Best Instant Dhokla Recipe | Soft, Fluffy Dhokla | Step-by-Step Dhokla Recipe | Vegan Dhokla Recipe
Updated: Jan 29
Dhoklas are often described as a steamed lentil cake. This is true if you make it using the original method of soaking the lentils, grinding them, mixing them and then letting this dhokla mix ferment overnight. That's a long process!
Here I show you how to make an instant version of dhokla that is not only quick, but is amazingly delicious! These light, fluffy, moist, sweet & sour, spicy dhokla will leave you wanting more. Thank goodness they're easy to make! Plus these dhokla have sweetcorn to add a bit of sweetness and crunch.
I had to learn by trial and error the many tricks of making great dhokla. Now I get compliments whenever I make them. And I am going to share all these tips and tricks with you too so you can create this amazing dish yourself.
So let me show you how something that looks so tricky can be easy to master.
Update: I tried making this dhole recipe with Vegan Plain Yoghurt and had great success! So if you are vegan, give it a shot!
Best Instant Dhokla Recipe Cooking Time: 60 mins (approx)
Serves 6-8 People
· 2 Cups (370g) Course Semolina (Don't use Fine or Extra Course)
· 2 Tbspn Chickpea Flour (Also known as Gram Flour or Besan)
· 1 Cup Yoghurt or Plain Vegan Yoghurt (8 fl.oz/250g)
· 1 Cup Water, room temperature (8fl. oz))
· 1 tspn Grated Ginger (add more if you like)
· 1 Clove Garlic
· 3 Green Chillies (add more or less depending on taste)
· ½ Cup Frozen Corn 70g (no need to defrost)
· 1 tspn Salt
· ¼ tspn Turmeric
· 2 Tbspn Granulated Sugar
· 3 Tbspn Lemon Juice (bottled or fresh)
· 4 Tbspn Oil (corn, sunflower or vegetable oil)
· 1 tspn Baking Powder - must be active & in date
· 1 tspn Fruit Salt (ENO) - must be active & in date
· 3 Tbspn Oil (corn, sunflower or vegetable oil)
· 1 tspn Mustard Seeds
· 1 tspn Sesame Seeds
· 1 Green Chilli (Add fresh red chilli too for added colour)
· 5-7 Curry Leaves
· 2 Tspn Chopped Coriander
· ½ Hing (Asafoetida) – Optional
TIP: Before you get started, check your equipment for steaming: your pot needs to be deep enough so that once you put the tray on top of the steaming rack, there is enough room for the dhokla to rise when it’s covered with the lid with a tea towel on it. See the video. Also, check that you can remove the trays comfortably before you start cooking. You don’t want to find out you can’t fit the tray in without tilting it or remove it once it’s hot!
Peel the garlic and ginger and grate them into a small bowl. You grate this first to avoid any lumps of garlic or ginger in the dhokla.
Get a liquidizer ready to blend the next few ingredients.
Wash the green chillies and break them into 2-3 pieces then place them into the liquidizer. Add the grated ginger and garlic. Then add the yoghurt and water and blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, mix the semolina and the chickpea flour together using a whisk. Break up as many chickpea flour clumps as you can.
Then add the blended yoghurt mix, the sweetcorn, salt and the turmeric. Mix this to combine.
Add the lemon juice and sugar to this and mix again. Taste the mix to make sure it is to your liking. It should be sweet and sour with enough salt and heat.
Add 4 tbspn oil and mix completely. You do not want to see the oil sitting on top as this will prevent the fruit salt from activating.
Let this mix rest for a few minutes (no longer than 10 minutes) while you get the steaming equipment ready. As the mixture sits for a few minutes, it will start to thicken up. You may need to add a little more water later.
Fill a deep pot with water about 2-3cm deep. The water must be just below the level of the rack used to support the trays.
TIP: If you add too much water at this point, the water bubbles will rise into the dhokla trays and add moisture to them, leading to soggy dhokla! In addition, the dhokla mix will overflow into the water, creating more bubbles (due to the fruit salt) and more water overflowing into the dhokla trays. So this is very important!
Put the pot of water on to boil with the rack inside.
Grease each tray with about 1 tspn of oil. Grease them well using your hands. Be sure to go up the sides of the trays as the dhokla will rise.
Go back to the dhokla mix and check the consistency. Add 1-2 Tbspn water at a time as needed to get a medium consistency as shown in the video. Then add the baking powder and fruit salt and mix this up until combined.
TIP: Don’t overmix otherwise the bubbles will start to pop. And make sure your raising agents are active and create bubbles! Use a little more if needed.
Then immediately fill up the two greased trays with half the mix each. Make sure you don’t fill a tray more than ¾ full as the dhokla will rise.
TIP: If the trays are too full, the dhokla mix will overflow into the water. This will make the water overflow into the dhokla tray leading to soggy dhokla, as explained earlier. Ask me how I know!
TIP: Cover the lid with a tea towel as shown in the video. This will stop the steam from the lid falling onto the dhokla tray and spoiling them.
Place your first tray into the pot of boiling water. Cover and let this steam for 15-20 minutes. The dhokla is done when a pierced knife comes out clean.
Remove the tray carefully and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
TIP: Never cut the dhokla while they are hot as the mix will stick to your knife and make cutting difficult.
Check the water level in the pot before adding the next tray and add more if needed. Let this heat up again for a few minutes.
Place the next tray in the pot to steam.
After the first dhokla tray has cooled for about 10 minutes, cut the dhokla into 4-5cm squares (or diamond shape if you prefer).
TIP: Leave the dhokla pieces in the tray as you prepare the tempering. It is easier to spread the tempering over them this way!
TIP: For the tempering, get a small pan with a lid as the mustard and sesame seeds will pop everywhere.
Slice the green chili so it is ready.
Heat the pan on medium heat for a few minutes then add the oil and let this heat for about 30 seconds.
Add the mustard seeds and wait until they pop.
Then add the sliced green chili, the curry leaves and the sesame seeds (& Asafoetida is using). Let this fry for a few seconds. Don’t burn it.
Then spread half of this tempering to the first tray of cut dhokla (saving the rest for the second tray). Spread the tempering as evenly as possible being sure to cover each piece.
Then garnish with half of the chopped coriander.
To remove the dhokla from the tray, use a flat spoon like in the video, or use a spatula. Start in the middle and work your way out. Be sure not to break the dhokla while transferring to a serving dish.
Follow the same procedure with the second tray.
If you manage to have leftovers, refrigerate them in a covered container. Then to reheat, just pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds!
These Dhokla go very well my Red Pepper Chutney and Coriander Chutney, so be sure to try them!