A steamed and nutritious dish, dhokla is not difficult to make. Here are interesting variations

Dhokla is a savoury cake made out of Bengal gram flour and is steamed to get a fluffy texture. The dish occupies pride of place in its state of origin — Gujarat, and has become a favourite across the country. It’s a low-calorie, healthy and protein-packed snack. It’s cooked with little or no oil and takes very little time to prepare. The fermentation of the flour enhances its nutritive value. Dhokla has a low glycemic index which makes it good for diabetics. Here are a few dhokla recipes and a tasty variation on the regular one.

Dhokla

Ingredients

Bengal Gram: 2 cups

Small lemons: 2

Green chillies, chopped: 4

Peppercorns: 2 tsp

Oil: 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds: 2 tbsp

Grated coconut: half a cup

A handful of coriander leaves

Red chillies, chopped: 5

A pinch of asafoetida powder

Salt to taste

Method:

Soak gram for 7-8 hours. Drain and grind the dal coarsely. Set aside for 4-5 hours for fermentation. Beat the paste with a wooden spoon. Mix salt, green chillies, asafoetida and lemon juice with the paste. The paste should be of a pouring consistency. Now grease the separator from the pressure cooker or a flat steel vessel. Pour the batter, cover and cook in the cooker for 15-20 minutes. Let the cooker cool. Take out the cooked mixture; cut it into cubes. Heat oil and put in the seasoning — mustard and red chillies. Add it to the dhokla. Garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut. Serve hot with green chutney.

Moong Dal and Peas Dhokla

Ingredients

Moong dal (yellow lentils): half cup

Boiled and shelled green peas: half a cup

Green chillies: 2

Ginger, grated: 1 inch

Chickpea flour: 1 tbsp

Sour curd, well beaten: 2 tbsp

Sugar: 1 tsp

Fruit salt: 1 tsp

Citric acid crystals: quarter tsp

Turmeric powder: quarter tsp

A bunch of chopped coriander leaves

Grated coconut: 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

For Tempering

Oil: 2 tsp

Mustard seeds: half tsp

Chillies slit: 3

A few curry leaves

A pinch of asafoetida powder

Method:

Wash and soak moong dal for 4-5 hours. Rinse and drain the excess water. Grind soaked moong dal with one-third cup of peas, ginger and green chillies to a fine paste. Take this mixture into a bowl and add gram flour, the rest of the peas, beaten curd, sugar, citric acid crystals, turmeric powder, oil and salt and mix well. Add fruit salt just before steaming and mix well. The batter should be frothy. Immediately pour into a greased flat steel vessel or a dhokla container to one inch thickness. Steam for 15-20 minutes. Cool it a bit and run a knife in the edges and carefully un-mould the dhokla onto a plate. Heat oil in a small pan and put in the mustard seeds. Allow them to crackle. Add red chillies, curry leaves, asafoetida and fry until the chillies turn colour and spread the seasoning over the dhokla. Garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut. Cut into squares or triangles of required size. Serve with peanut or coconut chutney.

Sandwich Dhokla

Ingredients

For Dhokla

Rava (semolina): 200 gm

Curd: 200 gm

Ginger, grated: 1 inch

Green chillies, finely chopped: 4

Pinch of edible soda

Salt to taste

For Tempering

Oil: 1 tbsp

Black mustard seeds: 1 tsp

Red chillies: 3

Sugar: 1 tsp

Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

Water: 1 tbsp

A bunch of coriander leaves

Salt to taste

For Chutney

A handful of mint leaves

Dry red chillies, whole: 5

Garlic: 3 cloves

Cumin seeds: 1 tsp

Ginger, grated: 1–inch piece

Vinegar: 1 tsp

Tamarind: 1 small ball

Salt to taste

Method:

First prepare the chutney. Grind the tamarind to a fine paste in a mixer. Then add mint leaves, chillies, garlic, ginger and salt. Grind it all into a paste; then add vinegar and a little water and mix well. Keep chutney aside.

For preparing dhokla, stir the curd in the grinder. Mix semolina in the curd. There should not be any lumps. Mix grated ginger, green chillies, salt in the curd properly with a stirring spoon. Leave the mixture covered for 4-5 hours. Grease a flat plate or dhokla container. Stir the edible soda into the dhokla mixture. Spread the mixture on the plate. Steam dhokla for 20 minutes. Cool dhokla and cut with a knife. Apply mint chutney on it and cover with another layer of dhokla, which is covered with hot and sour sauce, press together a little bit, pour tempering on it and cut into square pieces. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.