My family's Surati Khaman Dhokla Recipe (savory chickpeas cake) is also known as Vati Dal Khaman.
If you love healthy and spicy snacks, then my family's Khaman Recipe is just for you! This type of dhokla is made with overnight soaked chana dal - chickpeas, yogurt, and spices.
No extra cookware is needed for vati dal khaman! In this recipe, I used an Our Place pan with the steamer basket.
Sharing a recipe that comes straight from my grandparent's kitchen is a true honor! Not only is it one of my favorite savory snacks but also a popular Indian one.
❤️ Why you'll love it
- Authentic Khaman Recipe
- High Protein
- Easy to Meal Prep
Khaman Batter Ingredients
- dried chana dal (dried split chick peas)
- yogurt, plain
- salt, water, oil
- turmeric powder
- ginger, fresh and grated
- green chili peppers, fresh and blended
- mustard seeds - (rye)
- cumin seeds - (jeera seeds)
- asafaetido - (hing)
- coconut - shredded and unsweetened (fresh preferred)
- chili peppers - jalapenos, serranos, or thai chillies, fresh and sliced with a cut to prevent popping during the cooking process
- cilantro - fresh and chopped finely
How to Make the Batter
Start by washing the dried chana dal with cold water and then soak the chana dal in a large bowl with cold water for 8 hours. Drain the water (do not rinse again).
Place the dal in a blender.
Place the chana dal with ginger, green chilies, salt, a pinch of turmeric yogurt, and asafoetida in a blender and blend until it is finely pureed.
Pour the batter into a bowl with a lid where you will ferment the batter. Cover the bowl with a lid and place it in a warm area for 8 hours (alternatively, you can use an Instant Pot on yogurt mode for 8 hours)
After 8 hours, mix the batter and now you can make Surati Khaman Dhokla.
How to Steam the Khaman
Heat water in a steaming vessel (I used an Our Place Pan).
Brush some oil on a dhokla dish, place the dish inside of the vessel, and cover with a lid. Let the water come to a boil so the dhokla plate gets hot. This has been a key step, in my experience.
While the plate heats, in a bowl mix the Surati Khaman batter with Eno fruit salt and mix it immediately.
Without waiting too long, pour the batter into the dhokla dish, which is inside of the steamer basket, that is heated.
Place a lid on the steaming vessel and let the khaman cook for about 15-20 minutes on high heat.
TIP- When opening the lid, try not to let the condensation drip back into the pot.
Take the khaman dish out of the steaming vessel and let it cool down while you prep the cilantro and coconut.
Once the khaman cools, cut them into 1-2" squares.
Add chopped cilantro and coconut on top of the khaman.
In a small butter pot, heat a generous amount of oil. Once heated, add mustard seeds. After they begin to pop, add the cumin seeds and hing. Then add the chili peppers and cook until translucent.
Pour the tempered oil over the khaman.
Using a flat spatula lift the khaman by placing the spatula in the middle of the khaman plate into a slit.
- Steaming Vessel - (can use a dish inside of an ourplace pan to steam)
- Dhokla Dish/Tray - for cooking (can use any dish that fits inside a steaming vessel)
- Pot Holders
- Large Bowl with Lid
- Instant Pot (optional)
- Blender/Juicer (I use a BlendTec or a Magic Bullet)
- Butter Pot for vagar
- Final serving/storage container
Storing the Batter
Refrigerate - Khaman batter can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days
Freeze - Place the batter in a freezer-friendly bag/container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Storing the Cooked Khaman
Refrigerate- Once cooked, the Khaman Dhokla can be kept in the fridge for about 5 days.
Freeze - Cooked khaman can be frozen for up 3 months in a freezer-friendly container
Reheat in Microwave - Place the khaman in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid and cook until heated through.
Reheat on Stovetop - Place cooked khaman in a steamer basket and steam until heated through.
- Try not to shake the vessel (or even the stove) when the khaman is cooking. It can deflate the rise or prevent them from rising.
- Be sure to check the expiration date on your Eno. Sometimes, older ingredients can also prevent khaman from rising.
- Save time - You can skip the fermenting stage by eliminating yogurt as an ingredient and substituting it with a little bit of lemon juice instead.
