It’s not often that i read a veggie recipe and get inspired to try it out immediately. But last evening a friend posted a recipe of oats and semolina dhokla–(steamed cake), and that kind of tickled my senses. Plus I have been accused of step-motherly treatment towards Indian food by a very dear doctor friend! I love to cook healthy and i find it really tough to make oil free Indian food, but yes I will try get back into R&D and split the oil away from the masalas and work on it Ash.
So coming back to this recipe, it’s been inspired by something Anjali Agarwal put up. I tried to make it healthier and cut out on the oil and added green peas too. Now the fermentation comes from Eno–fruit salt and baking soda. For many months I had my reservations about using Baking Soda. But as it turns out, and my homeopath swears by it, baking soda in limited quantities is good for you, it helps neutralise the acid build up in the body. It makes your body alkaline, and that keeps ailments away.
I’ve used green peas to add some green element but you could use carrots, french beans, corn or any other dry vegetable (never use leafy greens because of their water content) or you could completely skip the vegetables, its your choice.
I served the dhoklas hot with masoor dal as an accompaniment and green chutney and thus didn’t find the need to temper these, but you could temper them too.
Makes 24 pieces
Total time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 5 minutes
Skill Levels: Basic
Equipment needed: Dry or wet grinder, Pressure Cooker or Steamer
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup semolina
- 1/2 cup fresh green peas
- 3/4 cup yoghurt (if you plan to make your steamed dhoklas without the veggies use only 1/2 a cup of yoghurt)
- 1 packet Eno fruit salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon flax seeds dry chutney (or you could use garlic chutney or simply crushed pepper corns or red chilli powder)
- Oil for coating the plates
- 1 teaspoon ginger-chilli paste
- Salt and crushed pepper for seasoning
- 1 lemon
1. Place enough water in a pressure cooker or steamer and put it to heat. It needs to be steaming before you place the thali with dhoklas in it.
2. Grind the oats, semolina and green peas together till the ingredients are well mixed but retain their texture. I’ve used boiled and cooled fresh peas. If you grind them when they’re hot you’ll get a sludgy mixture. Which is fine, but then you will need to adjust the yoghurt quantities accordingly.
3. Add the yoghurt and mix it in well.
4. Grease your thali and keep aside.
5. Add salt, ginger-chilli mix, Eno and squeeze lime into the mix. Use a spoon and mix it well such that it starts to bubbles.
6. Invert the mix into a thali taking care to fill it only to the halfway mark,
7. Sprinkle the flax seeds dry chutney all over the mix in the thali and steam it for 10-15 minutes. (to make the chutney: dry roast flax seeds, whole chilli, gram, cumin, garlic, peanuts and dry coconut. let it cool and then grind it into a dry mixture)
8. Insert a toothpick of knife to check if the dholkas are done after 10 minutes. If you get a clean draw, take it off the heat and place it aside for 5 minutes to cool.
9. Dip the edge of a knife in oil and cut the dhoklas out in diagonal shapes.
10. Serve it hot with green chutney.
11. If you plan to temper it, heat oil in a small skillet, when its hot add 5-6 curry leaves, 1 slit chilli, 1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds, black and white sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds and you could even add sunflower and watermelon seeds.
12. I’ve served it with masoor dal and made it into a main course rather than starter.