Friday, March 28, 2014

A Healthy Snack: Khaman Dhokla

(Adapted from Nylon Khaman Dhokla by Tarla Dalal and Besan ka Dhokla by

The hubby-man is extremely fond of eating Khaman Dhokla. Whenever, we eat some snacks outside, he is sure to order Dhokla. One time, he got a packet of Dhokla mix. After cajoling me several times (and not getting any response), he tried to steam Dhokla batter in my idli molds. The mini-Dhoklas turned into hard crunchy biscuits! This has become the standing joke in the family, but since then he has nursed a grudge against me that I just do not take any pains to make food that I don't have any affinity to.

The ongoing online event at KFB, "East or West, Food is the Best" caught me offguard. I no clue about any food from the western, central, or eastern part of India, barring our dear Bengali food. Suddenly, it dawned upon me that I should try out Khaman Dhokla for this event and please my long-suffering hubby-man too!

Khaman Dhokla is a Gujarati snack. Being a steamed, non-fried dish, it is low on calories and uses very less oil. Its also purely vegetarian and simple to make. I got a lovely recipe from Tarla Dalal's website here. She calls it the Nylon Khaman Dhokla. Don't be turned of by the name! These Dhoklas are so soft and spongy that the reference is apt. I also got a recipe from here.

I actually did some mix and match from both these recipes.

Here is how I made it:


Besan: 1 cup
Sooji/Semolina: 1 and a half tbsp
Ginger and green chilli paste: 1 teaspoon
Eno fruit salt: 2 tsp
Sugar: 4 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Oil: 1and a half tsp

For tempering/tadka:

Black mustard seeds/Rai: 1 tsp
White sesame seeds/ Til: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 3-4 (slit longitudinally)
Curry leaves: 3-4 chopped
Asafoetida/ Hing: a pinch
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp (optional)
Water: 1/2 cup
Oil: 1and a half tsp 

For decoration:

Coriander (chopped fine): a handful
Grated coconut (optional)


1. In a bowl, mix besan, sooji, ginger-chilli paste, salt, sugar, and lemon juice. 

2. Add half a cup of water and mix till lump-free. You can add more water, but the mix should not be thin and runny. Batter should be thick like cake batter. Add a fistful more besan if the batter appears runny.

3.In the meantime, add two glasses of water inside the steamer and put it on the gas. Grease a thali/baking tray with oil. Luckily for me, my cake tin fit snugly inside my steamer!
4. Add the Eno fruit salt into the batter and immediately pour the batter into the tin. Remember to add the Eno fruit salt immediately before you put the batter for steaming.
5.By this time,the water inside will be boiling. Place the tin containing batter in the steamer and close the lid.

5. Steam the batter for 15-20 minutes on medium flame. Avoid lowering the flame to the minimum (simmer) because then the Dhokla will not rise. Medium flame works best! I had to steam for complete 20 minutes. Having some batter left, I poured it in another greased cake tin and steamed it inside the pressure cooker for 10-12 minutes. Remember to remove the weight from the pressure cooker lid before steaming.

6. After 20 minutes, open the lid of the steamer. Insert a knife into the Dhokla. If the knife comes out clean, your Dhokla is done. Keep aside to cool.

7. After the some time, de-mold the Dhokla from the tin. If the Dhokla has steamed properly, it will de-mold easily without breaking. Cut it into shapes of your choice, I cut it into squares.

Just loved the soft and spongy consistency!


1. Heat about 1 and a half tsp of oil in a pan.
2. Add all the tempering items and let the mustard seeds sputter.
3. Add half a cup of water in the pan. Next add sugar and salt. Let the mixture simmer for 1-2 minutes.
4. Take off the flame and add lemon juice.
5. Just before serving, pour the tempering mixture on the Dhoklas with a spoon. Decorate with chopped coriander and grated coconut. I didn't have coconut, so I used chopped coriander.
6. Serve warm with green chutney! 

Enjoy home-made, healthy Dhoklas for breakfast or an anytime snack.

I am sending this recipe for the KFB ongoing event "East or West, Food is the Best".


  1. Good recipe, Rakhi .
    Can you suggest some method of making the Dhoklas soft with out using Eno or baking soda ?

    1. Preeti, I don't know of any recipe to make Dhoklas spongy without using Eno or baking soda. If u come across any such recipe, plz let me know.