Dhokla, originally from the Gujarat region, has become a national favorite in India because of its distinctive flavor and fluffy texture. Light and acidic in taste, this steamed cake is largely prepared from fermented rice and chickpea flour.
Dhokla is a savory Indian pancake made with a batter of rice flour, chickpea flour (besan), yogurt, and water. Turmeric, ginger-green chili paste, and sometimes asafoetida are used to season this batter. Dhokla’s enchantment comes from the fermenting process, which produces air pockets that give the dish its signature light and airy texture.
The batter is placed onto greased trays or plates and steamed until the contents rise and are fully cooked. After it’s finished, it’s usually carved into diamonds or squares. The Dhokla is made even better by topping it with a tempered mixture of mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chilies, and shredded coconut. This tempering process releases a plethora of flavor and scent into the meal.
Green chutney, often prepared from cilantro and mint, and tamarind chutney are common accompaniments to dhokla. It’s versatile enough to serve as a quick breakfast, satisfying midday snack, or filling dinner. Dhokla is typical of the fermented foods and skillful spice blends that characterize Gujarati cuisine.