Moong Dal Dhokla
Re-doing Moong Dal Dhokla but the recipe still remains the same. I’ve updated the write up as I get people asking me the difference between dhokla and khaman. Also, being my favorite snack, I was totally appalled at the first photos I’d taken!
What is Dhokla?
Dhokla, Dhokra is a famous snack from the state of Gujarat. Usually a flavored batter of rice and chickpea lentils (chana dal) is fermented and them steamed. Commonly served as a snack on its own as a part of breakfast or tea time meal, it also is served as a part of the Thali meal which includes shaaks (vegetables side dishes), curry (khadi, dal, moong, etc), flatbreads (poori, rotli, rotla), rice, farsan (that’s what snacks are called in Gujarati), and some sweet dish. Dhokla can be of the instant version or the one that is fermented. I prefer the fermented ones as they naturally turn out soft and melt in the mouth kind of dhokla.
What is the difference between Khaman and Dhokla?
Many people misuse the term khaman and dhokla. Others use both the words together to refer to either khaman or dhoklas. However, though both may appear the same, the taste and texture vary greatly. So lets’s once and for all clear the air and learn the difference.
What is Khaman?
Khaman is usually prepared using only soaked and ground chickpea lentils (chana dal) or they are made using chana flour (chickpea flour). You can make instant ones or by soaking the dal. Majority of the people make the instant version. Sometimes, semolina is added. Khaman also tends to be a bit yellow as the colour is not imparted from the dal but also because turmeric powder is added. Khaman also is much softer and more spongy as a leavening agent like soda bicarbonate (kharo) or Eno is used. Most of the ready made ones will then be drizzled with sugar water making it taste more sweeter than dhokla. The famous Gujarati Amiri Khaman is made from khaman.
How is Dhokla different from Khaman?
Dhokla is made from a fermented batter of rice and split chickpea lentils (chana dal). Both rice and chickpea are soaked in warm water for 6-8 hours. Then they are ground to a paste which is not smooth or too coarse with sour yogurt. This batter is then allowed to ferment. Dhokla is usually nearly white or pale yellow in colour as no turmeric or very little is added to the batter.
Types of Dhokla:
- While the most famous dhokla are made using chickpea lentils (chana dal) but other lentils too are used like moong dal, toor dal.
- These days its common to come across healthier versions of dhokla where sometimes the rice is replaced with quinoa, millet and oats.
- The white dhokla also known as Idra are made from rice and urad dal (black gram lentils). They are usually served along with a thali meal which may include aamras or shrikhand.
- Fried Dhokla – to make fried dhokla, its best not to add any leavening agent, as spongy dhokla fried will be too oily. The dhokla is steamed, allowed to cool, cut into pieces and deep fried.
Whichever way you serve dhokla, serve it with green chutney and garlic chutney.
Two Ways to Serve Dhokla:
- One is when its steamed, the tempering is added on top. The dhokla is cut into pieces and served with chutneys.
- The other way when cut pieces are stir fried in little oil and the tempering ingredients. This warm snack is served with chutneys.
Other Gujarati Snacks:
- Matar Kachori
- Amiri Khaman
- White Dhokla/Idra/Idada
- Masala Farsi Puri
- Moong and Spinach Muthia
- Cabbage and Spinach Muthia
- Moong Dal and Spinach Handvo
- Makai no Chevdo
- Farali Dhokra
- Bajri Methi Dhebra
- Steamed Muthia
- Fresh Lilva Kachori
- Bajri Dhebra (millet flour paratha)
- Patuda no Lot
- Dhebra (vada)
- Dakor na Gota
- Arvi Paan na Bhajia
- Moong Dal and Peas Kachori
- Instant Dhokra/Khaman
- Nayna’s Bateta Vada
- Mina’s Mixed Bhajia/Pakora
Moong Dal Dhokla
Moong Dal Dhokla unlike the chana dal ones tend to be really soft. They do not get stuck down your throat. I learnt how to make Dhokla from my mother in law Nunu, but using chana dal and rice. When my hubby got to know he is allergic to chickpeas (chana), I replaced the chana dal with moong dal. It is really amazing to know that majority of the famous Gujarati snacks are made with chickpea flour! So, that meant he could not enjoy many of them. As a result, I slowly started replacing chana dal with moong dal. This is a never fail recipe. You may feel that its quite a laborious task but its worth all the effort. Also its not oily and sweet.
