How to Make Dhokla: A Light and Fluffy Gujarati Delight

Dhokla is a popular savory snack from the Indian state of Gujarat, known for its light, fluffy texture and tangy-sweet flavor. This steamed cake made from fermented batter of gram flour (besan) and spices is not only delicious but also healthy. Dhokla can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a side dish. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make soft and spongy dhokla at home.

Ingredients

For the Dhokla Batter:

  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tablespoon semolina (rava)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-green chili paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon eno fruit salt (or baking soda)
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

For the Tempering:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For Garnish:

  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Grated coconut (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Dhokla Batter

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine gram flour, semolina, sugar, salt, turmeric powder, and ginger-green chili paste.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Add lemon juice and water gradually to the dry mixture. Whisk the batter well to remove any lumps and make it smooth. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.
  3. Add Eno/Baking Soda: Just before steaming, add eno fruit salt or baking soda to the batter. Mix gently but quickly. The batter will rise and become fluffy.

Step 2: Steam the Dhokla

  1. Prepare the Steamer: Grease a dhokla plate or any flat-bottomed dish with oil. Pour the batter into the greased dish and spread it evenly.
  2. Steam the Batter: Place the dish in a steamer and cover it with a lid. Steam the batter on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  3. Cool the Dhokla: Remove the steamed dhokla from the steamer and let it cool for a few minutes. Cut it into square or diamond-shaped pieces.

Step 3: Prepare the Tempering

  1. Heat Oil: In a small pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  2. Add Seeds and Spices: Add sesame seeds, slit green chilies, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Sauté for a few seconds.
  3. Add Water and Seasonings: Add water, sugar, and lemon juice to the pan. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Simmer for a minute and turn off the heat.

Step 4: Assemble the Dhokla

  1. Pour Tempering: Pour the prepared tempering evenly over the cooled and cut dhokla pieces. Ensure all pieces are coated well with the tempering.
  2. Garnish: Garnish the dhokla with chopped fresh coriander leaves and grated coconut if desired.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Serve Fresh: Serve the dhokla fresh with green chutney and tamarind chutney.
  2. Enjoy: Enjoy the light, fluffy, and flavorful dhokla as a snack or a side dish.

Tips for Perfect Dhokla

  1. Batter Consistency: Ensure the batter is smooth and lump-free. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.
  2. Fresh Eno/Baking Soda: Use fresh eno fruit salt or baking soda for best results. This helps the dhokla rise and become fluffy.
  3. Steaming Time: Do not over-steam the dhokla as it can become dry. Check doneness with a toothpick.
  4. Tempering: The tempering should be evenly poured over the dhokla to enhance the flavor and texture.

Conclusion

Dhokla is a delightful and nutritious Gujarati snack that is easy to make and perfect for any time of the day. Making dhokla at home allows you to enjoy this light and fluffy treat fresh and hot. By following this detailed recipe, you can create delicious dhokla that will be a hit with your family and friends. Serve it with your favorite chutneys and relish the tangy, sweet, and savory flavors of this traditional Indian dish!

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