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DHOKLA DHAMAKA | Tasty and Innovative Dhokla Recipe Ideas…

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By Dr. Kaviraj Khialani

INTRODUCTION TO DHOKLA

Dhokla is a popular and savory Indian snack or side dish that hails from the western state of Gujarat but is enjoyed throughout India and across the world. It is a steamed cake made primarily from fermented rice and chickpea flour (besan). Dhokla is known for its spongy texture, slightly tangy and sweet taste, and its versatility in terms of flavor and garnishes.

TYPES OF DHOKLA

Dhokla is a versatile Indian snack with numerous regional variations and types. Here are some of the most popular types of Dhokla:

Khaman Dhokla: Khaman Dhokla is one of the most well-known varieties. It’s made from a fermented batter of besan (chickpea flour) and is often spiced with green chilies and garnished with mustard seeds and grated coconut. It has a sweet and tangy flavor and is typically very soft and spongy.

Dhokla: This is the basic version of Dhokla and is made from rice and chickpea flour, which is fermented and steamed. It is usually tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves. It’s less sweet compared to Khaman Dhokla.

Rava Dhokla: Rava Dhokla is made from semolina (rava) instead of chickpea flour. It has a different texture and taste and is often garnished with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Idada (White Dhokla) : Nylon Dhokla is a thin and light variety of Dhokla. It’s usually white in colour and served with a tempering of mustard seeds and green chilies.

Dhokla Sandwich: In this type of Dhokla, a layer of green chutney is sandwiched between two layers of plain Dhokla or Khaman Dhokla.

Tiranga Dhokla: This is a visually appealing variation where three colourful layers of Dhokla (usually white, orange, and green) are stacked on top of each other.

Dhokla Chaat: Dhokla can be turned into a chaat by adding various chutneys, yogurt, and spices on top. It’s a popular street food snack in India.

Khatta Dhokla: Khatta Dhokla is a slightly tangier version of Dhokla made with yogurt and a hint of jaggery. It has a distinct sweet and sour taste.

Besan Dhokla: This type of Dhokla is primarily made with chickpea flour and doesn’t contain rice flour. It is often denser than traditional Dhokla.

Dhokla with Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds can be added to the tempering
to give the Dhokla an extra crunch and a nutty flavor.

Spinach Dhokla: Spinach puree is added to the Dhokla batter to create a green, nutritious version of this snack.

Corn Dhokla: Corn kernels are incorporated into the Dhokla batter to give it a sweet and slightly crunchy texture.

Sprouted Moong Dhokla: Sprouted moong (mung) beans are used in this Dhokla variation to enhance its nutritional value.

5 WAYS OF INNOVATIVE DHOKLA IDEAS

Dhokla is a versatile dish that can be customized and innovated in various ways to create new and exciting flavors. Here are five innovative Dhokla ideas:

1. Spinach and Corn Dhokla:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (black gram)
  • 1/2 cup spinach puree
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp green chili paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil

Method:

  1. Soak rice and urad dal separately for 4-6 hours.
  2. Grind them into a smooth batter separately.
  3. Mix both batters and allow it to ferment for 4-6 hours.
  4. Add spinach puree, green chili paste, and salt to the batter.
  5. Grease a steaming plate, sprinkle corn kernels, and pour the batter on top.
  6. Steam for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool and cut into pieces.

2. Beetroot and Coconut Dhokla:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semolina (rava/suji)
  • 1/2 cup grated beetroot
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Mix semolina, grated beetroot, grated coconut, yogurt, and salt. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, and sesame seeds. Once they crackle, add turmeric powder.
  3. Mix this tempering into the batter.
  4. Pour the mixture into a greased plate and steam for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Cool and cut into pieces.

3. Chinese Schezwan Dhokla:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice and urad dal batter (same as regular Dhokla)
  • 2 tbsp Schezwan sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell peppers and onions
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Prepare the regular Dhokla batter (rice and urad dal) and let it ferment.
  2. Heat oil, add ginger-garlic paste, chopped vegetables, and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Mix in Schezwan sauce, red chili flakes, and salt.
  4. Add this mixture to the fermented batter.
  5. Steam for 20-25 minutes and cut into pieces.

