|Course||Breakfast, side dish, main course|
|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||Gujarat, Maharashtra , Rajasthan|
|Main ingredients||mix of split lentil and rice|
Dhokla is a vegetarian culinary dish that is native to the Indian state of Gujarat and parts of adjacent states. It is also commonly served in other parts of India. It is made with a fermented batter derived from legumes like Chickpea, Pigeon pea and Urad and rice. Dhokla can be eaten for breakfast, as a main course, as a side dish, or as a snack. Dhokla is very similar to Khaman, however Khaman is typically made from Chickpeas gram and looks yellow in color. Khaman has become widely popular outside Gujarat but is misunderstood or incorrectly known as Dhokla.
Dukkia, a pulse-based precursor of the dhokla, is mentioned in a Jain text dated to 1066 CE. The earliest extant work to mention the word "dhokla" is the Gujarati Varanaka Samuchaya (1520 CE).
Rice and split chickpeas (chana dal), in a particular ratio (to achieve the desired texture and taste), are soaked overnight. The mixture is ground, and the paste is fermented for four to five hours or overnight. This is spiced by adding chili pepper, Coriander, ginger and baking soda.
The fermented batter is then steamed for about 15 minutes on a flat dish and cut into pieces. These chopped pieces are seasoned in hot oil with mustard seeds. Asafoetida and chopped green chillies can also be fried and, sometimes, an equal amount of water. The pieces are then removed from the dish. Sometimes it is also fried in hot oil with cumin seeds.
It is usually served with deep fried chillies and chutney made from coriander. It is garnished with coriander and often with grated coconut.
Another method is to steam the fermented batter for 10 to 15 minutes on plates placed inside a container that does not allow steam to escape. To avoid steam water falling on the batter during preparation, a cloth may be placed inside the container. The plates are not directly placed on the base, or the batter will burn, so a small stand is used. When the batter is steamed properly, the plates are taken out of the container and then served with raw oil poured over the dhokla, or used as a dip. Other ingredients like curd, tomato sauce, garlic paste, or coriander paste may be used in serving, however, none of these is traditionally eaten with dhokla. Besides using raw oil, in some preparations Rai seeds (brown mustard seeds) are fried in oil along with curry leaves, this fried spices and oil is then poured over the Dhokla.
There are different kinds of dhokla prepared with different ingredients and ratios of chickpeas. Some of the popular kinds of dhoklas are:
Khaman is a similar gram flour-based food. Whereas dhokla is made with rice and chickpeas, khaman is made from chickpeas only. It is generally lighter in color and softer than dhokla. To make dhokla, a small proportion of baking soda is added while to make khaman more baking soda is added to make it more fluffy, spongy and porous.
Idada/Edada is another variety of dhokla, which is made by using different lentils like black grams, also known as urad dal, instead of chickpeas. Dhokla is very commonly used as a breakfast or as a snack in western parts of India including Madhya Pradesh, though nowadays it's available in every Indian state. It is an easy to cook and easy to digest snack.