White Dhokra/ Idra/Idada
Kemcho? Avo maare gher. ( How are you? Welcome to my home)
March was when the Shhh Cooking Secretly group (started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes) ventured out to cook some Gujju (Gujarati) food. The general misconception is that Gujarati food is sweet. Yes we do use sugar and jaggery but it has to be a balance of both sweet and sour. Modern times with much health awareness, many Gujarati homes do not use sugar or jaggery in their daily cooking.
The land of Lions and Legends has countless varieties of dishes. As a Gujarati I can make out from which region the food has originated. For example kadhi made by Patel Community maybe so different in taste and texture from the one made by a Shah. Besides the slight variations, Gujaratis are so proud of their ever popular snacks. Some snacks prepared are steamed like dhokra, muthias, arvi na paan, khichdi to name a few. Khandvi batter is cooked with no oil. Oil is used to smear on the surface to spread the batter and for tempering(vaghar). Then we have the fried snacks like gathias, bakharwadis, chevdo, gotas, bhajias etc. And not forgetting our famous travel food theplas, khakhras and handvo. Gujaratis readily adapt to any type of cuisine but I must warn you we tend to make it ‘gujjufied’ meaning we add our spices to make it taste like Gujarati food. Gujaratis take their food very seriously. No wonder most of us spend so much time in the kitchen. Hot breakfast, lunch, fresh snack and then dinner. And don’t forget the in between farsans or snacks.
Today I’m not going to give your facts and figures about Gujarat as one can easily find it on the internet. I’m so proud to be a Gujarati.Gujarat the land of dandiya raas, garbas, dhokras and welcoming people. Today I’ll share a few facts about my family. Patels till today will proudly mention the village they come from (even though we are not born there or lived there!). I come the village Umreth which is in the Anand District. After Umreth comes the famous pilgrimage place Dakor where the famous Ranchhodrai Temple is located (on a clear day we can see the flag of the temple from the ancestral home’s top floor). My grandfather was born and brought up in Umreth. It is believed that his eldest brother was the chief of the area. As a young man, he decided to travel by ship to Mombasa, Kenya. During the British Rule, Asians were employed to work on laying the railways and at the newly constructed railway stations (called the Lunatic Line from Mombasa to Kampala). My grandfather got a job as a police at one of the stations. After the British left, he opened up his own business. My father and his siblings were all born and brought up in Kenya. My siblings and I too were born and brought up in Kenya. My grandmother was born and brought up in the village Sokhada (Kheda District). My mum was born and brought up in the village Koyali which is near Vadodara. I still have aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews who live in the villages. My children have visited all three villages, including Deva and Kanjari (both in Kheda District). Deva is where my father in law was born and brought up. My mother in law’s family came from Kanjari. In spite of us growing up outside India we still follow the traditions and cultures of India. It was very important for my kids to understand where their maternal and paternal families come from.
My partner for the Gujarat Cuisine was Poonam who blogs at Annapurna. Her blog has a wide variety of traditional and International dishes. What I love about her blog is the step wise pictorials, which makes it so easy to follow a recipe. I gave her wheat flour and tuvar dal as her secret ingredients and she gave me rice and sesame seeds. I’m so glad she gave me those ingredients. Though I make white dhokra (also known as Idra, Idada or khatta dhokra) often, I had not as yet posted the recipe on my blog. So when Poonam suggested rice and sesame seeds, the first thing that came to my mind was idra. Usually prepared when we make aam ras and puri, I make it sometimes as an evening snack or light dinner.
I prefer to top the dhokra with the tempering and some like to prepare the vaghar and then add the dhokra pieces into it. Its then gently stirred using a flat spatula and served hot. You may even enjoy hot dhokras with some oil. To enjoy the latter version, make a very thin layer of the dhokra.
Poonam has prepared a very delicious looking and healthy Dal Dhokli using the ingredients I gave her. Please check out her recipe.
|my steaming device|
|so delicious with garlic chutney|
¾ cup rice
¼ cup urad dal, without the skin (split black moong)
½ cup sour yogurt
¼ cup water
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp chilli paste
1-1¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp eno (fruit salt or kharo)
To sprinkle on top:
¼ – ⅓ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
extra oil for greasing
For tempering or vaghar:
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
a generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
8-10 curry leaves (limbdi)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 steel or aluminum plate -6″ or one 8″ plate
2 steel or aluminum plate -6″ or one 8″ plate
Preparation of the dhokra batter:
- Soak rice and urad dal separately in warm water for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the water, wash the rice and dal separately.
- Using a bit of the measured yogurt, first grind the urad dal to a fine paste.
- Then using the remaining yogurt grind the rice to a paste that is not too fine or too coarse.
- Mix both the pastes. Add fenugreek seeds. Mix well.
- Cover it with a lid or cling film and leave it overnight or for 8-10 hours to ferment.
- The batter should be thick and fermented.
- Add water, salt, ginger, chilli pastes and oil. Whip it gently to mix.
To steam the dhokra:
- Get your steaming device ready.
- Add water quarter way full.
- Place the steaming tray or ring, whichever you are using.
- Cover the pan and let the water become hot.
- In the meantime, grease the steaming plate with some oil.
- When the water becomes hot, add the kharo or Eno into the batter.
- Mix it well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared greased plate.
- Sprinkle red chilli powder and pepper powder over the batter.
- Place the plate on the steaming ring or tray.
- Cover and steam for 10 minutes.
- Open the lid and remove the plate with dhokra.
- Let it cool down completely before you cut the dhokra into pieces.
To prepare the temper or vaghar:
- Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat.
- When it is hot add mustard, cumin and sesame seeds.
- Let it crackle a bit.
- Add curry leaves and chopped coriander leaves.
- Mix with a spoon.
- Add asafetida and mix well.
- Pour the vaghar or tempering over the steamed dhokra.
- Cut the dhokra into squares or diamond shapes and serve with a chutney of your choice.
- I love serving it with green or garlic chutney.
- I always use Eno fruit salt to make the batter fluff up. However, feel comfortable to use kharo if that’s what you use for dhokras.
- Sometimes ready made white dhokra flour is available. In that case you mix it with yogurt and leave it overnight. However, I’ve never used that as I feel that soaking the dal and rice produces much softer dhokras.
- To serve them warm just warm them up in a microwave oven or steam them again for 5 minutes.
- If you’re using a smaller plate then divide the batter by two.
You may want to check out other Gujarati Snacks:
|Papdi no lot or khichu
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