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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