Homemade Instant Khaman Dhokla Recipe, is a delightfully warm, soft and savory gram flour snack cake. This delicately spiced cake is ready in 20 minutes, making it the perfect breakfast, tea time snack or party appetizer. These delicious vegan and gluten-free bites can be steamed, baked or even cooked in a microwave.
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This recipe for first published in Dec 2018 and has been revised with new simplified instructions in Jan 2021.
What is Khaman Dhokla?
Khaman Dhokla is a popular snack from Gujrat, India. They are small pieces of cake made with besan, which is also known as gram flour or chana dal flour.
The cake is seasoned with green chillies and ginger. You then steam the batter to make a soft, spongy cake. For added flavor, you can sprinkle lemon juice over top along with ginger, cilantro, coconut shreds and tempered mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chillies.
This savory, sweet, and tangy cake goes great with Cilantro Chutney.
Why you will love this Khaman Dhokla?
Khaman dhokla is a sweet, savory, and tangy cake that is bursting with flavor. You can also make small modifications to make it more to your liking. For instance, if you prefer a savory cake, you can skip the sugar.
Here are some other great reasons you’ll love this khaman dhokla recipe:
- great party appetizer, snack, or quick breakfast
- makes a great side for lunch or dinner
- super fast and easy recipe
- sneaky way to add extra lentils into your or your kids’ diet
- perfect make ahead snack or meal
What you’ll need for this Khaman Dhokla recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand for perfect homemade khaman dhokla.
- Gram Flour – Gram flour, also known as besan, is the main ingredient. You can either mill your fresh batch of flour like me or use store bought gram flour. Of course, nothing beats a freshly milled batch of gram flour.
- Water – Water is needed for the batter and to steam the cakes.
- Oil – Sunflower oil is the best for this recipe, but please don’t use olive oil in this recipe. It doesn’t work as well because it will not compliment the flavors well.
- Ginger – Ginger both aids digestion and adds a mild sweet flavor to the cakes.
- Green Chilies – Adds aroma, flavor, and heat to the cakes, but you can skip if you prefer.
- Fruit Salt – Fruit salt is made up of baking soda, citric acid, and salt. You can make you own by adding baking soda and an extra teaspoon of lemon juice to the batter.
- Salt – You can omit or add as much or little as you like.
- Sugar – You can skip adding sugar if you prefer a savory cake, but if you like a mix of sweet and savory, make sure you add it in.
- Lemon juice – You can add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice on top of the cakes for extra flavor.
- Tempering – For the tempering, you’ll need oil, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies. You can use as much as you have on hand to add extra flavor to the top of the cakes.
- Cilantro and shredded coconut – You can garnish with fresh cilantro and shredded coconut for added flavor.
Why mill your own Gram Flour at home?
If you have been following The Belly Rules The Mind for a while, then you know that both Soniya and I love milling our own flours.
If you are wondering why, check out our guide on how and why we mill our own grains here. Once you start milling your own grains and lentils, there is no going back! You’ll notice a considerable difference in taste and texture when you cook and bake with fresh flour.
Besan is a staple found in every Indian household and we use it in a lot of our recipes, like Eggfree Frittata, Punjabi Kadhi, Chickpea Snack Sticks, Guilt-Free Fritters, pancakes, and more. So we often make a batch for a week or two.
Another great benefit is we don’t have to worry about running to the store when our flour runs out. We just buy a large amount of grains in bulk at the store or online and mill our own flour when they run out.
How to make Gujrati Khaman Dhokla
You can make this khaman dhokla recipe using three different methods! You can:
- Steam it in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot!
- Bake it in muffin tins or trays.
- Microwave it in single portion cups.
No matter which you choose, the rest of the prep is the same. Here’s what to do.
- Start by milling your own flour or measuring out the gram flour you’ll need from a store bought bag.
- Next, mix the flour, lemon juice, ginger, green chilies, oil, salt, sugar, and water in a large bowl to make a smooth batter. Once the batter is smooth, add fruit salt or baking soda to quickly ferment the batter.
- When the batter is ready, grease your springform pan, muffin tins, baking tray, or cups. When they are ready, pour the batter into pans and use one of the cooking methods below to make the cakes.
- Once the cake is cooked, you temper it with flavored oil and garnish with cilantro and shredded coconut. You can skip these garnishments if you prefer, but they add a lot of extra flavor.
- Finally, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the mold or cutting it into pieces in the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
How to make Khaman Dhokla in an Instant Pot
- The Instant Pot is the perfect, modern steamer. To cook the cake in the Instant Pot, pour in the water and add a trivet to the bottom of the pan.
