In Search Of The Perfect Dhoklas
by usablog · August 6, 2015
A dhokla is a spongy savory cake made of gram flour, suji (semolina) or rice powder. Dhokla recipe is a very popular Guajarati dish prepared in almost every household in India. Be it Besan Dhokla, Suji Dhokla, Chawal Dhokla or Khaman Dhokla, the art of preparing each of the recipes lies in apt steaming. Dhokla can be served as breakfast, evening snack or even as an appetizer. Garnished with split green chilies, mustard seeds, grated coconut and coriander leaves, this dish can be served with tamarind chutney accompanied with green coriander or mint chutney. Sometimes, coconut chutney is also served along with this snack. It can be made a day earlier and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and can be served to the guests on the following day.
Origin of Dhokla
Dukkia, a pulse-based precursor of the dhokla, is mentioned in a Jain work dated to 1066 CE. The earliest extant work to mention the word “dhokla” is the Gujarati Varanaka Samuchaya (1520 CE).
Ingredients and Method of Preparing Dhokla Dishes
The basic ingredient for preparing Besan Dhokla is gram flour or chickpeas. The besan batter of the dhokla is allowed to ferment and added with baking soda or sodium bi-carbonate to make it rise and be fluffy. Suji Dhokla is made of semolina while the making of Chawal Dhokla requires rice flour as the principle ingredients. A Khaman Dhokla is mainly prepared by adding soda, water and oil in correct ratio to the besan. The correct consistency of the batter of the dhokla recipe is important. A tray or plate with edges of around three to four inches of height should be greased with oil and the batter should be poured into the greased tray. The dhokla is then steamed for about fifteen to twenty minutes after which it is allowed to cool for five minutes. Following this, it is cut into cubes or rectangles with a knife and garnished with split green chilies and mustard seeds roasted in oil along with grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves. Sometimes, asafetida and sugar is also added to the recipe along with the heated oil to give it a sweet and salty taste.
Variations in Dhokla Recipe
A dhokla can be made with different variations. Suji Dhokla is white colored recipe made of semolina. Chawal Dhokla is made of rice powder. The most popular one is the yellow colored Besan Dhokla made of gram flour or chickpeas. Other popular variations include Khaman Dhokla, Khatta Dhokla, Rasia Dhokla and Cheese Dhokla, to name just a few! Serving Dhoklas This dish can be served warm or normal as breakfast, snack or appetizer and is accompanied with tamarind chutney and coriander or mint chutney. Some Health Facts to Dhokla This recipe, being steamed is generally healthy. However, those avoiding proteins are recommended to have this item in small quantity only as it contains gram flour which is rich in protein.
Miscellaneous Facts about Dhokla Recipe
Popular restaurants and sweet shops in India like Haldiram’s, Bikanerwala, Gupta Brothers, Tiwari Brothers and Bhikharam offer delicious dhokla. Nowadays, many households prefer the instant Dhokla Mix packets launched by companies like MTR, Ganesh, Tops, etc. Renowned Indian chefs like Tarla Dalal and Nita Mehta provide various cooking classes and recipe books on how to prepare this dish.