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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Semolina Dhokla

Hey folks,

So I'm back! :-)

Its raining outside like there will be no tomorrow, and has gotten cold here in D.C., changing seasons. makes me just want to curl up and hibernate!

Today I cooked breakfast for everyone at my local Krishna temple. I wanted to make something new for me, and so I took the opportunity to learn how to make semolina dhokla from Radha Bhavini - one of the resident ladies here. I like dhokla and I've wanted to know how to make it for the longest time, so I'm all excited about this recipe.

Dhokla is a traditional Indian snack from Gujarat - it can be made in different ways, but the quickest version is basically a steamed semolina bread. It reminds me abit of cornbread, not sure why because they dont taste anything alike. Anyways, its yummy, super quick to make and easily digestible.

This recipe make approx 60 generous pieces of dhokla. Serves approx 15-16 people (3-4 pieces each).

4 cups semolina
4 cups thick yoghurt
2 tsps Eno fruit salts (a raising agent available in Indian grocery stores)
2 TBSP shredded fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp tumeric powder
1/4 tsp sambar/chat masala
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1 TBSP salt or to taste
1 1/2 cups water (or as required to make the batter - if the yogurt is runny then you wont need much water).

Freshly chopped cilantro
Approx 2 TBSP mustard seeds
Approx 2 TBSP sesame seeds
1/2 tsp hing
Approx 2 TBSP ghee or oil
Approx 1 cup water

Set up a steaming rack. We used a big pot 1/3 filled with water and a round wok ring inside to set a baking tray on top of for steaming the dhokla. Bring water to boil. Oil the baking tray - should be at least an inch and 1/2 deep. 

Mix semolina with spices and salt. Add in the fresh ginger. Mix all well. Mix in the yoghurt and water as required to make a semi thick batter - should run from a spoon easily enough. if you make it too runny add more semolina.

In the last possible moment at the Eno salt and mix. Pour into the baking tray and set on the steaming rack immediately. Cover the pot to trap the steam inside. After 15 minutes it should be ready. Remove from heat.

While the dhokla is steaming prepare the dressing. Heat ghee or oil. When hot add in mustard and sesame seeds. When they begin popping add in the hing for a couple seconds and remove from heat. (Some people like abit more spice and add whole green chili's into the oil too).

Swirl it over the dhokla, and use a spoon to gently spread it out evenly. Take approx a cup of water into the pan you used for the dressing and sprinkle over the dhokla. This helps prevent it from drying out. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the top.

Allow to cool. Then cut into squares and serve with a chutney, as part of a meal, or as is. :-)

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