when i was thinking about what i should blog about after all these months, i kept thinking of sweet things – a cake maybe, or something to do with chocolate. but life has a way of changing your plans! 🙂 last night, i had dhoklas and green chutney for dinner, and when i saw the little squares garnished with grated coconut and chopped corriander, with emerald-green chutney on the side, my mind was made up!
a popular gujarati dish, dhoklas come in varied forms. this one, known as ‘khaman dhokla’, is made from besan or chickpea flour. dhoklas are a light, delicious and versatile dish that are easy to make and can be served as a main or snack, at pretty much any time of day. and since it is steamed, it is also a healthy foodie option. all good things in one – ain’t that amazing? 🙂
couple of things to take note of: one, prepping your ingredients and utensils beforehand is very important. that’s because the version below (which is the ‘easy way out’ kind) depends on fruit salt to give the effect of instant fermentation to the batter. to let the batter sit for a while would mean that it would literally fizzle out – leaving you with hard dhoklas. the second thing is to use a flat plate or utensil with some depth that can fit into your pressure cooker (or steamer if you’re using one). if the plate is shallow, you won’t get the trademark springiness that is key to good dhoklas. and finally – this leans towards personal taste – please, please serve your dhoklas only with chutney – ketchup or chillli sauce just don’t cut it! so are you all set to get down to making some? 🙂
For the Dhoklas:
1-1/2 level cups Besan or Chickpea flour
1 to 1-1/2 cups Water
3 tsp + 2 tbsp (for tempering) Oil
2 level tsp Enos Fruit Salt
1-1/2 tsp Lime juice
1 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Green chilli and Ginger paste (or to taste)
1/2 tsp Mustard
2 tsp White seasame seeds
1/2 tsp Asafoetida powder
5 Green chillies, minced
Fresh grated coconut and chopped corriander
For the Corriander Chutney:
1 cup corriander, chopped
little less than 1/2 cup Fried gram
2 Green chillies
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Lemon/Lime juice
Making the Dhoklas and Corriander Chutney:
Since the chutney is the easiest to make, you could start with it – just blend all the ingredients into the consistency you like and keep aside.
Pour sufficient water into the pressure cooker, and keep it on low heat. Mix the besan, oil, water, lime juice, green chilli-ginger paste, sugar & salt, into a smooth batter without any lumps. Grease the plate in which you are going to steam the dhoklas with a bit of oil. If the water is not boiling yet, increase the heat and wait until the starts to boil. Sprinkle the Enos on the batter, sprinkle a tsp of water over the Enos, and quickly blend it water into the batter – do not whisk for too long. Pour the batter into the greased plate immediately, place it in the cooker, and close the lid (without adding the weight). Ensure that the heat/flame is not very high. After about 15 to 20 minutes, test to see if the dhokla is done by sticking a sharp knife into the center – if it comes out clean, it is done. Take out the dhokla, mark out the squares and keep aside.
Make a weak sugar-water solution and keep aside. Heat the oil meant for tempering, and add the mustard seeds, sesame seeds, asafoetida and green chillies. Take it off the heat when the mustard seeds start to crackle. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of the sugar water on the dhoklas (especially in the ridges), then tip the tempered spices evenly all over. Garnish with the grated coconut and chopped corriander leaves. Cut the dhoklas into marked squares. Serve immediately with the chutney.