Khaman Dhokla is a traditional dish of Gujrat, a western state of India. There are different kinds of “dhokla” that can be eaten as breakfast, main course, side dish or as a snacks. Generally dhokla is made from rice and chickpea splits, whereas Khaman dhokla is prepared only by Gram flour or Besan, pulse flour made from ground chickpeas. It is more fluffier, lighter and softer than other dhoklas.
This is my 3rd attempt to make Khaman dhokla at home to bring a bit change in our daily breakfast routine. First two attempts were not turned out good and I must share why. Actually, in my first attempt I did not have ‘Eno’ or any other fruit salts, the key ingredient of this recipe; so I used baking powder, which did not bring the best of results. While in the second attempt the steaming process was not perfect. To make dhokla, one needs some reagent which will raise the batter immediately. I don’t think even sodium bicarbonate will do this work properly. So Eno seems to be quite indispensable for this recipe.
You also need a round, deep steel plate to prepare dhokla. I didn’t have that, so I used my 7 inch cake tin.
At last steaming should be in proper way. If you have a Dhokla steamer, nothing is better than that. If no, then follow the instructions I have given here and enjoy the super delicious Khaman Dhokla. 🙂
For batter :
- Besan or Chickpea flour/Bengal Gram flour – 1 cup
- Suji or Semolina – 1½ tbspoon
- Green chilli & ginger paste – 1 tbspoon
- Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
- Sugar – 1½ tbspoon
- Eno’s fruit salt – 1½ teaspoon
- Cooking oil – 1 tbspoon
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of turmeric
- Water – 1 cup
For tamarind chatni (optional) :
- Tamarind pulp – 2 tbspoon
- Mustard seed – ¼ teaspoon
- Chilli powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Ginger powder – ¼ teaspoon or Ginger juice – ½ teaspoon
- Salt & sugar to taste.
- Oil – ¼ tbspoon
For tempering & garnishing :
- Oil – 2 tbspoon
- Mustard seed – ½ teaspoon
- Green chilli (sliced lengthwise) – 2
- Fresh curry leaves – 12 – 15
- sugar – 1 teaspoon
- salt to taste
- Water – ½ cup
- Grated coconut for garnishing
To prepare batter, mix all the dry ingredients except Eno’s fruit salt in a bowl. Now keep adding little amount of water at a time to make a lump free batter. Add chilli-ginger paste, lemon juice and oil into it and mix them well. Leave the batter for 10 minutes. At this point the batter seems to be little watery.
Meanwhile grease the cake tin or steel plate with oil. Put a large and deep pan, with a diameter larger than that of cake tin/plate, on stove over medium flame. Place a “hot-pan stand” into it and pour 2½ cup of water or more, according to your pan size (water level should not reach to the top of the “stand”). Cover the pan and let the water boil. If there is any hole in the lid of your pan then seal it with flour dough (make an air tight condition any how). Now the arrangement works as a hot water chamber or steamer.
Now add Eno’s fruit salt into your batter and mix it well. As you add this key ingredient, you can see the batter becomes very fluffy and almost double in volume in no time. Immediately pour the batter into the cake tin/plate.
Now place the cake tin/plate containing the batter into the hot water chamber or steamer.
Here I should mention that I do not have any “hot-pan stand”, so I simple put the cake tin into hot water. I poured enough water so that the cake tin floats on water and do not touch the bottom of the pan.
Now steam it for 18 – 20 minutes over low flame. After that check it by inserting a knife or toothpick. If the knife or toothpick comes out clean, your Dhokla is done.
Let your dhokla cool at room temperature in the cake tin/plate to take it out on a plate.
Meanwhile prepare the tamarind chatni and tempering for dhokla.
For tamarind chatni heat the oil in a small sauce pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter, then add tamarind pulp, little bit of water, chilli powder, ginger powder/juice, salt and sugar. Boil the mixture till you get your desired consistency.
For tampering, heat the oil, add mustard seeds, let it splutter and then add green chillies & curry leaves. Saute them for a while then add water, salt and sugar. Let the mixture boil till the sugar dissolves into it and then turn the gas off.
Now cut the dhokla into square pieces and tamper it with the hot mixture just prepared.
Garnish the top of dhokla with grated coconut and serve with the tamarind chatni.
- Do not add all the water at a time while making the batter. Then you will end up with a batter full of lumps.
- After adding Eno’s fruit salt, don’t delay to transfer it into the steamer otherwise dhokla will not come out fluffy. The batter doesn’t raise while steaming, it is raised only when Eno salt is added.
- For the said quantity of batter, you should not take a plate/cake tin with a diameter larger than 7 inchs/18 cm. otherwise the result would be a flat dhokla.
- Tamarind chatni is purely optional.
- Try to use a “hot-plate stand” in the steamer. If you do not have that, by any means try to place the plate, containing batter, a bit higher than the water level.