I have very fond memories of dhokla. One of the very first freshly made Indian snacks I ever tried was khaman dhokla. I loved it. It was also one of the first things I ate in India, in Delhi. Although I love dhokla in general, my favorite is dhokla made with sooji (semolina). It has a very distinct flavor, almost sour, without being bitter. My favorite way to eat this dhokla is by layering it and filling with a spicy green chutney and topping with a tempering of mustard seeds. You can also top it with tempered green chilis, but since I added chilis to the chutney, I opted to just stick with mustard seeds.
Traditionally, dhokla is made by steaming fermenting rice and/or lentils in a long process , but we all know how I hate waiting. So, once again, I have a quick version of a beloved snack. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! You can thank the lovely people of Gujarat for this delicious snack =)
- 2 cups sooji
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp chopped cilantro, plus 1 handful cilantro, plus additional for topping
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp fruit salt
- 1/2 green chili, chopped, plus 1 1/2 leftover
- pinch of chaat masala
- pinch of hing
- 2 tbsp oil, plus another 2 tbsp
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
Get two bowls. In one bowl, beat the yogurt. Then add the 1/2 chopped chili, the 1 tsp chopped cilantro, the salt, 2 tbsp oil, and the ginger. Set aside.
In the other bowl, add the sooji, then add the yogurt mixture. Stir. Add water and mix really well. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Spray a cake pan, or whatever you will use, with cooking spray.
Add a cup of water to a large stock pot or a wide sauce pan that is wide and round enough to fit the cake pan with a lid. First insert a cake rack, which the cake pan will sit on top of. Bring the water to a boil.
Add the fruit salt to the batter and stir really well. This will cause the batter to foam. Immediately pour the mixture into the cake pan and put the cake pan onto the cake rack and cover the pot with a lid. (Don’t overfill the pan with batter.) Turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 15-20 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick and it should come out clean.
When done, take the cake pan out of the water and let it cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to a small pan and heat until hot. Add the hing and the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, it’s ready. If you’re adding chilis, slice the chilis lengthwise and add to oil. Remove from heat.
Blend together the remaining chilis, cilantro, and chaat masala with a little bit of water to form a chutney.
Take the dhokla out of the pan and then cut evenly. Slice the pieces into two, and add the chutney, then replace the top part of the dhokla. Sprinkle with the tempered mustard seeds and cilantro and serve warm!
Optional: You can also sprinkle with grated coconut, sesame seeds, and red chili powder!