Khaman Dhokla ~ A Savory Steamed Cake

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:

  • Oil
  • 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

For Garnish

  • Grated coconut & chopped cilantro

To Make:

  • 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. 🙂

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  • 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.

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Kale Cutlets ~the Queen of the Greens

When, “where do you get your nutrition from?” is the most popular questions for vegetarians and vegans alike these days, nature seems to have thrown the answer to us, just in time and that too in abundance ~ KALE.SONY DSCKale is topping the charts in terms of whole food nutrition and pretty much flooding the green grocery section as the show stopper. Well, if we were to discuss the benefits of this leafy produce that belongs to the cabbage family, to enlist that here, would be a mere dishonest job on my side.

5279419_origHowever , I just cannot emphasize less to modestly mention it’s power when it comes to it’s carotenoid nutrient, that supports eye health and even can improve glaucoma and promising doses of Vit K,calcium, magnesium, potassium, omega 3, folates, protein, iron, phosphorus, the B family of vitamins & fiber. Phew! I am sure , I still may have missed some here.

While Kale can be consumed in the form of a salad, even these steamed Kale cutlets here are not a bad variation at all for a change in taste, for treating guests with a healthy starter option, or just to prepare them in advance and store them in the freezer and toss out a patty once in while. Quite a few options here 🙂

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of kale
  • 2-3 boiled potatoes
  • 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
  • 6 Tbs of dry roasted chickpea flour/gram flour
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp of carom/ajwain seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Bread crumbs to coat and shallow fry.

To Prepare:

  • Blanch the kale leaves in hot salt water until soft and blend it in a blender.
  • In a hot pan with a tsp of oil, temper with carom seeds and ginger garlic paste and add the kale puree to it and mix well.Add the spices and stir until the excess water dries out and keep aside.
  • Dry roast 6 tbsp of gram-flour in a vessel and keep stirring gently to avoid it from burning or over roasting.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the seasoned kale, mashed boiled potatoes, the roasted gram flour and knead it in a consistency that helps you make small cakes out of it. The gramflour and the potatoes both help in keeping the kale together.
  • Cool this mixture completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • Your mix is now ready to be used right away or for a cold ‘stored away’ to be served later. 🙂
  • Scoop a a large tbsp of the mixture and make small patties pressing against your palms. Roll them into the breadcrumbs and shallow fry them, flipping gently on both sides.

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Serve hot with a dip of your choice or simply with some classic ketchup.♥