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Dhokla or Dhokra (Gujarati: ઢોકળા) is a vegetarian food item that originates from the Indian state of Gujarat. It is made with a fermented batter derived from rice and chickpea splits. Dhokla can be eaten for breakfast, as a main course, as a side dish or as a snack. It can usually be bought from a sweet shop.
Rice and chickpea splits (Chana dal) in the ratio 4:1 is soaked overnight. The mixture is ground and this paste is fermented for four-five hours to over night. This is spiced by adding chilli pepper, Coriander, ginger and baking soda.
The essential ingredient is rice and its colour is mostly dark yellowish.
(1) The fermented batter is then steamed for about 15 minutes on a flat dish and cut into pieces. These chopped pieces are seasoned in hot oil with mustard seeds. Asafoetida and chopped green chillies can also be fried and, sometimes, an equal amount of water and a little sugar is added to this oil. The pieces are then removed from dish. Sometimes it is also fried in hot oil with cumin seeds.
(2)One other way is that, the fermented batter is steamed for 15 minutes in a plates placed inside a container that does not let the steam out, to avoid steam water to fall on the batter while preparation there is a cloth placed before closing the container lid, inside the container the plates are directly not placed on base, or else the batter will burn due to heat, so there is a small stand kept, when batter is steamed properly, the plates are taken out of the container and then served with raw oil, mostly oil poured over dhokla, or used as dip. Some people like curd, tomato sauce, garlic paste or coriander paste, however none of these is traditional eaten with dhokla.
Types of Dhokla
There are different kinds of dhokla prepared with different ingredients and ratios of chickpeas. Some of the popular kinds of dhoklas are:
- Khatta dhokla
- Rasia dhokla
- Khandhavi dhokla
- Cheese dhokla
- Toor dal dhokla
- Sandwich dhokla
- Rawa dhokla
- Mixed dal dhokla
- Green peas dhokla
Khaman is a similar gram flour-based food. Whereas dhokla is made with rice and chikpeas, khaman is made from chickpeas only. It is generally lighter in color and softer than dhokla, to make dhokla small proportion of baking soda is added while in khaman more baking soda is added to make it more fluffy spongy and porous.
Idada is another variety of dhokla, which is made by using different lentils like black grams, also known as urad dal, instead of Chickpea.
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