Instant Rava Dhokla - Steamed savory cake
This dish is from the western Indian state of Gujarat. Everytime I crave a comfort snack, I think about dhokla and a cup of ginger chai. There are many varieties of making this dish but the recipe below is an instant version with minimal ingredients. A perfect breakfast or tea-time dish.
Dhokla is a steamed savory cake made with semolina. It is ready in about 30 minutes and it can be stored for upto 3 days in a refigerator. I usually make two batches and temper the dhokla fresh to maintain the flavor.
How to make Dhokla
1 cup fine semolina (sooji)
1 tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
1 cup natural yogurt
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp of green chili paste or chopped fine
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric powder
2 tsp Eno or baking soda
1 tsp cooking oil (I used a mix of rapseed and olive oil)
For the tempering (tadka)
2 tbsp any neutral oil (such as sunflower, vegetable or rapeseed)
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
8-10 fresh curry leaves
2 small green chillies (slit lengthways)
1/4 tsp asafoetida
3 tbsp freshly-chopped coriander
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Mix the semolina and chickpea flour making sure there are no lumps. Add yogurt, ginger, green chilies, turmeric, salt and oil and mix well with a spoon. The mixture should be lump free and smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add one or two tablespoons of water. The mixture should be similar to a cake batter. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Prepare to steam the dhokla in steamer or a deep pan. Add 3-4 cups of water in a deep pan/steamer. Grease a cake tin/deep dish that fits into the steamer/deep pan. Cover the pan.
Once the water in the steamer is boiling, add baking soda to the dhokla mix. Stir the soda in the mix. You will see small bubbles in the mixture. Now tip the mixture into a greased pan. Place the dhokla in the steamer and cover and let the mixture steam on medium heat. Steam for about 10-12 minutes.
Check by inserting a toothpick into the dhokla. If it comes out clean, the dhokla is ready. Remove the dhokla from the steamer and keep aside to cool.
For the tadka:
Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Once hot, add the mustard seeds. They should start popping almost immediately. Once they have finished popping, add the curry leaves, chillies, sesame seeds and asafoetida. Switch the heat off after 10-20 seconds and allow to cool slightly.
While the tadka is cooling, mix together the water, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir until the mixture is no longer grainy. Add this to the cooled tadka and mix well.
Run a knife around the edges of the dhokla pan to loosen and flip onto a plate. Slice into squares. Place the cut squares back in the pan or a serving platter and pour the tadka over the dhokla. Sprinkle with coriander leaves. Allow to rest for 30-40 minutes before serving. Serve with coriander chutney and/or chai.