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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Roasted Beetroot Salad

I haven’t had the inclination to explore much with this rich red colored vegetable apart from just having them party boiled or by making cutlets which of course is wonderfully flavored but most definitely not the most healthy thing to binge on a regular basis.

So finally as the guilt cord struck me, I thought of making a large salad bowl with the Beets as the protagonist and the rest of the veggies that my fridge has in stock for me most of the time and thus arrived the Roasted Beetroot Salad 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 Beetroots
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1-2 Tomatoes
  • Nuts of your choice. I had cashews and walnuts in stock. 🙂
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Chopped Kale
  •  Lightly Steamed Broccoli Florets
  • Dried Cranberries
  • grated vegan cheese (optional)
  • and some croutons  🙂

Home Made Salad Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider
  • 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup

And a drizzle of Vegan Mayo which is completely optional

To Prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 F.
  • Cut the beetroots into big pieces along with its skin on. Sprinkle some salt and warp them in foil paper. Once they are roasted and cooled, the skin will peel off easily.
  • In another piece of foil paper, wrap a couple of cloves of garlic drizzled with some olive oil.

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  • Place the foil wrapped beet and garlic in the oven and bake them for at least 20-25 mins.

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  • Meanwhile you can have the rest of the salad ingredients chopped, the cheese grated & the dressing prepared and kept aside.
  • Once the tray is out of the oven, allow it to cool down, unwrap the foils. The beet are now tender and can be peeled off so easily.
  • Crush the roasted garlic and mix in with the rest of the lettuce, kale, tomatoes and other ingredients.
  • chop the beets as per your desired size and mix it along with the rest.
  • Finally, its time for seasoning and the salad dressing to go in and a colorful salad is just so easily ready.

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Enjoy♥