An authentic Gujarati recipe for Surati Khaman Dhokla that 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
A fluffy chick-pea spiced cake with tempered oil mustard seeds, cilantro, and spicy green chilies!
I have made many variations of Khaman, but this is the trial 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).
Labor of Love
Although these Surati Khaman Dhokla take a while to make, because of the soaking and fermenting, 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. You can also freeze the batter for a few months. Anything to make life a bit easier, right?
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. 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.
Kid-friendly recipe? OF COURSE! Eliminate the chili peppers (and whatever else your little one does not like).
Baby-friendly? YOU BET! Add kale, spinach, carrots, etc during blending (The dough will not rise as well when adding vegetables. So I recommend adding just a little).
- Fermentation is optional but recommended.
- LOCHO KHAMAN-Eat immediately (hence, do not let the khaman cool once it has been made). Top with some jaljeera, red chili powder, and enjoy!
- Marinated onions taste great with khaman (just like the street carts in India)
- Add blended kale, spinach, carrots, etc for an extra daily serving of vegetable. NOTE: Khaman will not inflate as much when adding a vegetable puree.
- THAT IS ALL 🙂
- Now, go soak some daal!
Gujrati Khaman Dhokla Recipe
A fluffy and spiced lentil cake made with whole chick peas, ginger, and yogurt.
- 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)
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.