Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Chickpea Cake)

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

Growing up in a Bengali family, fish and poultry is the preferred choice of protein. And chickpeas mostly takes the back seat. Except for stew or using chickpea flour for deep-frying batter, I don’t remember seeing Mom using it a lot. Hence, it took me a while to adapt to the taste of chickpea. Arvind, on the other hand, loves the flavor of chickpea, beans or flour! So, after our marriage, I started trying my hands with a few chickpea dishes.

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

One of his absolute favorite snacks is Khaman Dhokla (steamed chickpea cake). Making dhokla at home sounds super easy but like most easy recipes, this too has it’s own tricky part. No dhokla is good unless it’s got that spongy moist texture. And getting that texture right was the tough part. at least for me! It took four flop attempts in 7 days (yeah, I went a little stubborn there) to finally get the correct texture of khaman dhokla.

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

Dhokla is one of the specialty treats from the state of Gujarat. It is typically served at breakfast but goes pretty well as a snack too. Traditionally, rice and split chickpea is used to prepare the batter and it is then fermented overnight. Khaman Dhokla, on the other hand, is the instant version where chickpea flour is used to prepare the batter. It’s then fermented instantly using either Eno salt or a combination of baking soda and citric acid. The key thing to remember while making khaman dhokla using Eno salt is that everything should be kept ready including your container for steaming. Once the batter is ready, you have to instantly put it for steaming. Don’t allow the batter to rest longer, or else the khaman dhokla will turn out dense instead of spongy.

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

 

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

I did this post in collaboration with Kitchen Aid India. I used the stand mixer to make the batter and it was super quick plus effortless too.

Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Chickpea Cake)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Makes an 8 inch cake

Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Chickpea Cake)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • 1 tablespoon semolina
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 packets of eno salt
  • 1½ cup water
  • for the tampering
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • few curry leaves
  • pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 1 green chili roughly chopped (optional)
  • few extra green chilies (optional)

Directions

  • Oil an 8-inch diameter flat container. I used a cake pan.
  • Next, get your steamer ready. If you don’t have a steamer, just take a large vessel like a big saucepan or a big wok that can fit your 8-inch container and the vessel should have a tight lid too. To convert that vessel into a steamer, you need to find something circular that you can be placed at the base of the vessel and on top of that, you have to place the 8-inch container. Remember that whatever you place at the base of the vessel must allow the steam to come up. So, a definite no to plate! Look for a big strainer or tart pan ring.
  • Pour 1½ cups of water in the vessel and bring it to a boil.
  • In the mean time, get the batter ready. Add chickpea flour, turmeric, sugar and eno salt in your stand mixer bowl. Give it a quick whisk. Then, pour, 1½ cup of water and oil. Whisk it at a high speed for a couple of minutes. The batter should come together very quickly and it would look quite foamy.
  • Pour the batter immediately to the oiled container or cake pan. Then, place it on the large vessel.
  • Cover the large vessel with a tight lid making sure no steam escapes while cooking.
  • Cook at medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While the khaman dhokla gets cooked, prepare the tampering.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a tiny saucepan and scatter mustard seeds along with asafoetida, curry leaves, chopped green chili and a couple of whole green chilies. Allow it to cook for two minutes. Then, pour water along with sugar, give it a stir and allow it to boil for a few minutes. Once done, switch off the heat and allow it cool off a bit.
  • Finally, check the dhokla by inserting a knife or a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, the dhokla is ready. Take it off the steamer and loosen the side by running a knife along it. Flip the dhokla on a serving plate and pour the warm syrup on top.
  • Slice into bite size portions and serve.
http://www.playfulcooking.com/snack-and-fingerfood/khaman-dhokla-steamed-chickpea-cake/

Khaman Dhokla | Playful Cooking

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Papori says:

Yum! My favourite… Totally delicious.

Desiree says:

Such a beautiful recipe! I’d love to make it at home, but I’ve never seen or heard of Eno salt before. How many ounces/grams are the packets required for the recipe? If I can get them online, I will be making this dhokla ASAP!

Summer says:

My eyes are popping out of my head! Looks yummy and right up my alley ♥

summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

I always love chickpea cake. Yours looks gorgeous and I love the colour.

Rama Dutta says:

Your dhokla looks so tempting. Never made dhokla from from scratch. I have everything at home. I will make it soon.