Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Old Fashioned Dhokla!!!

This is one of the quickies I rely on for my tea time. But it’s not an easy dish to master. And especially when it’s that easy to buy it from a local mithai walas, you somehow let the thought of mastering it, wander off. But I stood my ground and mastered the right technique to get the spongy little savoury gluten free bites I so love and adore. Move over ENO fruit salt, the best professional results are never instant. Move over microwaving, steaming can’t compete in time with you, but you can’t compete in quality as well.

My dhoklas are yeasted and steamed in the old fashion way, and trust me when I say, it’s a delight beyond all imaginable standards. This is a basic recipe, feel free to improvise. I would be making newer versions of it quite soon.

Dry ingredients
1 cup gram flour/chickpeas flour/besan
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilly powder
¼ tsp dried parsley leaves
½ tbsp salt, or to taste

Wet ingredients
½ cup warm water (or more, if required)
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tbsp homemade curd at room temperature
½ tsp instant yeast
3/4- 1 cup of water, for soaking dhoklas
2-3 tbsp white granulated sugar
1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
10 curry leaves or to taste
1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
1 tbsp grated coconut fresh (optional, I didn’t use)
½ a small lemon, juiced


Mix all dry ingredients together, whisk until no lumps remain. Set it aside.

In the warm water, add the yeast and let it proof for 5 minutes. I like to do this additional step even when using instant yeast as it lets you be 100% sure of the yeast working. Once frothy, add the curd and ginger paste, mix well.

Now mix the dry and wet ingredients well and whish till no lumps remain. To aid softness in your prepared dhoklas, add 1 tsp of oil to the batter, at this stage. Batter should have the consistency of banana milkshake.

Oil a steamer pan well, and pour in the batter. Keep it in a warm place for 1½ hours to 2 hours, till the batter is airy and almost doubled.

Put the pan in a preheated steamer and steam it for 20 – 25 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the dhokla comes out clean with no wet batter sticking to it.

Let it cool for 5 minutes, till when you can prepare the tadka.

In a tadka pan, heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds till fragrant. Switch off the heat and add curry leaves and green chillies in the hot oil. Let it fry in the residual heat till aromatic.

Loosen the sides of the dhokla, and tip it on a deep dish/platter. Cut it in cubes and pour over the hot oil along with the tadka, distributing it evenly.

In the same tadka pan, mix the sugar and water, and put it for boiling on a medium flame. Once the sugar is dissolved completely, reduce the flame and let it boil for a minute, and then take it out of the heat.

Add the squeezed lemon juice, and pour the syrup on the dhoklas.

You may feel it’s too much of a water to pour on, but the gram flour will absorb all the liquids. Allow this to stand for 45-60 minutes until the syrup is completely seeped in.

Garnish with fresh grated coconut and serve.

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