Two ISKCON devotees from India were going to come home to pay us a visit. One of the devotees was from the Juhu temple and other from the Bangalore temple.The world is small. What are the chances of meeting someone from Bangalore in Mombasa? Pretty slim. For all those who have not visited the Bangalore ISKCON temple, do so…. its really beautiful. Anyways, after much thought I decided to make some dokhras to serve to them as a snack. I am glad both the devotees loved them and commented on how soft they were.
Ingredients Required for Dal Moong Dhokla:
- Rice – use any variety
- Moong Dal – Also known as split moong beans, the yellow one without the skin
- Urad Dal – split skinless black gram dal. Urad dal has the ability to attract wild yeast from the air and helps to ferment the batter.
- Fenugreek Seeds or Methi – Like Urad Dal it has the ability to attract wild yeast from the air and helps to ferment the batter.
- Oil – for adding in the batter, for tempering and for greasing the plates lightly.
- Sour Plain Yogurt – it has to be a bit sour as dhokla needs a balance of flavours.
- Sugar – to balance the sour taste from the yogurt.
- Fresh Ginger – has to be added to the batter in a paste or minced form
- Fresh Green Chillis – use according to your taste, must be added to the batter as a paste. Chopped ones for the tempering.
- Fresh Garlic – optional. Add in the paste or minced form.
- Carom Seeds – ajwain, ajmo
- Mustard Seeds – for tempering
- Sesame Seeds – for tempering
- Water – for batter consistency
- Fresh Curry Leaves – also known as kari patta, limbdi, its easily avialable in Indian stores
- Red Chilli Powder – for sprinkling on top
- Fresh Coriander – chopped and for garnishing or adding to the tempering
- Asafetida – to add to the batter and to use for tempering. This ingredient is optional.
- Eno Fruit Salts – is usually used as the leavening agent. If you don’t have Eno then you can use soda bicarbonate ( baking soda) but avoid adding turmeric. Baking soda and turmeric together becomes brown. So it will alter the colour and taste of dhokla. The amount required will depend on how well your batter ferments.
Equipment required for Dhokla:
- 2 steel or aluminum plates that are about 8-9 inches in diameter.
- A steaming device in which these plates or plate can be placed. Nowadays its easy to get dhokla steamers. However if you don’t have one use a wide pan with a lid. Add water to the pan that is about 3 inches deep. You need to put a ring or steaming tray in the pan as that is what the plate will sit on. Remember, you don’t want any of the simmering water to enter the batter.
So as to avoid wastage I didn’t throw away my big non stick pan even after the coating came out. I use it as a steamer as none of the food I steam using it, comes in direct contact with the pan.
- Its gluten free except for asafetida, so avoid using it or use a gluten free asafetida.
- Can be vegan if you replace the yogurt with a vegan yogurt.
- Satvik friendly if you don’t add the garlic.
MOONG DAL DHOKLA
For the Soaking:
- 1 cup moong dal yellow one
- ½ cup rice
- 2 tbsp urad dal
- ½½ tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
For Dhokla Batter:
- ¾ cup sour plain yogurt
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp green chilli paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste optional
- 1 - 1¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar or accrding to your taste
- 1 tsp Eno
- ½ tsp ajmo (ajwain, carom seeds)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- ¼ tsp asafetida (hing) optional
For sprinkling on top:
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 2-3 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- pinch asafetida (hing) optional
- 2-3 tbsp fresh coconut grated (optional)
Soaking the Lentils and Rice:
- Soak the moong and urad dal along with methi together in warm water for 6-8 hours.
- In another bowl soak rice in warm water for 6-8 hours.
Preparation of the batter:
- Wash the soaked lentils and rice in a colander or sieve, lightly. Leave about a tbsp of the dal on the side.
- Mix sour yogurt with the measured water.
