Thursday, 1 March 2012

Dhokla - Gujarat's delicious Ambassador

Dhoklas are a staple in every Gujarati household as I understand. A steamed gram flour snack for guilt-free indulgence. I have personally tasted it only once at my Gujarati friend’s place. The taste intrigued me; it is light and fluffy, with a bit of sweet and a bit of spice. It’s been so long now, that I don’t distinctly remember. That is all I could recollect.

I have been wanting to make Dhoklas for a while now; the desire to have them rekindled, ever since I saw Ms. Madhur Jaffrey make it on a TV show. I didn’t have a pen at hand to note doen the recipe and I couldn‘t find the video or the recipe on the internet. So I have been on the hunt for a good recipe since.

That’s when the most recent issue of ‘BBC Good Food India’ carried with it a booklet on popular Gujarati cuisine, published by the Gujarat Tourism Board, also featuring who else, but our good ol’ friend ‘the dhokla’.  Dhoklas are usually served  with tomato/chili sauce or coriander chutney. I ran out of
coriander, so the sauce it was. It may seem a bit incomplete without the sauce/ chutney;  it did to me.
Fruit Salt, as per the recipe is absolutely essential to add sponginess to the end result. I didn’t quite know what Fruit Salt is. It is available in India under the very popular brand name ‘Eno’. It is an antacid; The batter fluffed up in an instant on the addition of the fruit salt. I suppose it does work in ‘6 seconds’ as the makers claim!

These are indeed as the Gujarat tourism Board says, ‘Gujarat’s delicious ambassadors’.

What you need:
Gram Flour (Besan) – 100g
Semolina (Rava) – 15g
Sugar – 40g
Ginger-green chilli paste – 5g
Citric Acid – 2.5g
Salt – To taste
Fruit salt – 10g (I used ‘Eno’ - regular)
Mustard Seeds – 5g
Sesame Seeds – 5g (I used white)
Green Chillies – 5g
Asafoetida – 1g
Water – 200ml
Curry Leaves – 3 (As you please)

Here’s How:
Combine Besan, Semolina, sugar, ginger-green chilli paste, citric acid and salt along with a little water (approximately ¾ cup) in a bowl and mix  well with the help of your hand to get a smooth and thick batter

Divide the batter into 2 equal portions and keep aside

Add 1 tsp of fruit salt to a portion of the batter and mix gently. Pour the batter immediately into a greased 125mm diameter thali (think approximately pan pizza size) and spread evenly by rotating the thali clockwise.

Steam in a steamer for 12-15 minutes, or till the dhoklas are cooked. Keep aside.

Repeat steps 3 to 5 to make one more thali of dhoklas.

Heat 3 tsp of oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the sesame seeds. Next, combine the green chillies, asafetida and curry leaves; mix well and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds

Remove from the flame and add 1 & ½ tbsp of water and mix well. Pour this tempering over the dhoklas. Cool and cut into pieces. Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

Recipe & content Source: ‘State on a Plate’ – Gujarat Tourism Board (Pamphlet with ‘BBC Good Food India); Wikipedia


  1. Delicious looking dhokla n beautiful presentation.

  2. Thank you so much hemalata. Glad to hear you liked it. You have a wonderful blog yourself.


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