Food

Instant Khaman Dhokra

I can’t stress how much I LOVE eating and making Dhokra. They’re so simple to make and really quick, as it requires no fermenting! That’s right no need to keep the batter partying over night. They’re really filling too, great for when you have guests over, they’ll think you went through SO MUCH trouble.

If you’re wondering what Dhokra is, it’s a Steamed Savoury Spongy Cake! Crazy I know right, but it tastes DELICIOUS. It hails from Gujarat in India.

There’s a few different ways you can make Dhokras, in terms of the Mixture/Batter. Normally Khaman is made by Soaking Split Chickpeas and Rice overnight, then being grind into a paste with herbs and spices and leaving that to ferment for a good few hours or overnight. I however am the impatient sort!

A great accompany to ANY Dhokra are Deep/ Shallow Fried Green Chillies (Tarela Marcha) and Chutney.

Now for the Instant Khaman Dhokla.

The What:

Batter

  • 1 Cup – Chickpea Flour (sifted)
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp Semolina (fine – medium)
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Tsp Green Chilli & Ginger Paste
  • Pinch of Turmeric (This will give the Dhokla that Orange Yellow Tinge)
  • 1/2 tsp Citric Acid (You can use Lemon juice too, depending on how sour you’d like it to be)
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp Sugar
  • Salt To Taste
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp ENO (If you don’t have ENO on hand, Baking Soda will do too)

Tempering (Tadka)

  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Sesame Seeds
  • Fresh Coriander Chopped
  • Cumin Seeds (Optional)
  • Dried Chillies (Optional)
  • Chopped Fresh Green Chillies (Optional)

Garnishing

  • Chopped Fresh Coriander (Optional)
  • Desiccated Coconut (Optional)

The How:

Fill your steamer up with Water and grease your tray(s) because once you’ve added the ENO to you batter boy do you need to work fast, so it’s good if you pre prep a little

In a bowl Add:

  • Chickpea Flour & Semolina
  • Hold back about 1/4 Cup of Water (to activate the ENO later on or you can add a couple of drops of Lemon Juice which means there’s no need for you to hold back the 1/4 Cup of Water) and Add the rest of the Water Slowly to create a Batter which shouldn’t be too thin nor too thick, you’re looking for a drop consistency.
  • Next, Add in all the other Ingredients:
  • Citric Acid (or Lemon juice), Sugar, Green Chilli & Ginger Paste, Turmeric and Salt
  • Give all this a good mix
  • This is the stage where you give it a Taste, see if everything is right according to your pallet. Add in whatever more you’d like, whether it’d be a bit more Sweetness, or Sourness, even if you want it a little bit more Spicy.
  • Add the Oil
  • Mix
  • Now, you have an option of letting the the batter sit for around 15/20 and steaming it later during the day or steaming it right away. Remember to add in the ENO just before steaming. Don’t incorporate it into the the batter if you’re letting the batter rest.
  • Once you’ve put the ENO into the Batter, add the 1/4 Cup of Water you held back (or a few drops of Lemon Juice to activate the ENO) Give everything a good mix, I’d suggest with a whisk, to make it airy and spongy just like a Cake.
  • Spread the batter in the greased Tray(s)
  • Pop them into a Steamer and let it Steam Cook for 15-20 Minutes. The heat should be [Medium – High]
  • After 15-20 Minutes, carefully take the tray(s) out and let it sit for a while. Meanwhile make the Tempering (Tadka).
  • Heat a small Pot. The heat should be [Small – Medium]
  • Add the Oil
  • Pop a few Mustard Seeds into the Oil to check if its done, you’ll know once they start to Splutter. Add in the rest of the Mustard Seeds once the Oil is hot. Be careful and pop the lid on the pot and turn down the heat. Once they stop spluttering, turn the heat off and add in all the other ingredients. The Sesame Seeds and Fresh Coriander.

Hey! Don’t forget about your Dhokra!

  • They should be warm, so cut them up. You can cut them up into Diamonds or Squares. I purposely cut mine into small squares (more to go around!)
  • Once you’ve cut them up you have an option where you’d like to quench their thirst with Water or the Tempering you’ve just made OR you can do both. These Dhokras they leave you Thirsty! Hence we quench it’s thirst and bring back a good amount of moisture into it. I do find I sometimes skip the Watering because the Oiling does the same thing. So when your Dhokla tray is warm that’s the best time to Feed It.
  • If you do want to add in Water, I’d say 1-2 Tbsp of Water would be enough. Evenly pat the Water into the Dhokla then sprinkle the Tempering (tadka) you just made on top. Garnish with some Fresh Coriander or some Desiccated Coconut or even some chopped Green Chillies and there you have it.

It’s ready to Eat, Share and Enjoy.

Tip

If you don’t have a Steamer, then you’ll need to grab a big pot and fill it with water say about half way or a little less. Add a bowl faced down and have a cake tin ready to pop on the top. The aim is to put the Batter into a tin or plate and not let it touch the water as it needs to steam cook. Or you could use an Oven. The batter will go on the top rack and on the Middle/Bottom, a tray of Hot Water.

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