A Gujarati Indian savory chickpea cake delicacy that is made with soaked chickpeas, spices, and yogurt. Fermented until fluffy and then steamed using a vessel.
An Authentic Surati Khaman Recipe
This authentic Gujarati recipe for Surati Khaman Dhokla includes soaked chickpeas, eno fruit salt, green chili peppers, fresh ginger, and other spices. This fermented chickpea batter for khaman dhokla is cooked on a medium to high flame in a water steamer then topped with a tempered oil that includes mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds. The labor of love it takes to make this fluffy Khaman Dhokla recipe is worth every bite. Enjoy with a cup of lemongrass chai.
Surati Khaman DhoklaJump to Recipe
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Original Surat Recipe!
A fluffy chickpea spiced cake with tempered oil including mustard seeds, cilantro, spicy green chilies, and other spices. Perfect savory snack or side dish with Indian food. This recipe originated in the state of Gujarat in India. There are many variations to it, but one that is local to the Surat district includes whole chickpeas that are soaked, blended, and then steamed. The final result can be eaten as is with spices called Locho Khaman or topped with tempered oil.
Why are there so many Khaman variations?
I have made many variations of Khaman, but this is the tried and true traditional recipe! When I say traditional, I mean Surati Traditional. This refers to the city of Surat, in the State of Gujarati, in the country India :). The food is cooked very differently throughout India regardless of it being called the same dish; for Instance-“Chicken Curry”. Surati Khaman Dhokla is made with whole chick-peas versus chick-pea flour (aka-besan). Both have different texture and taste, but taste great!
Does it take long to make khaman?
Yes, it does. These Surati Khaman Dhokla take a while to make, because of the soaking and fermenting. But the end result is JUST.SO.WORTH.IT. It’s healthy, tasty, and filling! I tend to make large batches because the end product refrigerates so well.
Can I freeze the Khaman batter?
You sure can and I recommend it! I have froze the fermented batter for a few months at a time. It will require a complete thaw before cooking it, but it does not take much effort when you are ready to make it. That’s a win win in my book.
What equipment do I need to make khaman?
I have always used a steaming vessel to make khaman dhokla, but know many people who use an Instant Pot as well. For me, the Instant Pot has not worked well to get the fluffy end texture. Hence, I am still trying to learn how to make them come out the way I like when working with that particular gadget. I personally love using a large steaming pot (like a pasta pot) with a stand like this. You want the lid to fit perfectly over the pot without touching the stand.
Can I make Khaman in a waffle or pancake maker?
You sure can! Simply heat the gadget, lightly oil it, pour some batter, and then cook for a few minutes. You can eat the waffle khaman hot topped with oil and spices such as chaat masala and red chili powder. Want to take it a step further? I recommend adding a vagar/tadka. This is the perfect way to make khaman if you despise washing dishes and are just cooking for one person. Also, comes in handy, if you don’t have a large steaming vessel.
Can I make khaman in a microwave?
YES! I have made this surati khaman recipe in a mug and its perfect for a quick snack. Add equal amounts of water and batter and cook for about 5 minutes or until done. Top it with some oil and spices then enjoy with a spoon right of the mug.
Is this khaman recipe kid friendly?
Of course! Eliminate the chili peppers and whatever else your little one does not like. I make it with just chickpeas, ginger, eno (fruit salt), and table salt for my kids. If you are making it for a baby then you can also eliminate the salt. Feel free to add spinach, beets, etc to your khaman batter before cooking. The khaman will not fluff well but
How can I make Locho Khaman?
Using this same batter recipe you can make Locho Khaman. Locho Khaman is when you do not cut the chickpea cake once it has been cooked and immediately remove the cooked khaman using a spatula. Top it with your favorites. My favorite Locho Khaman toppings are shredded amul cheese and chaat masala +red chili powder. Trust me on this one!
What pairs well with Khaman?
When it comes to the vagar/tadka you can use many different variations. A few things that are consistent include mustart seeds, hing, and cilantro. You can also go the further mile and use grated coconut, cumin seeds, and chili peppers. Top it with a crunchy sev and it’s officially time to eat!