Dairy-Free- use lemon juice instead of yogurt and skip the fermentation process.
☕️ Pairs well with...
Surati Khaman pairs perfectly with
A dhokla recipe that originated in Gujarat, India. It is made with chickpeas, yogurt, and spices.
Every city and every household has different khaman recipes. Each variety, I am sure is great. Here, I shared a recipe that is common to Surat, India.
If using soaked chana dal (vati dal), then it can take anywhere from 9-18 hours total depending on fermentation.
Yes, for up to 3 months.
A large bowl, steaming vessel such as an Our Place Pan, or a large pot with a stand inside which can hold a dish on top of it. Plus pot holders, knife, spatula, tempered oil or butter pot, and a blender.
Yes! Lightly oil the waffle maker and pour the batter. Cook until slightly brown. Top it with tempered oil for optimal flavor.
Yes! Add equal amounts of water and batter and cook for about 5 minutes or until fluffy.
Of course! I eliminate the chili peppers and add less ginger when making this recipe for my kids.
📚 Related Recipes
Surati Khaman Dhokla
- Steaming Vessel (something similar like an Ourplace Always Pan)
- Bowl with a Lid or an Instant Pot, to ferment in
- Small Butter Pot
- Oven Mits or Pot Holders
- Large Bowl or Tray, to store end product in
- 1 cup chana dal (split dried chick-peas)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh green chilies, blended (jalapeno, serrano, thai)
- 3 tablespoon plain yogurt (see note 1 for substitution)
- ½ teaspoon hing (asafetido)
- pinch turmeric powder (optional)
- 2 tablespoon oil + some for coating
- 2 tablespoon eno (fruit salt) add this right before cooking
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds (rye)
- ½ tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ½ teaspoon asafaetido (hing)
- large chopped fresh green chili peppers
- ½ cup chopped cilantro (do not add to the oil instead pour tempered oil over it)
- 2 tablespoon shredded fresh coconut (do not add to the oil. Instead pour tempered oil over it)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BATTER
- Wash the dal and soak for 8 hours. (Tip: soak it in the blender for less cleaning)
- Remove the water (try not to rinse the dal again).
- Add dal, ginger, green chili, yogurt, salt, hing, pinch of turmeric powder, and enough water until half of the dal is soaked in a blender.
- Blend until smooth/mildly coarse. I prefer a few chunks of dal to be left in the mixture, but you can blend it fully as well.
- Pour the batter into a bowl with a lid and set it aside.
- Let the batter ferment in a warm dark place for about 8-12. Alternatively, you can use the yogurt mode on an Instant Pot to ferment for about 12 hours. Simply pour the batter into the Instant Pot and set yogurt mode to 12 hours.
- Once fermented, you can make the khaman right away, refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for about 3 months.
HOW TO MAKE STEAMED KHAMAN
- Add water to a steaming vessel.
- Place an empty oiled tray inside of the vessel (assuring it does not touch the water), cover with a 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 dal mixture into two portions (this will depend on the size of your tray but the recipe makes two 10" trays of khaman).
- In one portion that you are going to cook, add 1 tablespoon of Eno and 1 tablespoon oil. Mix it quickly and well. This will activate the Eno and the batter with double in quantity.
- Open the lid to the vessel and pour the mixture into the tray. It should spread evenly. If not, gently tap and spread. Try to work quickly here
- Making sure the heat is still on a high/medium-high, 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.
- Once the time is up, do both of these at the same time: Lower the flame and open the lid without spilling the condensation from the lid onto the khaman.
- Take the tray out of the vessel and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
- Once it cools, cut into small squares using a butter knife or "subway" knife. I like to cut it into 1" squares but you are welcome to cut it bigger or smaller.
- Top the khaman with cilantro and coconut shreds. Then make the tempered oil.
- Pour the tempered oil over the cilantro and coconut. Enjoy!
- You must work quickly. Heat oil in a small butter 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 with cilantro and coconut.
- Toss it together and enjoy!
- Serve with sev, marinated onions, fresh chili peppers, and a cup of hot chai.
OPTIONAL WAFFLE MAKER INSTRUCTIONS
- 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.
How to make Waffle Khaman using Surati Khaman Batter
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!