Homemade Instant Khaman Dhokla, a warm soft and spongy savory gram flour snack cake tempered with spices. Ready in 20 minutes this cake makes a perfect breakfast, tea time snack or party appetizer. These delicious vegan and gluten-free bites can be steamed, baked or even cooked in microwaved. Simply yum!!! Video Recipe. This post is sponsored by the WonderMill Grain Mill but all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
What is Khaman Dhokla?
Khaman Dhokla is a popular snack from Gujrat in India. Made with besan also known as gram flour or channa dal flour. A batter is made using gram flour and water. It’s mildly flavored with green chillies and ginger and then steamed to make a soft and spongy cake. Flavored with lemon juice and ginger, these bites are garnished with tempered mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Sprinkle some cilantro and / or coconut shreds and serve it with Cilantro Chutney.
Traditionally the batter for recipe is fermented and then steamed in a cooker. However what I love about this Khaman Dhokla recipe is that it when your crunched on time this comes together quickly, because it can be made in a microwave or a large batch in the oven. It’s a perfect medley of flavors – savory, mildly sweet and tangy. It’s got just the right consistency between a cake and a bread.
It’s yum! There is a reason it’s a super popular snack through out India :)
Why you will love this Khaman Dhokla?
- This Khaman Dhokla recipe super easy to make.
- It’s lipsmackingly delicious. It’s sure to tantalize your tastebuds as it’s a bit sweet, savory and tangy with a very mild hint of heat from the chillies.
- It’s not only a perfect tea time snack, but it also makes a perfect warm breakfast.
- It’s qualifies for a perfect party appetizer, especially when entertaining someone who is vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free.
- These soft, spongy, savory cake bites are a great way to consume lentils.
- Pack it as a side for lunch or as a snack.
- Depending on how much time you have you can either steam this cake, or microwave individual portions or bake a large batch. In either ways it’s a hit.
Khaman Dhokla Recipe Ingredients
- Gram Flour – Gram flour also known as besan is the main ingredient to make Khaman Dhokla. Mind you it is not the same as chickpea flour as besan is a pulse flour made from channa dal or split yellow gram or even split brown chickpeas. Chickpea flour is made using white chickpeas. You can either mill your fresh batch of flour like me or use store bought gram flour. Ofcourse nothing beats a freshly milled batch of gram flour.
- Water – you will need water to make a batter as well as for steaming.
- Oil – Sunflower oil is the best for this recipe. Please don’t use olive oil in this recipe, it just wouldn’t do justice to the flavors here.
- Ginger – When you are cooking with gram flour or any lentil flour for that matter, it’s always a good idea to throw in some ginger to ease digestion. Ofcourse it also adds a mild flavors to the savory cake.
- Green Chilies – although green chilies can be optional, but adding just a little bit of them enhances the flavors and the aroma of the cake.
- Fruit Salt – Fruit salt is different from salt. Fruit salt like the ENO brand is made up of baking soda, citric acid and salt. the citric acid in the ENO helps sour the batter. It’s easily available at any Indian grocery store or the amazon link is here. If you don;t have Eno handy replace it by baking soda and add an extra teaspoon of lemon juice to the batter.
- Salt – to taste
- Sugar – this is optional again. I like the mild medley of sweet, savory and tart flavors. However if you want the cake to be completely savory you can skip the sugar.
- Lemon juice – finish off the khaman dhokla with a spinkle of fresh lemon juice and it’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.
- Tempering – Oil, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves and green chilies. The tempering totally enhances the flavors. Even if you don;t have all the ingredients for the tempering, whatever is available from the list.
- Cilantro and shredded coconut – Garnish with fresh cilantro and shredded coconut (optional)
Why mill your own Gram Flour at home?
If you have been following The Belly Rules The Mind for a while, you will know that both Soniya and I love milling our own flours. Ever since we got our WonderMill Grain Mills, we have stopped buying flour to the extent possible and make our own. If you are wondering why, check out our guide on how and why we should mill our own grains, here. Once you start milling your own grains and lentils, there is no going back because you realize how good the taste and texture of any food is when cooked with fresh flour.
Besan is a staple found in every Indian household, we use it in a lot of our recipes, like Eggfree Frittata, Punjabi Kadhi, Chickpea Snack Sticks, Guilt-Free Fritters, pancakes etc and more. So I often make a batch for a week or two using my WonderMill Grain Mill and store it. It’s definitely been a great addition to my kitchen because it makes life so much easier. I don’t have to worry about running to the store when my flours are over. I just stock the grains in bulk now and mill the grains when my flour batch is over.
How to make Gujrati Khaman Dhokla
There are three way you can make this Khaman Dhokla recipe. Steam it in a pressure cooker. Bake it in muffin molds or trays. Microwave it in single portion cups. Irrespective of the method you choose, the process to make the batter remains the same. You could make single portions or bigger batches in a tray, only the temperature and time settings vary.
This is just a gist of the method involved. The detailed recipe with measurements is in the recipe card.
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.
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. Once the batter is smooth add fruit salt or baking soda to quickly ferment the batter.
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 details in the recipe card.
Step 5 : Temper and Garnish – Once the cake is cooked, you temper it with flavored oil, garnish with cilantro and /or shredded coconut . Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the mold or cutting pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.
How to make Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla in an Instant Pot
- 15 minutes high pressure
- 10 minutes natural pressure release
How to cook Khaman Dhokla in Microwave
If you want to make individual portions in cups or muffins molds or even in a small pyrex tray
- 8 minutes
- Power Level 6
How to bake Khaman Dhokla in oven?
If you’d like to bake this in a ramekin cup, cake pan, bundt pan or even a muffin tray
- 425 degrees F / 220ºcelcius
- 15 mins.
Can I meal prep this or make it ahead of time?
Yes. Often times when I am hosting a large crowd. I premix the dry ingredients and store it in a container. Then when I need to make it I just add the wet ingredients make the batter and cook it. Often I also make Khaman Dhokla ahead of time like the previous night and refrigerate it. I just bring it to room temperature before serving it.
Tips to make soft and 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.
There are no words to express how soft and tender these bites are. I hope you consider trying this Khaman Dhokla recipe. For more Dhokla / Savory Cake recipes click here.
If you try the recipe and liked it, don’t forget rate the recipe and leave us a comment. Thanks.
Milling your own flour
Khaman Dhokla Batter
- 2 cups besan / gram flour
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp green chillies, chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp fruit salt / baking soda
- a pinch of turmeric
- 1 cup water
- 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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