Dhokla from Scratch
I remember eating dhokla first time when I was 5 years old. We had a Gujarati neighbors and my mom had learned to make it from that lady. I think it was Sunday morning and we had at for breakfast. Later that afternoon when my mom was serving lunch she told my father not to give anymore dhokala to me as I have had enough already. As soon as I heard it, I went to hide behind the door as I was mad. I wanted to eat more dhokla and mom was not giving it to me so I did not want to eat lunch. My father started calling me to lunch I did not budge. He finally started looking around and found me crying. He asked me the reason and I told him I want Thokala (ठोकळा - a wooden block in Marathi). I had a nice wooden block set I used to play with all the time and my father got the box to me. I refused it and kept on asking and I kept on saying 'I want Thokala'! It went on for few more minutes and my mom interrupted us. She immediately came to know that it was about dhokla and not thokla when she heard the arguments!! My parents still remember the incident whenever my mom makes dhokla. And to this day, I love dhokla as much as I did that first time. Here is my mom's version of it
1 cup Chana Daal
1 tsp Citric Acid
1 tsp Eno Fruit Salt
1 tbsp Grated Ginger
2-3 Green Chilies
1 tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt per taste
For tempering -
2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
10-15 curry leaves
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Water as needed
Pick over, wash and soak Chana Daal for 3-4 hours. Drain the daal before using.
Add 1 liter water in steamer or pressure cooker and let it boil. Oil a small vessel that fits in the steamer and set it aside.
In a food processor or wet grinder grind ginger, green chilies and soaked daal. Scrape the sides of frequently while grinding. Use about little bit of water as necessary. You may need to use about 1/4 cup water.
Add salt, sugar, turmeric and citric acid and grind it once more. Consistency should be like idli batter.
Now add Eno fruit salt and grind quickly. It should mix thoroughly but avoid over beating.
Pour this batter in the oiled vessel and keep the vessel in steamer.
Steam it on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. If you are planning to use pressure cooker, do not keep the weight/whistle on.
Meanwhile, heat oil in small kadhai and make tempering as usual and set it aside.
Once the dhokla is steamed, remove it promptly and let it cool down completely before making pieces.
Pour half of the tempering over and some chopped cilantro. Gently flip the pieces out in a plate and pour remaining tempering and cilantro.