rd cup of water (after switching off the flame) and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well so that the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour this tempering mixture evenly on the khaman dhokla. For even spread of the tempering, use a teaspoon to spread the tempering onto each of the squares. Once added on all sides / squares, the tempering will seep and slide through the edges. This way the dhokla will be infused with the tempering uniformly.
- Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. If you prefer, you can also sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of grated coconut.
- Serve this soft and fluffy Khaman Dhokla as a snack / appetizer along with green chutney.
- Instead of Eno / fruit salt, you can use baking soda. But comparing the two ingredients as leavening agent, Eno gives a better result and yields a perfectly soft, spongy and fluffy dhokla.
- Do not add too much of turmeric powder as the Eno will react with turmeric powder to give small red spots in the dhokla.
- To get a uniform texture, stir the batter well to get uniform and free flowing consistency. The batter should neither be too thick nor too thin and should not have lumps.
Check out my other snacks / starter recipes:
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- Palak Paneer Bites / Spinach – Indian Cottage Cheese Bites
- Sabudana Vada / Sago Vada
- Rajma Cutlet / Red Kidney Bean Patties
- Chilli Paneer
- Masala Vada / Channa Dhal Vada
- Goli Baje / Mangalore Bajji
- Aval Pori & Nuts Mixture / Puffed Rice & Nuts Mixture
- Crispy Honey Chilli Cauliflower
- Hara Bhara Kebab
- Vada / Urad Dhal Vada