Gujarati Khaman Recipe
A fluffy and spiced lentil cake made with whole chickpeas, ginger, and yogurt. You can make this delicious recipe using a steaming vessel, waffle/pancake maker, or in a microwave.
- 1 cup chana daal (split chick-peas)
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger paste
- 1 tbsp fresh green chili paste (jalapeno, serrano, thai)
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt or 1/2 juiced lemon
- 1/2 tsp hing (asafoetido)
- pinch turmeric (optional)
- 2 tbsp oil + some for coating
- 2 tbsp eno (fruit salt)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp whole mustard seeds
- 1/2 tbsp jeera (optional)
- 1/2 tsp hing
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp shredded fresh coconut (optional)
- largely chopped fresh green chili peppers
- steaming vessel with a tray that fits inside (I use 9" round trays)
- butter knife
- large spatula
- small pot for tempered oil
- large bowl to mix final contents
- Instant Pot to ferment (optional)
- Coffee Mug for microwave khaman
- Waffle Maker for Waffle Khaman
Wash the daal and soak for 8 hours. (I soak it in the blender for less cleaning)
Remove the water and rinse again one last time. Add ginger, green chili, yogurt/lemon juice, salt, hing, pinch of turmeric, and enough water until half of the daal is soaked. Blend until smooth/mildly course. I prefer a few chunks of daal to be left in the mixture, but you can blend it fully as well. Either way, outcome will not matter as long as it is blended some.
At this point you can place the batter in the refrigerator or leave it out for 5-12 hours to "ferment". (I recommend using the Instant Pot on yogurt mode for 5-12 hours). Then refrigerate the batter or make Khaman immediately.
Add water to a steaming vessel (I do NOT recommend the Instant Pot), place an oiled tray inside the vessel (assuring it does not touch the water), cover the lid, and let the tray heat up while the water boils on medium-high heat. NOTE: heating the tray before adding the mixture is a key tip here.
Split the daal mixture into two portions (this will depend on the size of your tray).
In one portion add 1 tbsp of Eno, salt (I add 1 tsp), and 1 tbsp oil. Mix it quickly and well since this will activate the eno.
Open the lid to the vessel and pour the mixture into the tray. It should spread evenly. If not, gently tap and spread. YOU MUST WORK QUICKLY.
Making sure the heat is still on a high/medium high setting, place the lid on top of the vessel immediately and let it cook for 12 minutes. KEY TIP: Do not tap, touch, shake, or move the vessel in any way. It can prevent the khaman from rising. (Example: It's almost like a cake when you take it out of the oven mid-cooking process.)
Once the time is up, do both of these at the same time: Lower the flame and open the lid without spilling the lid condensation onto the khaman. Hence, flip the lid over REAL QUICK.
Take the tray out and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
Once it cools, cut into small squares using a butter knife. I like to cut it into 1" squares but you are welcome to cut it bigger or smaller.
Using a flat spatula, place the front end into a cut you just made a few rows into the center (hence do not do this on the edge) and slide under the khaman to lift up the squares.
Place the chunks into a large bowl.
Top the khaman with cilantro and coconut shreds. Then make the tempered oil.
You must work quickly. Heat oil in a small pot. Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds + jeera seeds.
They will begin to pop. Once the popping stops, immediately add hing and chopped chili peppers.
Let the peppers cook until slightly translucent.
Drizzle the oil mixture on top of the khaman.
Toss it together and enjoy!
Serve with sev, marinated onions, extra green chili peppers, and a cup of hot chai.
Pour the batter on a lightly oiled waffle maker. Let it cook a few minutes.
Remove from the waffle maker and enjoy as is topped with some oil and jaljeera, chaat masala, or red chili powder.
Combine batter with equal amounts of water. Pour it into a coffee mug until it is half way full.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until done in a microwave on high power.
Enjoy topped with oil and chaat masala, jaljeera, and red chili powder.
- Eno (fruit salt) is optional when making the khaman in a waffle maker or microwave. You can add it for a fluffy cake but the end result is still great without it.
How to make Waffle Khaman Step by Step Instructions
I use a small waffle maker that is perfect for my kitchen, but feel free to use a larger version as well. All Clad has a waffle maker that is going to make my dreams come true one day!
Pictures of microwave khaman coming soon! Stay tuned folks 🙂