I have a childhood connection with Dhokla. In Delhi, whenever we had unannounced army of guests (I say army because kids those days accompanied their parents, unlike these days when kids prefer gadgets to get togethers) usually chai would be prepared at home and snacks ordered from the local market. Most often, the snacks ordered would be piping hot Samosas, Jalebis and Dhokla!
I remember there was a sweet shop (Aggarwal Sweets) in Munirka, Delhi and whenever Papa and I would pass by, we would get at least half a kilo Dhokla packed and then enjoy at home with Chai! Our taste buds were so used to the Dhokla from our favourite shops that while in Delhi, we never ever felt the need to prepare Dhokla at home!
However, after I moved to Mumbai, like most other foods, I found a difference in the Dhokla served here. Blame it on the numerous places where I tried the Dhokla, but I found the Mumbai walla Dhokla a bit dry and less spongy than its Delhi counterpart. As a popular Hindi saying goes, "Marta Kya na karta", my MIL got into crazy Dhokla experiments and we almost got used to being the guinea pigs of her experiments.
Finally, my dream of having Dhokla of my choice came true when I purchased an Aluminium Cake tin recently. So desperate were we to have Dhokla that we inaugurated the tin with Dhokla instead of a cake! How funny is that! Using an Aluminium tin gave us the desired results as the tin heats faster.
Here's how we got our instant spongy Dhokla!
Besan/Gramflour - 1 Cup
Semolina/Suji - 2tbsp
Curd/Dahi (Preferably sour) - 3/4 Cup
Turmeric Powder/Haldi - 1 tsp
Salt/Namak - to taste
Vegetable Oil - 2 tbsp
Lemon Juice - juice of 2 lemons
Eno/fruit salt - 1 sachet
Mustard Seeds/Sarson - 1 tsp
Curry leaves/Kadi Patta - 8-10
Green Chillies/Hari Mirch - 2-3, chopped
Green Coriander - 2tbsp, chopped, for garnish
Sugar - 2-3tsp
Water - 1 Cup
1. In a mixing bowl, take curd.
2. Add the gramflour, semolina, salt and turmeric powder.
3. Mix well to form a smooth batter. If the batter is thick, some lukewarm water can be added to adjust the consistency.
4. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and juice of 1 lemon. Mix well and rest for 20-30 minutes.
6. Boil water in a steamer (I used pressure cooker cooker and kept a stand inside). Add 1 sachet Eno to the batter and just slightly fold in one direction. Pour the batter immediately in a greased Aluminium cake tin and steam for 15 minutes on high flame or till the knife poked in the Dhokla comes out clean.
7. For the tempering, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds, green chillies and chopped curry leaves.
8. Once they splutter, add 1 cup water. Mix well and bring to a boil.
9. Add 2-3 tsp sugar (or to taste) and juice of 1 lemon.
10. Cut the cooled Dhokla into pieces and pour the tadka on it. Garnish with chopped coriander (I haven't as my son doesn't like coriander).