Dhokla is an Indian (Gujarathi) dish that can be served as a snack, appetizer or if you love it as much as me, dinner! If you haven’t eaten one before, now is the time to get started.
1 cup chickpea flour, Ask for “Besan” (Hindi for chickpea flour) in your local Indian store.
½ cup yogurt( the more sour and tangier the better)
2 Tbsp finely grated ginger
2 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp canola oil for greasing
water as needed, for steaming
1/4 cup fresh or dry grated coconut
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1 Indian green chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 Tbsp chana dal ( Also known as Bengal Gram Dal)
1 Tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Mix together the flour, yogurt, ginger and salt, stir gently to remove lumps to make a fairly thick pancake like batter; cover with a paper towel or a kitchen towl and leave overnight in a warm place.
The next day when ready to cook add the green chillies, onion, baking powder and salt (according to your taste) to the chickpea batter and stir gently till well incorporated.
This dish is a steamed dish. The traditional Indian way is to use a special steaming mould and a pressure cooker made just for this purpose. If you don’t have this, there is a simple alternate way of steaming.
Grease individual stainless steel cups with cooking spray and pour in the batter and fill only 1/2 the cup. Place these filled cups in a very large pan (with raised sides). Pour in hot water slowly along the sides of the large pan filling half the pan. Put this pan on medium heat and cover tightly. Steam for 10-15 minutes. check for doneness by inserting a knife in the center, it should come clean. If not Steam for another 5 minutes and check again. Remove the cups from the steamer, let it cool for a few minutes. Use a spoon or a knife , dip it in hot water and run it along the sides of the cup and nudge it out , it should come out easily.
You could bake this into one big cake sized dish in a cake pan too. I use regular stainless steel cups and bake it into individual pieces because It’s easier to serve as an appetizer in bite size pieces.
Heat the ghee in a pan, add the chana dal, when it just starts to turn slightly brown, add the mustard seeds. The mustard seeds will being to splutter. At this stage add the cumin seeds, green chillis and onion and sautee for 5 minutes on low heat. Turn off heat, add the coconut and stir well and let it brown in the residual heat of the pan.
Sprinkle this garnish all over the plated dhokla and top it with the chopped cilantro. Serve with coriander-mint chutney.