4. Paneer Tikka Dhokla:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice and urad dal batter
  • 1/2 cup paneer (cottage cheese) cubes
  • 2 tbsp thick yogurt
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp tikka masala
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Mix yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, tikka masala, and salt.
  2. Marinate the paneer cubes in this mixture for an hour.
  3. Prepare the regular Dhokla batter and let it ferment.
  4. Place marinated paneer on top of the Dhokla batter and steam for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Cut into pieces and serve.

5. Mung Bean (Moong Dal) Dhokla:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split yellow mung beans (moong dal)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil

Method:

  1. Soak the mung beans in water for about 4-6 hours. Drain and rinse them.
  2. Blend the soaked mung beans into a smooth batter using a little water.
  3. Add chopped cilantro, cumin seeds, ginger paste, green chilies, and salt to the batter. Mix well.
  4. Grease a steaming plate with oil and pour the batter into it.
  5. Steam for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Allow it to cool, and then cut it into pieces.

10 PLACES WHERE DHOKLA IS FAMOUS

  • Sardar Pav Bhaji, (Tardeo): Sardar’s is renowned for its delicious Dhokla. Located in Tardeo, this eatery serves soft and spongy Dhokla that’s a favourite among locals.
  • Shree Dattaguru Tea & Snacks, (Ghatkopar): This tiny eatery in Ghatkopar is famous for its Khaman Dhokla. It’s a popular spot for those looking to savor this Gujarati delicacy.
  • Swati Snacks, (Tardeo): Swati Snacks offers a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, and their Dhokla is a must-try. It’s known for its soft and melt-in-the-mouth texture.
  • Aaram Vada Pav, (CST): While this eatery is famous for vada pav, they also serve delicious Dhokla. It’s a great place to grab a quick bite.
  • Prakash Upahaar Kendra, (Shivaji Park): Prakash is a favorite among locals for its delectable Dhokla. It’s a must-visit for anyone craving authentic Gujarati snacks.
  • Anand Stall, (Vile Parle): This popular street food vendor in Vile Parle serves a variety of snacks, including Dhokla. It’s a go-to spot for students and locals.
  • Sagar, (Multiple Locations): Sukh Sagar is a chain of vegetarian restaurants with outlets across the city. They serve delicious Dhokla along with a variety of other snacks.
  • Bipin Fast Food, (Matunga): Bipin Fast Food is known for its Khaman Dhokla and other Gujarati snacks. It’s a small but popular eatery in Matunga.
  • Vithal Bhelwala, (Multiple Locations): While Vithal Bhelwala is famous for its chaats, they also serve excellent Dhokla. You can find their outlets in various parts of Mumbai.

Shree Dattaguru Tea & Snacks, (Borivali): This branch of Shree Dattaguru Tea & Snacks in Borivali is another popular destination for Dhokla lovers in the western suburbs.

These are just a few of the many places in Mumbai where you can enjoy delicious Dhokla. Whether you prefer the classic steamed Dhokla or its variations, Mumbai has a variety of options to satisfy your craving for this delectable Gujarati snack.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Dhokla is a beloved Indian snack that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people both within and beyond India. Its spongy texture, sweet and tangy flavors, and versatility have made it a popular choice for those seeking a tasty and healthy snack. Dhokla can be found in various types and variations, each offering a unique culinary experience.

From the traditional Khaman Dhokla of Gujarat to innovative versions like Paneer Dhokla and Quinoa Dhokla, there are endless possibilities for creativity in the world of Dhokla.
As a testament to its popularity, Dhokla has spread its influence across different regions, becoming a cherished dish in various parts of India and around the world.

Its adaptability and the ease with which it can be customized make it a canvas for culinary innovation. Whether enjoyed as a street food, a snack, or even a meal, Dhokla continues to captivate food enthusiasts with its delicious taste and the endless potential for reinvention. So, whether you savor the classic, traditional Dhokla or you venture into the world of innovative Dhokla ideas, this iconic Indian dish is sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate.


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Dr. Kaviraj Khialani
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani
Chef Kaviraj Khialani is Swiss Certified in International Hotel Management & Culinary Arts. He is a Master Chef in over 33 types of International Cuisines & is certified by the British Executive Overseas Training Center-United Kingdom.
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