20 February 2011


It's easy to make, and relatively low drama. Here's my rough guesstimation of a recipe:

1 cup rice flour
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup coconut milk + enough water to make the dough into a batter
1 teaspoon lemon juice, OR 1 teaspoon vinegar, OR 1/2 tsp citric acid
1/4 tsp - 1/2 tsp turmeric (adjust to your colour preference)
1/4 tsp salt
big pinch asafoetida
3/4 tsp baking soda

Soak the rice flour and chickpea flour in coconut milk/water and lemon juice/citric/vinegar overnight. Soak it on your counter, as the souring will be helped by the natural fermentation of the rice and chickpeas. You're looking to end up with batter that's the consistency of pancake batter. The next day, stir in the turmeric, salt, and asafoetida. Prepare a pan and a steamer. This will easily fill a standard cake pan. I use a steamer that fits over my wok, or a steaming rack in a big pot, with a bit of water. Grease your cake pan with oil.

When the water comes to a full boil, and the steamer is all nice and steamy, add the baking soda to the batter. You want to add the baking soda at the absolute last minute possible, because it will react with the acid almost immediately. You want the baking soda to be able to create enough bubbles that the batter becomes light and airy, and stays that way. Put the cake pan with the batter into the steamer. Let steam for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium low when you put the cake pan in, so that the water isn't at a fierce boil. This prevents the pan from drying out, and burning.

When the timer goes off at the end of 20 minutes, turn off the heat, and let the cake pan sit for another 10 minutes. Cut around the edges with a knife, so that the dhokla comes out neatly. Chop into 1 inch squares or diamond shapes.

To garnish

1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 big pinches asafoetida
5 - 10 chiles, sliced vertically

Heat the oil over high heat. Add the mustard seeds. When they pop loudly and vigorously, add the chiles. Turn off the heat. Spoon the mixture over the cut up dhokla.

EDIT: If you don't want to soak overnight, don't bother with rice flour. Use just chickpea flour. The final batter you end up with should be the consistency of thick pancake batter.