- Using a bit of the yogurt water mixture, grind the rice into a paste. It should have the texture of coarse semolina.
- Pour out the batter into a mixing bowl.
- Using the rest of the yogurt water mixture grind the lentils into a paste.
- Add the lentil paste to the rice one.
- Add the tbsp of whole lentils that you left on the side. Mix it very well.
- The batter should not be runny but should be thick. Usually the amount of water and yogurt mentioned above is sufficient.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and allow the batter to ferment for 4 hours in a warm place.
- Add salt, turmeric powder, asafetida, chilli, ginger, garlic pastes, ajwain, sugar and oil to the batter. Fold in the ingredients gently.
- Cover and let the batter feremtn for 2 hours.
Steaming the Dhokla:
- Grease two 8-9 inch aluminium or steel plates that with oil.
- Put the steaming device on medium flame so that the water can boil.
- If the batter has not fermented well, then add Eno. Mix it well till it becomes nice and frothy.
- Divide the batter between the two plates. Ideally it should be three quarter or half full.
- Place the plate in the steamer and steam for 10 minutes. make sure you close the lid of the steamer.
- Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat.
- When it becomes hot, add mustard seeds. As soon as the seeds begin to pop add the sesame seeds and immediately cover the pan as the seeds will pop all over.
- Take the pan off the heat, add curry leaves, chopped chillis and coriander. Mix well.
- Put the pan back on the medium heat and add asafetida. Mix and remove the pan from the fire.
- Pour the tempering over the steamed dhokla, dividing it equally.
- Sprinkle grated coconut over it.
- Let the dhokla cool down a bit.
- Cut into diamond shapes or squares and serve with green chutney or garlic chutney. The size of the squares or diamonds is up to you.
- If your steamer holds only one plate then divide the batter into two before adding the Eno. Add half of the Eno to only one part. Mix and steam. When you want to steam the remaining, add the remaining Eno, mix and steam.
- You can replace the moong dal with chana dal (chickpea lentils).
- To serve stir fried dhokla, let the dhokla cool down after you have steamed them. Cut them into pieces. Heat oil for tempering in a wide pan over medium heat. Add the ingredients just as mentioned above for tempering. Instead of pouring the tempering over the dhokla, you add the pieces to the tempering. Mix gently, allowing the dhokla to get hot. Add coconut and mix. Serve.
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June 13, 2013 at 10:46 am
Thanks for linking at my event. They look super soft and yummy 🙂
Please share my FB page and tag friends:) Read the rules 🙂
June 14, 2013 at 9:22 am
Finally got how to tag and share on FB 🙂 Hope its correct. Love your recipes.
June 7, 2020 at 12:19 am
Dhokla is one of the dish that I’m yet to try. This recipe sounds so easy and simple to make. Your dhokla looks so spongy and perfect. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe with detailed explanation.
June 8, 2020 at 12:51 am
Thanks Geetha and you’re welcome. Hope you will try out the recipe.
May 23, 2020 at 10:37 pm
Heard a lot about moong dal dhokla but never knew it is so simple to make, though need to give some time. It looks perfectly fluffy that one can count to pockets created.
May 24, 2020 at 3:45 pm
Thanks Shailender, its the traditional way to make dhokla. Overnight fermentation is all it requires.
May 25, 2020 at 7:44 pm
Moong dal dhokla is our favourite and I keep making it often. Your dhokla has turned out perfect, spongy and jalidaar the way it should be.
May 26, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Thank you so much Lata.
May 25, 2020 at 7:39 pm
Delicious and lovely
May 26, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Thank you so much
Seema Doraiswamy Sriram
May 27, 2020 at 4:38 am
These doklas look so fluffy. I have not had much sucess with the doklas as i lose patience to see it through. This recipe looks so simple, I have renewed energy to give it a try.
May 27, 2020 at 1:24 pm
Thanks Seema, do try it. You can also try out the instant khaman or dhokla as everyone calls it.
May 27, 2020 at 9:15 am
We love dhokla n moong dal one happens to be our favorite!! Love the difference you have given between khaman and dhokla. Hearing from a Gujju makes it clearer for me. 😀 I also know that anytime I need a clarification I can pull out this. Thanks.