- Next, turn the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Once the water starts to steam, carefully place the pan on the trivet.
- When the pan is in place, close the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Next, select high pressure for 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn off the pot and allow a natural release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
- Finally, carefully remove the lid and pan from the Instant Pot. You might find it easiest if you wait until it cools before trying to remove it.
How to cook Khaman Dhokla in Microwave
If you want to make individual portions in cups, muffins molds, or a small tray, you can use your microwave.
To use the microwave, set your microwave to power level 6, if possible, or just cook on the regular setting. You’ll need to cook it for 8 minutes.
How to bake Khaman Dhokla in the oven
The final method is to bake the cake in the oven. To do this, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 425 degrees F or 220ºcelcius.
Next, place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, you can check if it is done using a toothpick. To do this, stick the toothpick in the center of the cake, if it comes out clean, it is done. If it does not come out clean, bake for 1 or 2 more minutes.
Can I meal prep this Khaman Dhokla recipe or make it ahead of time?
- Yes you can definitely meal prep this khaman dhokla recipe!
- This recipe is great for when you are hosting a large get together because you can make it a day or two ahead of time instead of the day of.
- If you make the cakes ahead of time, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, bring the cake up to room temperature.
- You can also premix the dry ingredients and store it in an airtight container. When you are ready, you can add the wet ingredients to make the batter, cook, and serve!
Tips to make soft and spongy Khaman Dhokla
- Once you add the fruit salt, do not over whisk the batter. You can stop when the batter starts getting bubbly.
- Don’t let the batter sit for long after adding the fruit salt. You should immediately start the steaming process.
- Though any method works great, the Instant Pot makes the most authentic tasting, steamed khaman dhokla.
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Milling your own flour
Khaman Dhokla Batter
- besan / gram flour 2 cups
- oil 1 tsp
- lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 tbsp
- ginger, grated ½ tsp
- green chillies, chopped 1 tsp (optional)
- sugar 1 tsp
- salt to taste
- fruit salt / baking soda 1tsp
- a pinch of turmeric
- water 1 cup
- 1 tbsp oil
- mustard seeds 1 tsp
- urad dal 1 tsp
- green or red chillies , halved (optional) 2
- curry leaves 8
- 1 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
- cilantro, chopped
Step 1: Mill your flour - You can either mill your grains in the WonderMill Grain Mill to make the flour or use store bought gram flour. If using a grain mill, connect and switch on the Grain Mill to Pastry mode, before pouring the grains into the mill. Collect the flour from the storage container.
Step 2: Prepare Batter - In a mixing bowl add the flour, lemon juice, ginger, green chillies, oil, salt, sugar and water to make a smooth batter. The batter should be the consistency of a pancake batter. Once the batter is smooth add fruit salt or baking soda to quickly ferment the batter. Whisk again until the batter gets bubbly.
Step 3: Grease the mold - Now grease the container you are using like, springfoam pan, muffins molds, baking tray or cups and pour the batter. Cook it choosing one of the methods below.
Step 4 : Cook it - by either steaming it in the pressure cooker, baking it in the oven or microwave it. Refer to the preferred cooking method below.
Step 5 : Temper and Garnish - Once the cake is cooked, you temper it with flavored oil. Heat oil in a small container, throw in the tempering mix and once you hear the crackling, pour it over the khaman dhokla. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and /or shredded coconut . Once cooled remove from the mold or cutting pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla Recipe
Use a springfoam pan, a steel plate like mine or eggbites mold.
Add 2 cups of water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
Place the trivet and turn on the Instant pot on Saute mode.
Once the steam starts coming place the container on the trivet.
Close and lock the lid.
Set the IP on Steam for 15 minutes on High Pressure.
Once the timer goes off, allow pressure to naturally release for about 10 mins.
Manually release the rest of the steam. Run a toothpick test to make sure it comes clean.
Using a pot holder remove the container and allow it to cool for tempering. You could cut the cake into squares or diamonds either before or after tempering.
Baking Khaman Dhokla
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F / 220ºcelcius.
Place container in over and bake for 15 minutes.
Run a toothpick test to make sure it comes clean before tempering
Microwaving Khaman Dhokla
Place individual container in the microwave.
Set cook time to 8 minutes at power level 6
Tips to make soft spongy Khaman Dhokla
- Once you add the Eno fruit salt, do not over whisk the batter. stop when the batter starts getting bubbly.
- Don't let the batter sit for long after adding the fruit salt. Immediately start the steaming process.
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