Every state of the country has that one dish it is famous for and a trip to each of these states is incomplete without having tried and/or eaten that particular dish. For Maharashtra, it is Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji; for Punjab it is Chole Bhature; for Delhi, it is surely the street food and chaats.
Gujarat, as we all know, is supremely famous for its farsaan- khakhra, bhajiya, fafda, bhakarwadi, chevdo, mendu vada.. the list just goes on and on (and the mere mention of these snacks made our mouths water!) But, one dish that tops this list is Khaman Dhokla. No one, we repeat no one, makes it like the Gujaratis make it. It is so spongy, moist and flavourful, with the right balance of sweet, salty and little bit of spicy.
One snack which is similar to the Khaman Dhokla, but not much known to non-Gujaratis is Rava Dhokhla made using the most basic ingredients- semolina (sooji), curd and just few spices easily available in every Indian kitchen.
Here's a quick and easy recipe of Rava Dhokla for you to try for days when you decide to conquer a little battle in your kitchen.
Rava/Sooji/Semolina- 1.5 cup
Curd- 1 cup
Salt- to taste
Water- 1/2 to 1 cup
Eno- 1 small pack
Green chillies- 2 to 3 (depending on spice tolerance)
Curry leaves- 6 to 7
Black Mustard Seeds- 1 tbsp
Oil (for tempering and greasing)- 1 tbsp
You will also need a steamer (the one who use for making idlis and dhokhlas) and a round plate or tin with a height of at least 0.5 to 1 inch. We have used a tin with 8 inch diameter and 0.5 inch height. If you don't have a steamer, you can use a big kadhaai and put a steel bowl or stand inside it on which you can put your plate or tin.
1. In a bowl, mix semolina or rava and curd. You will have to eye ball the amount of curd, making sure that there is no dry rava left in the bowl and just a little watery. The rava will absorb some water from the curd.
Cover and let it rest for at least 20-25 minutes.
2. After 15 minutes of mixing the curd and semolina, start setting up your steamer. The water should be hot enough when you put the prepared batter in the plate to cook.
3. Nicely grease your plate or tin with oil so that it is easier to demould the dhokla after cooking.
By now, the soaked rava would have absorbed some water from the curd and become a little thick. Add salt to taste and water to adjust the consistency. The consistency is everything while making these dhoklas, you do not want the batter to be too runny or too thick. It should be of medium consistency.
4. When the water in the steamer has started to boil, it is your cue to add the Eno to your batter.
Eno or any fruit salt is very important. Just like in a cake, baking powder or baking soda is responsible for it to rise, here the dhokla will rise because of the Eno. Do not overmix the batter, just enough for the Eno to mix with everything. It should be added at last and you have to be quick enough because you will have to put the plate or tin inside the steamer as soon as you pour the batter.
5. Carefully place the plate/tin in the steamer and let it steam on high flame for 15-20 minutes. Do not remove the lid during these initial minutes.
After 15-20 minutes, insert a toothpick or knife to see if the dhokla has cooked or not. There should be no crumbs sticking to the knife/toothpick. If crumbs stick to it, then cook for another 5 minutes or until the knife comes out clean. Another sign if the dhokla has cooked or not is that it should have risen a bit in height.
6. Once cooked, remove from the steamer. In a small pan, heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to pop, add in the curry leaves and green chillies slit in half to prepare your tempering.
Alternately, you can sprinkle some black pepper powder on top of the batter before placing it inside the steamer.
7. Top your dhokla with this tempering. Let the dhokla cool down completely before you cut them into pieces and serve. Dhoklas are served cold. Cutting them while they are hot will be quite troublesome for you and also give unclean and sticky slices.
You can enjoy these rava dhoklas with your favourite chutney or dip or you can check out this article for 3 Indian dips that will compliment all your snacks.