Friday, August 15, 2014

White Dhokla | Gujarati Khatta Dhokla

How often do we think we should make a complete meal? In India's state of Gujarat, a complete meal is pretty complex: Dal, Rice, Vegetable, Pulses, Roti or Puri, a savory dish, a sweet dish, papad, salad and buttermilk! Just imagine the time it would require to make all this, and even more; think of the calories you would pile on! When there is a gathering at home and you plan a complete meal or when deciding the menu for a wedding or other events, the discussion revolves around finding dishes that complement each other in terms of taste and calories. If we choose a fried bread like puri, we would love to have a steamed savory dish. The general options are khandvi, khaman dhokla, white dhokla or handvo. Out of these, white dhokla is the most famous!

Dhokla or Dhokra (Gujarati: ઢોકળા) is a vegetarian food item that originates from the Indian state of Gujarat. It is made with a fermented batter derived from rice and lentil. While some people make the batter as is, some people also add some raw chana dal to get the texture. The batter is fermented overnight or for a few hours. Then, it is steamed topped with cracked pepper or red chili powder. I personally love to add the smoked paprika that gives a nice smoked flavor to the dhokla. This khatta dhokla can be eaten for breakfast, as a main course, as a side dish or as a snack. 

This famous dish in Gujarat is made by soaking the rice and lentil, and then crushing it followed by fermentation. But another easier way would be to crush the dry ingredients and ferment the mixture as required. This makes it more convenient to make dhokla as the mixture can be made in bulk and stored for months. The mixture can be fermented in a few hours to make delicious dhokla! The prepared dhokla can be enjoyed with multiple sides like garlic chutney, sattu chutney, green cilantro chutney, oil, ghee or garam chai!

To make the Mixture
3 cups rice
1 cup urad dal

To make Dhokla
4 cups Dhokla Mixture
3 cups water
1/2 cup Yogurt 
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tbsp Chilli Garlic paste
2 tsp Fruit Salt
Salt, Pepper Powder, Red Chilli Powder

To make the Mixture
Mix rice and urad dal in the ratio of 3:1 and crush finely. Store this mixture in an airtight container to use as required.

To make Dhokla
Mix the dhokla mixture, water and yoghurt in a mixing bowl. The yoghurt will work best if it is little sour. Add salt and baking soda and keep it in a warm place to ferment. Let the mixture rest for 8-10 hours. 

After 8-10 hours add chilli garlic paste and a tsp. of oil to the fermented mixture and mix well. Apply oil in the dhokla pan or any plate that fits in the steamer. Heat water in the steamer. Take some mixture in another bowl, add  1/2 tsp. of ENO or fruit salt and sprinkle pepper powder and/or red chilli powder on the dhokla. 

Steam the dhokla for 10-12 minutes, check with a knife; it should come out clean once the dhokla is cooked. Turn down the flame and let the dhokla cool a little. After about 5 minutes, cut the dhokla into square pieces and serve with multiple sides like garlic chutney, sattu chutney, green cilantro chutney, oil, ghee or garam chai!

 Variation: Try the colorful Tricolor Dhokla here.


  1. How do u crush the dhokla mixture?
    In normal mixer like nutribullet or indian mixer grinder?

    1. I do it in a normal mixie, have a magic bullet! It can be done in an Indian mixie too.