What I love most about India is the diversity in culture, customs and food of course. One can never say admit having tried out every dish , from every corner of the country because delightfully each state, every small town and even a suburb has at least one modest street side chef with the innate quality of making their own signature style or modifying a dish in his/her own unique way.
It is those evening snack craving of an Indian (like me 🙂 ) that makes me nostalgic of my land and insists that I look up a cook book and whip up something different from time to time.
“Khaman Dhokla” is one such savory steamed cake made from gram-flour and is a popular snack that belongs to the western state of Gujarat, in India. It is light, easy to prepare and like it looks,it is savory and a bit of a crowd pleaser too. 🙂
Ingredients needed to prepare:
For the batter:
- 1 1/2 cups of sifted gramflour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp of semolina
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 Tbsp of ginger and green chili paste
- A pinch of turmeric to enhance the yellow color
- 1 or another 1/2 cup of luke warm water to make a smooth thick batter.
- 3/4 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of lime juice of apple cider vinegar
For the Tempering:
- Curry leaves ( I did not have that stocked in my pantry, so opted it out) 🙂
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds (optional)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 green chilies split
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup of water
- Grated coconut & chopped cilantro
- In a mixing bowl, mix all the above batter ingredients except the baking soda and lime juice to be added later, and make a smooth mixture.
- Cover and keep the batter aside.
- In a deep vessel or a pressure cooker added 2 cups of water and set it on high heat.
- Prepare a flat round tray by greasing it with some oil. I used an Idli tray as that is what I had handy. 🙂
- Once the water almost comes to boil, add the baking soda and lemon juice/apple cider vinegar to the batter and stir it, not over mixing it. You will find tiny bubbles that hit the surface and that is what we want.
- Scoop a tbsp of the batter and pour it in the compartments or directly pour it in a round/square pan that fits in well in the water bath.
- Place the batter tray in the water container to let it cook on steam and covering it with a lid. If you are using a pressure cooker, remember to take off the whistle and let it look for 15-17 mins.
- Once the cooking time lapses, insert a tooth pick and check if it comes out clean and your savory cakes will be ready to be served. If prepared in a pan, flip it over and the cake shall slip out. You may then cut them into squares and serve.
For the tempering and the garnish:
- Heat oil in a pan and add the curry leaves, green chilies, mustard and sesame seeds.Cook for 5 seconds and then add the water, sugar and the lemon juice.
- Allow it to cook for another 10-15 seconds and pour this over the dhoklas/steamed cakes so that the flavors seep into them.
- Garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves. It can be served hot or cold and can be stored for a day, in the refrigerator.