If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of eating healthy, nourishing foods every day to stay fit. However, it doesn’t mean that our palates must resign to repetitive or boring foods to keep our health in top condition. Traditional Indian cuisines are goldmines of healthy, tasty and nutritious recipes that not only satisfy our chatpati cravings, but also provide vital nutrients packaged in snack-able bites.
Today, we share with you an easy but wholesome recipe of a much beloved Indian snack that is popular throughout the country- ‘Dhokla’! Originally, a Gujarati dish, this snack has become an all-time favourite snack, whether as a breakfast option, or as a tea-time relish, and it can even be enjoyed in-between meals!
The ingredients in our dhokla recipe are the ones which are easily available in any Indian household. Gram flour or besan, is the base ingredient, and it is lauded in the ancient Ayurveda for its multiple health benefits. Modern health experts also agree that besan is a good source of proteins and fibre, without any gluten. The benefit of eating dhokla is that the recipe doesn’t call for besan to be fried. Rather, it is prepared with a fermented batter of besan, which is steamed to give dhokla its moist and fluffy texture.
The recipe we will share today has been perfected over the years, so that it is prepared in a simple and quick way, without compromising on its taste or benefits. Whether you want to prepare a quick snack for your family, or send a tasty but healthy home-made snack to a friend, this recipe will surely help you.
The ingredients for the dhokla batter are –
- Gram flour (Besan)– 1 cup
- Semolina (Sooji/Rava)- 2 tablespoons
- Salt- ½ teaspoon
- Sugar- 1 teaspoon
- One small sachet of Eno
- Half lemon (For approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
- In a bowl, add one cup of gram flour and add two tablespoon of semolina. Mix them both and this is your dry mixture.
- In a separate bowl, add 1 cup water and to this, add half teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar and squeeze half a lemon for about 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Stir well until all the ingredients are combined.
- Then add this to the bowl with the dry mixture to prepare the batter. Stir the batter carefully so that no lumps remain.
- Keep the batter aside for one hour.
It is important for the batter to rest for one hour to give the dhokla the perfect lightweight and fluffy texture.
While the batter is resting, you can use this time to prepare the dhokla sugar syrup. To make it, you will need-
- Water- 1 cup
- Vegetable oil- 1 teaspoon
- Sugar – 3 teaspoon
- Salt- ½ teaspoon
- Lemon juice- About 2 tablespoon
- Black mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
- 7-8 curry leaves
- 4- 5 green chilies (slit vertically)
- Place a pan on stove on medium high and add 1 teaspoon oil.
- To it, add black mustard seeds and within a few seconds, add curry leaves. Stir it a couple of times so that the leaves evenly get coated in oil and slightly fried.
- After about 30 seconds, add slit green chilies. You have to be quick while adding all these ingredients because they will start to crackle and be burned if left unattended or in the pan for longer than a minute.
- Once the chilies are also slightly fried, add one cup of water and after a few seconds, add sugar and salt.
- Give it a light stir to dissolve the sugar and then switch off the flame.
In the meanwhile, the dhokla batter has been resting and after one hour, it is ready to be turned into beautiful dhoklas.
- Give the rested batter a good stir and then add to it 1 teaspoon or about half sachet of Eno. Continuously stir it into the batter until you see the batter rise with bubbles.
- Take an aluminium mould and to it add the batter. However, be sure not to dab or tap the container for an even shape.
- In an open kadhai, pour water (about 3-4 cups) and keep a small stand in the kadhai, which can support the batter-filled aluminium mould. Remember, don’t put the container directly in the kadhai without the stand.
- Place the aluminium mould on the stand and then switch the burner on high flame for 5 minutes. Then switch to low flame for 5 minutes, and then switch off the flame.
- After a couple of minutes, with the help of a toothpick or knife, check whether the batter has cooked. If the toothpick or knife comes out clean, then the batter has cooked properly. If not, then again switch on the gas and cook the batter for about 4-5 minutes.
- Once the batter is cooked, take out the mould from kadhai and let it cool. Then carefully take out the cooked dhokla from the mould and put it in a plate.
- Pour the dhokla syrup on the cooked dhokla and wait for few minutes so that the dhokla completely absorbs the syrup.
- Garnish the dhokla with some cooked chillies and enjoy the scrumptious and savoury treat with your loved ones.
There are many ways to prepare dhoklas, but this recipe is a Wadhwa family special, that can be cooked at home with basic ingredients whenever the mood strikes! It is good for health as it aids in digestion and provides energy without adding excessive calories or provoking the bad cholesterol count. This light and delicious snack is great for those who want to indulge on filling foods without worrying about gaining weight.
Fellow dhokla lovers, do let us know in the comments how much you too love dhoklas! And if you try the recipe, let us know how it turned out!
Our best wishes are with you and your loved ones!
Stay safe, stay healthy!