Khaman Dhokla is a soft, fluffy sweet & savory, gram flour cake eaten as a snack at any time of the day, made with gram flour (besan), lemon juice, green chilies, and a few spices and herbs.
Khaman Dhokla is quite famous across India, especially in Gujarat. Traditionally, Khaman and Dhokla are two different dishes.
“Khaman” is made with Bengal gram flour while “Dhokla” is made with fermented rice and lentil batter.
What is Khaman Dhokla?
Khaman is also known as Khaman Dhokla, Yellow Dhokla (because of its yellow color), or Instant Dhokla.
This steamed light & spongy gram flour cake or Khaman is made with skinned Bengal gram flour, lemon juice, leavening agent, green chiles, ginger, sugar, and salt, and tempered with asafoetida, green chilies, curry leaves, sesame seeds, and lots of mustard seeds and finally garnished with finely chopped green coriander and grated fresh coconut. Khaman looks a bright yellow in color.
This delicious savory & sweet Khaman can be served with spicy green chutney like coriander chutney, mint chutney, etc, and served as morning breakfast or as an evening snack with a cup of tea.
I usually prefer to make it in the morning breakfast.
Dhokla is a soft & spongy steamed cake made with the batter of fermented rice and skinned Bengal gram (chana dal) or skinned black gram (urad dal) lentils.
The batter of rice and lentils is steamed then it is topped with the tempering of mustard seeds, asafoetida, green chilies, curry leaves lastly it is garnished with grated fresh coconut and chopped green coriander. Dhokla looks pale yellow or cream in color.
Dhokla takes time in preparation, like soaking rice and lentils, then making the batter, fermentation also consumes time, while Khaman is prepared instantly with leavening agent Eno fruit salt.
Differences between Khaman Dhokla and Dhokla:
Khaman dhokla is made by using gram flour (skinned split Bengal gram flour) a leavening agent and some spices.
It is a quick & easy version and it does not require any grinding, soaking, and fermenting of the batter. It takes a maximum of 1/2 an hour to get it ready.
In Khaman Dhokla Recipe, gram flour, a leavening agent (fruit salt or baking soda), a little turmeric powder, citric acid or lemon juice, green chilies, ginger, and salt is required to make batter then the batter is steamed in a greased mold for 15-20 minutes.
Finally, the soft and fluffy gram flour cake is ready. Later it is tempered and garnished with mustard seeds, curry leaves, split green chilies, asafoetida, etc.
Whereas Dhokla is made by soaking rice and chana dal or urad dal ( skinned split Bengal gram or black gram), then grinding soaked rice & lentils into a fine paste.
After that this batter should ferment overnight, then it is steamed in a mold or tray. Finally, it is tempered and garnished in the same way as it is done in the Khaman Dhokla.
Appearance-wise Khaman dhokla always has a bright yellow color while Dhokla looks light yellow or pale yellow in color. Whereas taste-wise both Khaman Dhokla and Dhokla tastes amazing.
What is Eno?
Eno is a well-known popular Indian brand for fruit salt, which is used to relieve acidity and heartburn, it is also used as a leavening agent for making khaman dhokla and in many other recipes, wherever we need to make the dish soft & fluffy.
This leavening agent is made up of a combination of citric acid, sodium carbonate, and sodium bicarbonate (Source:- WIKI).
Sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are the effervescent agents, which bubbles up and releases carbon dioxide gas when mixed with water.
Eno fruit salt or Baking soda:
Baking soda can also be used in place of Eno fruit salt In making khaman dhokla but it gives a soapy aroma to the dish when added too much so be careful about its quantity while adding baking soda.
I prefer to use Eno fruit salt over baking soda because it makes the khaman fluffy, airy. Also, the khaman rises more compared to when baking soda is added.
So I recommend you to use Eno fruit salt in making khaman dhokla and it will not disappoint you and the khaman dhokla will turn soft, fluffy & airy every time.
Eno fruit salt and baking soda both give a red spot to the khaman dhokla when mixed with turmeric powder, so add a less amount of turmeric powder to the batter.
Lemon juice or Citric acid:
Lemon juice and citric acid both give the same result when mixed with baking soda, but citric acid gives an amazing soft & fluffy texture to the khaman, lemon juice also does a great job but citric acid leads here.
I personally like to use citric acid instead of lemon juice and I suggest using citric acid but you can use lemon juice if citric acid is not easily accessible to you.
Just take care of the proportion of citric acid and lemon juice here.
1 Tablespoon lemon juice = 1/4 teaspoon citric acid
If you are using lemon juice then do use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Also, fresh lemon should be used.
Let’s begin with the recipe. I have shared a detailed step-by-step recipe below.
