When we lived in Bahrain in the early 90s, there were not many Indian stores as now. Neither were there many restaurants as there are today, though there was a sizable Indian population then. We were only three Indian families in my apartment block and naturally the womenfolk were sharing food and recipes. One of them was from Gujarat and generously gave us recipes for dhoklas.
Having attempted the Dhokla recipe for the Indian Cooking Challenge, I made improvements to my neighbours recipe. Later when I picked up a cookery book that came along with the instruction manual from TTK for a skillet (that my mother-in-law has owned for over 35 years), I found yet another recipe for the same.
Hence this recipe is my version combing all of the above. Since it is made by soaking and grinding the channa dhal, I opted to grind whole channa, soya beans and channa dhal. (Inspired by Tarla Dalal's green peas dhokla)
I would love to send these dhoklas to Susan, the wellseasoned cook, who initiated the MLLA and is hosting the MLLA 23rd edition this May.
1 cup channa dhal
3 teaspoons whole soya
1/2 cup whole channa
1/3 cup yoghurt beaten
1/4th teaspoon sodium bi carbonate
3 green chillis (grind to a paste)
Juice from 1 medium lemon
1/4th teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4th teaspoon citric acid (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oilSalt to taste
1 teaspoon ENO Fruit salt
For topping on the dhoklas:
1 teaspoon oil mixed with 2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 green chilli finely chopped
Freshly grated coconut
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Chopped curry leaves
Serve with coriander -coconut chutney.
Grind together 2 tablespoons fresh coconut, 1 green chilli, few mint leaves and salt.
When partly done, add to the above a fistful of coriander leaves and grind further until smooth.
Remove from the grinding jar and mix a teaspoon of lime juice.
Preparation of dhokla:
Soak the whole channa and soya beans overnight.
Wash and saok the channa dhal for two hours.
Wash again all the soaked legumes. Grind to a coarse batter adding the beaten yoghurt for grinding.
Add the juice of lime, salt and turmeric powder and leave aside for a few hours.
Keep the steamer with water on stove and allow the water to come to a boil. Let the water be boiling while you prepare the plate for steaming
Just before steaming, add to the batter soda-bi-carb, citric acid, sugar and the chilli paste.
Whisk thoroughly and mix them well.
Dust the plate in which you desire to pour the batter with some of the ENO fruit salt.
Add the rest of the fruit salt to the prepared batter. Whisk quickly and as the effervescence rises, pour the batter in the plate and place it in the steamer.
Cover and steam for 5 -7 minutes, reducing the heat to medium soon after a steady steam flows.
You may open and check if the dhokla has cooked by inserting a toothpick. You may steam for a further minute or two if necessary.
Switch the fire off and keep covered, on the stove for 5 minutes.
Open the lid, take the plate off the steamer and add the oil-water mixture over the steamed dhokla.
Allow to cool. Cut pieces and transfer to the serving plate.
Heat some oil and add the tempering. Add this to the cut dhoklas. Garnish with the coconut, coriander and curryleaves.
Serve with green chutney.