Khaman dhokla is a quick snack made with chickpea flour. It is spiced with the simple tempering/tadka of mustard seeds, chili, and curry leaves. It can be served warm or cold.
Dhokla (snack cakes) can be made with other bean or grain flours as well or can be made with a batter of soaked lentils and beans. Dhokla is usually steamed, as a steamer is much more common in an Indian household than an oven. Steaming is also energy efficient. Only one pot of the size needed to boil and steam.
Steaming plates and steamers are not as common in the US. So I started baking the dhoklas to see how they work out. This recipe can be baked, steamed or microwaved. To bake, use stoneware or glass pan so the bottoms of the snack cakes dont burn, and always cover the snack cake during and after baking so they don’t dry out. This is an updated version of the recipe posted some years back. See the older post for steaming step pictures. The traditional dhokla that you get in restaurants is steamed. Steaming keeps it more moist than baking, so if you are looking for the authentic texture and moistness, steam it.
Dhokla comes out best with vegan yogurt(home made vegan yogurt recipe in my cookbook). You can also use thick full fat coconut milk.
Serve with a cilantro mint or cilantro coconut chutney. Or serve as a side bread like cornbread. Mix the tempering into the batter before baking to use as a side.
More Savory breakfasts/snacks from the blog.
- For the Dhokla:
- 2 cups chickpea flour (garbanzo bean flour) or besan (gram flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ inch of ginger crushed or blended to a paste (crushed well in a mortar pestle)
- ½ green chili, crushed or blended to a paste
- ½ cup non dairy yogurt (plain unsweetened)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup water
- oil for greasing
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds or shredded coconut (optional)
- For the tempering:
- 1 tsp organic canola or safflower oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- a generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
- 1 to 2 green chili finely chopped
- 6 curry leaves chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp coconut flakes, fresh or dry
- ½ cup water
- cilantro and lemon juice for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, add chickpeas flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and turmeric. Whisk well.
- Add the ginger paste, chili paste, yogurt, lemon juice and mix. Add water a few Tablespoons at a time to make a thick muffin type batter. (If using besan, you will need less water. If using store bought yogurt, you might need a bit more water). Grease a stoneware cake pan or bread pan. sprinkle the bottom with sesame seeds or coconut shreds.
- Pour the batter into the pan, Using a greased spatula or greased hand, press or shape the batter into the pan if needed. Cover the pan with foil lightly. Prick 1-2 small holes in the center of the foil.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Peak to check if the center is set. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before removing foil. Invert onto a serving dish and slice/cube.
- In a small skillet, add oil and heat at medium. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them sizzle or sputter for a few seconds.
- Add the asafetida, chili and curry leaves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until most of the chili is golden brown.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice, coconut flakes and the water. Mix and cook for 3 minutes or until the water is hot. Drizzle this over the dhoklas. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lemon juice. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To refresh, microwave to warm up or serve at room temperature. Sprinkle hot water to moisten before serving.
- Serve with cilantro Chutney or serve as a side like cornbread. Add the tempering into the batter before baking to serve as a side.
- Use a steel steamer pan or bread pan. Place in the steamer and steam for 12 to 15 minutes. I use a pressure cooker to steam. The traditional dhokla that you get in restaurants is steamed.
- Pour batter in a microwave safe bowl. Lightly cover and microwave for 2 minutes. check is done in the center. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer as needed.
Tips: if the batter is too thin for any reason, add a Tbsp of rice flour or semolina to thicken. Besan might make thinner batter, so add more besan or rice flour.
To sub non dairy yogurt, use full fat coconut milk or thick cashew milk. Use a bit less than ½ cup if using milk and bake longer (5 to 10 minutes).