May 27, 2020 at 1:23 pm
Thanks Archana .
May 27, 2020 at 9:23 am
Great recipe mayuri. The photos are also very tempting. Until now I didn’t even know that Khaman and Dhokla are different. Thanks for explaining that too.
May 27, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Thank you so much Vandana.
May 30, 2020 at 12:47 am
Moong dal dhokla looks so inviting. I never pass on to good and yummy dhokla. such an authentic dish.
May 30, 2020 at 9:08 pm
Thank you so much Uma.
May 30, 2020 at 4:57 am
For quite some time, I used to think khaman as dhokla. After very long in blogging world I got to know the difference. But you may ormaynot know they serve khaman by the name of dhokla and I guess that’s what we are used to saying.
This one with moong dal looks delicious
May 30, 2020 at 9:08 pm
Thanks Sapana, yes the words khaman and dhokla is used so often to label all types of dhokla.
Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey
May 30, 2020 at 10:28 am
People who can’t digest channa daal or besan, moong daal dhokla just right for them. One of my favourites, we haven’t had these in ages. They are so delicious, spongy and soft.
May 30, 2020 at 9:05 pm
Thank you so much Jagruti and yes they turn out much lighter than chana dal ones.
May 30, 2020 at 11:20 am
Moong dal doklas look so fluffy di ! I know the recipe is super simple and still the spongy n fluffiness of the dhokla is just WOW 🙂 and yes, there are diff between dhokla n khaman 🙂
May 30, 2020 at 9:05 pm
Thank you so much Sasmita.
May 30, 2020 at 1:42 pm
Dhokla is one of my favourite. Your dhokla has turned out so perfect…spongy and fluffy the way it should be!! Your picture are tempting me to make it soon..Thanks for sharing!!
May 30, 2020 at 9:04 pm
You’re most welcome Padma, and thanks.
May 30, 2020 at 2:10 pm
Wow!! Love the texture of your dhokla! I know, it is so confusing between dhokla and khaman! Love your clicks too dear! I love dhokla; will try your version soon!
May 30, 2020 at 9:04 pm
Thank you so much Vanitha…enjoy when you try the recipe.
June 5, 2020 at 4:56 pm
Dhokla is one such dish in my to do list that is been waiting for a long. Your recipe sounds so simple and easy, although fermentation process and all is time taking. I feel it’s about time to give it a try. Thanks for the well explained recipe. BTW your dhokla looks so spongy and perfect.
June 5, 2020 at 11:13 pm
Thank you so much Geetha, sometimes the time and effort are worth it as the dhokla come out so different from the instant ones.
May 31, 2020 at 12:32 am
These moong dal dhokla are looking so light, spongy and mouthwatering. I am literally drooling over here post, dipping it in hari chutney & enjoy with my tea. It’s just too tempting!
May 31, 2020 at 2:16 pm
Thank you so much Jolly.
June 6, 2020 at 9:21 am
I make a couple of dhokla variety, but never made this one. Looks soft and spongy, in my to do list sometime.
June 6, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Thanks Jayashree, when my grandmother was cooking there were no instant recipes for dhokla. It had to be soaked lentils or using lentil flour.
July 9, 2020 at 2:11 am
How may I add grated lauki/ bottle gourd to your moong dal dhokla recipe? I would like to make them in an idli steamer rack for a party.
July 9, 2020 at 4:50 pm
Kay peel and grate lauki and add about a cupful to the batter. Mix well and steam. Once you add the lauki don’t leave the batter too long, steam it immediately otherwise it will become watery.
October 23, 2021 at 12:29 am
Hello, love all your recipes, This is my first time trying moong dal dhokla and I didn ’t read through separating the rice and moong dal. Will it ok if they dal and rice soaked together ? Also taking this to friends house who is diabetic can I avoid the sugar?
October 23, 2021 at 7:29 pm
Thank you so much Ekta. It will not be a problem that both are soaked together. Anyway when you grind the mixture, the dal being softer will grind faster than the rice. Yes you can avoid sugar, though it may taste slightly different. But overall, not too much as anyway I have used less sugar.