Khaman Dhokla preparation:
- Gram flour- 1 and 1/2 cups
- Semolina- 1 tablespoon (optional)
- Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
- Eno fruit salt- 1.5 teaspoon or Baking soda- 1/2 teaspoon
- Ginger paste- 1 teaspoon
- Green chili paste- 1 teaspoon
- Asafoetida- 1/4 teaspoon
- Lemon juice- 1 tablespoon or Citric acid- 1/3 teaspoon (use pure citric acid)
- Sugar- 2 teaspoons
- Salt- 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
- Oil- 1 tablespoon
- Water- 1 cup or as required
- Black mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon (opional)
- White sesame- 1-2 teaspoon
- Curry leaves- 10-12
- Green chilies- 3-4 (slit) or according to taste
- Oil- 2 tablespoons
- Asafoetida- a pinch
- Salt- 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
- Sugar- 2 teaspoons or according to taste
- Water- 1/2 cup
- Grated fresh coconut- 1-2 tablespoon
- Green coriander- 1- 2 teaspoon (finely chopped)
- Making Batter: In a large bowl add 1 and 1/2 cup gram flour.
- Add 1 tablespoon semolina (rava/suji)
- Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- Now add 1 teaspoon green chili paste, 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon or to taste salt
- Add 1/3 teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Lttle by little add water and mix well in one direction to make a lump free smooth thick yet flowy batter. It may takes more or less water to make batter, depending upon the quality or texture of gram flour you are using.
- The batter should not be too thick or too flowy. If the batter becomes flowy then mix 1-2 tablespoons gram flour and mix well.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil and give it a good stir.
- Now add semolina and mix well, semolina gives a good texture to the khaman dhokla. Adding semolina is totally optional, if you are making gluten free then just skip it.
- Keep this batter aside and arrange steamer.
- Arranging steamer: In a large pan or a steamer add 4-5 cups of water, place a long legged steel rack or stand.
- Just make sure that there is a sufficient water to the steamer, so that the khaman dhokla can steam for 15-20 minutes. Let the water come to the boil.
- Meanwhile, in a cake mold or a steel box add 1 teaspoon oil and grease well, also grease its side as well, so that the dhokla can unmold easily.
- Adding leavening agent: When the water in the steamer about to boil then add 1.5 teaspoon Eno fruit salt (if you are adding baking soda then add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda), add 1 tablespoon water to activate fruit salt.
- After adding fruit salt, mix the batter quickly and evenly. As you mix, the batter starts to turn light & frothy. Make sure that, the fruit salt has incorporate evenly to the batter, else, it will not rise up and becomes dense in some part of the khaman dhokla.
- Immediaetly, transefer this batter to the greased mold, tap the mold to even the top surface of the batter. (NOTE: After adding fruit salt, the batter should go straight to the steamer.)
- Steaming Dhokla: Place this mold to the steamer, cover it and steam it for 15-20 minutes on medium high flame. Steam it continuosly 15-20 minutes, do not remove the lid in between.
- After 20 minutes, insert a toothpick or a knife to check the dhokla, if toothpick or knife comes clean then dhokla is ready. Swithc off the flame and keep it covered for another 4-5 minutes.
- Unmold Dhokla: Take out mold from the steamer, keep aside for cools down completely.
- Now slide a knife along with sides of the mold to release the dhokla easily.
- After that place a plate to the top of the mold, then quickly invert it to the plate, tap it a little, if the mold greased well, the khaman dhokla come out easily onto the plate.
- With the help of a sharp knife cut the Khaman Dhokla in square pieces.
Also Read: Chole Masala: Meaning, Recipe, Tips & More
- Heat a tempering pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil, let the oil heat properly.
- Add 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (you can skip cumin seeds if you don’t want to add) and asafoetida, let them splutter.
- Add slit green chilies and curry leaves, stir well.
- Now add 1 -2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, let them crackle. Do not brown them else, it will taste bitter.
- Now carefully add 1/2 cup of water.
- Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix well.
- Let the water boil until sugar dessolves.
- Switch off the flame, tempering is ready.
- Pour this tempering evenly on the Khaman Dhokla, so that it will absorb sugar water and become soft & moist.
Garnishing: You can garnish it with 1-2 tablespoons of grated fresh coconut and 1-2 teaspoons of finely chopped green coriander.
- Serve this tasty soft & fluffy Khaman Dhokla with spicy mint coriander chutney, it also tastes pretty good with tamarind chutney too.
- Khaman Dhokla can be served in morning breakfast or in evening snacks.
Also Read: Masala Dosa: Recipe, Meaning, Nutrition
Tips & Tricks:
- Always use fine gram flour in making Khaman Dhokla.
- The consistancy of batter should be thick smooth yet flowy.
- If the batter becomes too flowy then mix 1-2 tablespoons of gram flour and mix well.
- You can increase or decrease the quantity of sugar according to your taste.
- You can adjust the spiciness according to your taste.
- You can skip cumin seeds in tempering, if you don’t like it.
- To make gluten free Khaman Dhokla, skip semolina and asafoetida.
- Do use unflavored Eno in this recipe and, also check the expiry date.
- Do use peanuts oil or any unflavored oil in this recipe.
- If water from the steamer gets over then add some hot water to the steamer.
- Do not oversteam it, else, the Khaman Dhokla will loose its moisture and become dry.
- Khaman Dhokla can be stored in a air tight container for 1-2 days in refrigerator.