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Monday, September 9, 2019

Damni Dhokla

So far in the series,
Malaadu / Hurigadale Unde
Dry Gulab Jamun
Coconut Burfi / Kobbari Mithai
Almond Halwa / Badam Halwa
Elaneer Payasam
Godhuma Sojjappalu

It's time for snacks after last week's overdose of sweets.This is the second week of mega marathon where six savory snacks' recipes from one particular state need to be posted. I chose to go with Gujarat, simply because it is the land of farsaans but decided to stick with some light snacks. The first one in the series is 'Damni dhokla', that can be loosely translated as a savory steamed cake made with fermented rice, millet and lentil batter. These dhoklas seem to come from the southern part of Gujarat and is not a well known one in the other regions.

'Dhokla' is the most popular snack from Gujarat, even outside the region. There is khaman dhokla - an instant version which is the most common, yellow hued one made with chickpea flour, khatta dhokla / white dhokla made with rice and split black gram, idra - prepared using idli batter, vateli dal na khaman using batter made with Bengal gram / chana dal. And of course there are other new versions like corn dhokla, semolina dhokla,  poha dhokla, sandwich dhokla and so on. Dhokla can be a breakfast, tea time snack or even pass as a light meal.

Other dhokla recipes posted here.
Corn dhokla
Live dhokla
Microwave dhokla
Nylon khaman dhokla sandwich
Poha dhokla
Sandwich dhokla
White dhokla

This damni dhokla has been on my 'to do' list ever since I saw it on Tarla Dalal's site and this seemed to be a right time to try it. Damni dhoklas are traditionally made in cones, fashioned using almond or banana leaves which would impart their aroma to dhoklas and I was particularly attracted to the cone shaped individual dhokla pieces. I have seen my paternal grandmother using almond leaves from her backyard tree stitching plates to eat in but I wasn't sure that I could make leak proof leaf cones even if I could procure them. And so, I chose to make them in individual cups though they could be made in a regular dhokla pan or any deep rimmed plate. 

This dhokla is not an instant version but needs some advance preparation. The dals and rice are washed, dried and coarsely grind to use in the recipe. The mix can be prepared in large quantities by sending the ingredients to a flour mill or a store bought mix can be used instead. I chose to soak and coarsely ground the ingredients into a batter. The batter needs to ferment before usage and the fermenting time may depend on weather, ranging anywhere between from 4 hours to overnight. The black chickpeas are soaked overnight, cooked and added to the batter as well. Methia keri sambhaar, the traditional Gujarat pickle masala is also an interesting addition to the batter. I prepared a small quantity of that masala at home. However in lieu of it, masala from any pickle jar should work fine too or can be left out from the recipe. The sweet - spicy flavors are subtle in this dhokla and they went well with a sweet chutney. These dhoklas do not need any tempering or garnishing but I did them anyway.

Ingredients for dhoklas:
2 tbsp. chanadal (split Bengal gram)
2 tbsp. toor dal (pigeon peas)
2 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram)
2 tbsp. yellow moong dal (split yellow gram)
1/2 cup parboiled rice (I used idli rice.)
1/4 cup millet flour (bajra flour)
1/4 cup sour yogurt
1 tbsp. methi keri sambhar / methia no masala
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. grated jaggery
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. soaked and boiled brown chickpeas (kala chana)
1 tsp. Eno's fruit salt
6 - 8 banana leaves, cut into squares if using

Ingredients for tempering: 
2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. white sesame seeds
Few curry leaves

Ingredients for garnishing:
Minced cilantro
shredded fresh coconut
Methi masala

* Rinse the dals and rice thoroughly, drain and spear on a clean cloth to dry. Coarsely grind the mixture in a blender and keep aside. Add sour yogurt and about 1/4 cup water and mix well to make a thick batter. 
Rinse and soak rice and dals in water for about 4 hours. Drain and grind the mixture coarsely adding yogurt and 1/4 cup water. (My batter became runny with this much quantity of liquid and I added some millet flour to thicken it. I wasn't sure whether more liquid is needed to mix the dry ingredients compared to the ground batter or the batter was supposed to be loose. In case if you don't want to use millet flour for some reason, add water only if and as needed. The batter should not be runny as pancake batter.)
* Allow it ferment for about 4 - 6 hours. The batter didn't rise as idli / dosa batters would. (I had to ferment overnight.)
* Add methia keri sambhaar, jaggery, chili powder and salt and mix well. I added some turmeric powder and boiled chickpeas at this point.

* Heat the steamer / cooker base with water to steam. Add fruit salt and 2 tsp. water over the batter, just before steaming.

* Mix gently when the bubbles form and keep aside.
* Grease a dhokla plate or cups if using.  If using leaves, roll each leaf into a cone and secure the edges with a tooth pick. Add some boiled chickpeas in each cone and pour batter over them. 
* Pour the batter and steam until a tooth pick inserted at the center comes out clean.
* Meanwhile, heat oil for tempering and add mustard seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start to pop, turn off the heat. Pour them over steamed dhokla evenly.
* Garnish with coconut, cilantro and a pinch of methi keri masala on each piece just before serving. 
* Serve them hot. I served them with sweet chutney.

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vaishali sabnani said...

Super ! These Damini Dhokla have been on my list too , but have been postponing them as originally they are made in a particular leaf . They pick the aroma of the leaf and taste awesome even without tempering . I forget the name of the leaf , but have it jotted down somewhere . The Dhokla are cone shaped and not very common .

Your tiny bowls look cute and definitely a super option to substitute the leaves , the garnish looks perfect .

Amara’s cooking said...

Tasted these dhoklas in US at a friends place. This Dhokla is on my to do list of a long time too. Yours look absolutely delicious. Light and fluffy. Thanks for the share.

sushma said...

Lovely Dhoklas i should say, they have turned out so well. Had them couple of times at friends place.

Kalyani said...

Never heard of these suma. Stopped by to read the recipe and the addition of the sambharo masala must have definitely accentuated the flavour ...bookmarked to try sometime soon

Srivalli said...

This is a fantastic find Suma, I haven't heard of this snack. Reading the list of Dhoklas you have mentioned, we could easily have a theme on it! Very nicely done and love those katoris used for this!

Harini R said...

Wow! Suma these cute dhoklas look very appetizing. I have not come across these dhoklas and sounds very flavorful. Bookmarked.

Narmadha said...

Wow. I love those cute cups and we make it as single serving Dhokla. It looks super delicious