Anamika Arun recreates her childhood tea time tradition with an easy microwave dhokla.
By Anamika Arun
My mom used to say, “Only when an advantage goes away, you realize its worth”. How true. Growing up in the lanes and bylanes of Indian streets, overflowing with sweet shops, we never knew its worth. After all, while the weekend breakfast table was generously spread with “kachori”, “jalebi” and “imarti”; the tea time was ritually celebrated with a plateful of “samosas” and dhoklas”. And all it took to enjoy this lavishness was a short run by the man friday and a handful of rupees. Ahha, the days gone by!
Cut to the present day in modern, broader and cleaner lanes in not so familiar and cosy countries, the advantage of the “halwai shops” have surely flown out of the window. And that too without so much a warning, to learn those addictive treats. So while my cousins back home rarely ever attempt achieving the perfect crust of the “samosas” or wonder on how to get the fluffiest “dhoklas”; here I’m left with little choice but to learn it all the way.
Thankfully having a savory tooth, I haven’t spent hours attempting many of those sweets. Rather I spent that time in fruitfully trying my favourite tea time companion – dhoklas. And with the joy of reliving that advantage of my childhood, I found my solace in a microwave recipe of Nita Mehta.
Dhoklas are basically savory cakes of chickpea flour (traditionally) which is steamed to get a fluffy texture. It occupies a real pride of place in its stage of origin – Gujrat, and loved all across the country.
- Besan (Chickpea Flour) - 1½ cups
- Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
- Ginger paste - 1 tsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Eno Fruit salt -1½ tsp
- Cooking Oil -1 tbsp
- Green chilly paste - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Soda Bi-carb - ¼ tsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Water - 1 cup
- Oil - 2 tbsp
- Green chillies - 2-3 (slit vertically)
- Water - ¾ cup
- Mustard seeds (rai) - 1 tsp
- White Vinegar - ¼ cup
- Sugar - 1 tbsp
- Curry leaves - 3 -4 (optional)
- Grease a 7'' round flat microwave dish. Set aside.
- Sift beasn and mix water, oil, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, chilly paste, ginger paste to it and make a smooth batter. Add lemon juice, eno fruit salt and soda bi-carbonate. Beat for 3-4 seconds.
- Immediately pour this mixture in the greased dish and microwave uncovered for 6 minutes on high mode. When done, remove and keep aside.
- In a separate small microwave dish, put all the tempering ingredients and microwave uncovered for 4-5 minutes.
- Pour this tempering over the dhokla and let it stand for at least 30 minutes, so that the dhokla abosrbs the moisture and flavours.
- Cut in 1½; pieces and garnish with grated cococnut (optional) or/and chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve with mint-coriander chutney.