Dhokla: A Savory and Spongy Gujarati Delight

7 Min Read

Dhokla is a beloved Gujarati snack that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people across India and beyond. This steamed, savory cake is fluffy, spongy, and bursting with flavors. Traditionally made with a fermented batter of rice and lentils, dhokla is a delightful addition to any meal or can be enjoyed as a tasty snack. Follow this comprehensive recipe to master the art of making authentic, melt-in-your-mouth dhokla at home.

Dhokla A Savory and Spongy Gujarati Delight


For the Batter:

  • 1 cup rice (ideally parboiled rice or idli rice)
  • 1/2 cup split chickpeas (chana dal)
  • 1/4 cup urad dal (split black lentils)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon fruit salt or eno (optional, for extra fluffiness)
  • Salt to taste

For the Tempering:

  • 3 tablespoons oil (vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Sev or fine vermicelli (optional)


Preparing the Batter:

  1. Rinse the rice, split chickpeas, and urad dal in water until the water runs clear. Soak them together in enough water for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the soaked lentils and rice and transfer them to a grinder or blender. Add the fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, and a little water to help with grinding.
  3. Grind the mixture into a smooth, thick batter, adding water as needed to achieve the desired consistency (slightly thicker than a pancake batter).
  4. Transfer the batter to a large bowl and cover it with a lid or a damp cloth. Allow the batter to ferment for 8-12 hours (or overnight) in a warm place.
  5. After fermentation, the batter should have risen and become light and fluffy. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  6. If using fruit salt or eno, mix it in just before steaming the dhokla.

Steaming the Dhokla:

  1. Grease a dhokla plate or a round cake pan with oil or ghee.
  2. Pour the fermented batter into the greased plate or pan, spreading it evenly.
  3. Place the plate or pan in a steamer or a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to the steamer or pot, ensuring that the water level is below the plate or pan.
  4. Cover the steamer or pot with a lid and steam the dhokla for 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or skewer in the center – it should come out clean.
  5. Remove the steamed dhokla from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

Preparing the Tempering:

  1. In a small pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  3. Add the sesame seeds, curry leaves, chopped green chilies, and asafoetida. Sauté for a minute until the spices release their aroma.
  4. Remove the tempering from heat and add 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.

Assembling the Dhokla:

  1. Use a fork or a knife to gently cut the steamed dhokla into square or diamond shapes, making sure not to break it apart.
  2. Pour the prepared tempering mixture evenly over the cut dhokla, allowing it to seep into the crevices.
  3. Garnish the tempered dhokla with grated coconut, chopped coriander leaves, and sev or fine vermicelli (if desired).
  4. Allow the dhokla to rest for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the tempering to be absorbed.

Serving Suggestions:

Dhokla can be served warm or at room temperature. It pairs beautifully with various chutneys and accompaniments, such as:

  • Green Chutney (Cilantro-Mint Chutney)
  • Sweet Tamarind Chutney
  • Spicy Garlic Chutney
  • Plain Yogurt or Raita
  • Masala Tea or Chai

Tips and Variations:

  • For a richer flavor, you can substitute 1/4 cup of the rice with semolina (sooji) or gram flour (besan).
  • Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding more or less water. A thicker batter will result in a denser dhokla, while a thinner batter will yield a lighter and fluffier texture.
  • You can add grated vegetables like carrots, bottle gourd, or spinach to the batter for added nutrition and variety.
  • For a vibrant color, add a pinch of turmeric powder or a few strands of saffron to the batter.
  • Experiment with different toppings and garnishes, such as grated paneer, finely chopped onions, or crispy fried curry leaves.
  • If you prefer a spicier dhokla, increase the amount of green chilies or add a touch of red chili powder to the batter or tempering.
  • For a vegan version, replace the yogurt with a plant-based alternative or skip it altogether.

Dhokla is a versatile and delicious snack that can be enjoyed at any time of day. Its spongy texture and tempting flavors make it a crowd-pleaser for gatherings, celebrations, or as a tasty addition to your daily meals. With this detailed recipe, you can recreate the authentic taste of this Gujarati delicacy in the comfort of your own home. Indulge in the savory and tangy flavors of dhokla, and experience the culinary magic of this timeless Indian snack.

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