A visit to the local mithai store, Ladoo Gopal, is usually when I crave chaat. Along with a hot plate of chaat, I end up eating Dhokla and hot jalebi. My favorite variety of Dhokla aka savory cake is the one made with semolina, Rava Dhokla. The authentic version of Dhokla uses rice and bengal gram or urad dal which are soaked overnight, ground to a batter, spiced up with ginger and green chilis, fermented, steamed and tempered with spices. A labor intensive, long drawn process that requires patience. Home cooks have their own versions or variations of the revered Gujarati snack recipe based on the region its prepared.
I have blogged Khatta Dhokla at Kids Zone which calls for the use of rice and urad dal. Today’s Rava Dhokla recipe uses only semolina aka sooji along with sour yogurt. It has a soft, fluffy texture with slightly spicy, sour and salty flavors and a hint of sweetness. Spice of choice can be crushed black pepper corns or green chilies. I usually soak semolina in yogurt the earlier night and refrigerate, though the minimum soaking period is an hour. I made these soft and fluffy savory cakes for breakfast which made for a substantial and filling meal. If you are looking for recipes of snacks that are traditional, easy to make and delicious then Rava Dhokla should be your choice. It can be served as a snack or starter with coconut chutney, garlic chutney or coriander chutney.
Rava Dhokla ~ Steamed Gujarati Snack Recipe
- Semolina - 1 cup, sooji
- Curd - 1 1/2 cups, yogurt (preferably sour)
- Buttermilk - 1/2 cup
- Salt to taste
- Green chilies - 2
- Ginger - 1/2" piece
- Besan - 1 tbsp, chickpea powder
- Sugar - 1/2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1/2 tbsp
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Eno Salt - 1 tsp
- Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
- Fresh coriander leaves - for garnish
- Grated coconut - for garnish (optional)
- For tempering/tadka:
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Sesame seeds - 1 heaped tbsp
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Oil - 1/2 tbsp
- In a bowl, mix semolina and curd. Mix well such that there are no lumps. Place lid and keep aside for at least 2 hours. Its a good idea to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- Make a coarse paste of green chilies and ginger.
- At the time of preparing dhokla, add besan, lemon juice, green chilies-ginger paste, oil, sugar and salt to the soaked sooji yogurt batter mixture and mix well. The consistency should be like a thick dosa batter. Add buttermilk as required to reach the dosa batter consistency.
- Grease a stainless steel vessel or an aluminum round cake pan that will easily fit into your pressure cooker or steaming vessel.
- If using a pressure cooker, add water to it and place it on low flame with out lid. If using a steamer, add water and allow to steam.
- To the sooji curd batter, add eno salt and mix well using your hand. You will find that the batter becomes frothy. Immediately, pour the batter into the greased vessel, sprinkle red chili powder and place lid.
- Place this vessel in the pressure cooker or steamer and steam it on high without weight for 16-18 mts. Turn off flame and allow to cool for 10 mts.
- When the dhokla is cooling prepare the tempering. Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Next add cumin seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves and saute for a few secs. Turn off flame and keep aside.
- Remove dhokla vessel from the pressure cooker and use a knife to run along the edge of the dhokla to loosen it. Overturn the vessel on to a plate carefully and again turn it back to its original position with red chili powder on top. Pour the tempering on top of dhokla, sprinkle fresh corinader leaves and grated coconut. Cut into pieces and serve warm with green chutney made with coriander leaves, mint leaves, sugar, ginger and green chillies.
- Alternately, you need not overturn the dhokla on to a plate. Pour the tempering all over the dhokla, cut into pieces and serve with green chutney.
- To prepare dhania chutney or green chutney - Blend 1 cup packed chopped fresh coriander leaves, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 2 green chilis, 1/2" ginger piece, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt to taste. You can add a clove of garlic if you like the flavor of garlic in your chutney.
- Sometimes the steaming process takes longer than 18 mts. Do steam for additional 10 mts if necessary.
Rava Dhokla recipe, a classic among Gujarati recipes, is made with semolina, curd and tempered with spices.One of the easy to make snacks which is healthy.