This is a really traditional Gujarati recipe. It is probably one of the most popular snacks around.
The way that I would describe this dish to people that have never tasted it, well its one of the most delicious things that i have ever tasted! It is a moist, spongy, crumbly, savory, delicately spiced piece of heaven. This dish can take a lot of preparation if you are not used to Indian cooking, but i can assure you that is well worth the effort!
So here goes.....
1 cup of channa dal,
3 level tbs gram flour, or fine semolina,
2 tbs ground rice,
1/4 cup yogurt,
a few drops of lemon juice
2-3 tsp of sugar,
1 tsp of salt, or to taste,
1 green chilli,
1 tsp grated ginger,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
To be added to the batter at the very last minute, 1 tsp of eno.
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
a pinch of hing
1-2 green chilies either pureed or chopped finely.
about 10-12 curry leaves
1 tbs oil
fresh green coriander.
1) This step is optional, but really traditional and essential if you don't have some type of grinder.
Soak the dal in tepid water for about 4-6 hours and then grind to a coarse paste, adding some of the water from the soaking process into the food processor. You don't want to add too much water otherwise it will be hard to get the right consistency of the grain and the batter. The batter should be dropping consistency, but very nearly poring consistency. If you don't have time for this you can grind the channa dal into a coarse flour, a similar consistency to coarse semolina.
2) Add the flours with the salt, sugar, turmeric, ginger, yoghurt, green chilli and lemon juice, mix well ensuring that there are no lumps and transfer the paste into a metal bowl ( for some reason a metal bowl helps with the fermentation process) and cover with cling film, ensuring that you pop a couple of air holes into the cling film to allow a bit of air at the batter, but not too many as you don't want to dry the batter out.
3) Because i live in a cold climate, i put the bowl into my airing cupboard overnight to ferment. Or if you have a light in your oven you can leave it in there to ferment with the light on. If you can, leave the batter over night or for at least 8 hours.
4) When the batter is ready you should see tiny bubbles on the top. What i sometimes do if i am not to sure of the consistency of my batter i will check it after 5 hours and see if there are any bubbles starting to appear. If there isn't any and the batter looks to thick, I add a splash of boiling water, but be careful of how much you add as you don't want a watery batter. Then i will leave it for a few more hours to finish fermenting.
5) Make sure that you have a deep pan of water on the ready, and maybe use something to balance your cake tin on, if you are using one instead of a dhokla steamer. If you have a dhokla steamer, lightly grease, but if you don't you can use a small round cake tin lightly greased.
6) Gently but quickly mix in the eno, then immediately put into the pan for steaming.
7) If your dhokla's are done in shallow dhokla trays then I would steam for about 10-15 minutes.
If you have steamed the dhokla in a cake tin then probably steam for 15-20 minutes. To check if the dhokla is done, stick a knife into the centre and if it comes out clean then the dhokla is cooked.
For the seasoning:-
1) Heat a pan with the oil and when it is hot enough, add the mustard seeds. Let them pop
2) Add the hing (asafoetida) and let it sizzle for a second and then add the curry leaves, chillies and the sesame seed and give it a stir for about 20 seconds or until the sesame seeds look slightly toasted.
3) Pour evenly over the dhokla's and spread about.
4) Sprinkle over some coconut and coriander. And serve with coriander chutney or tamarind chutney.
Please give you comments and advice on my recipes as this would make me soooooooo happy!!!!