Sunday, February 24, 2008

gujarati breakfast: dhoklas

there's this big myth surrounding gujarati food, that they all contain sugar. however, i'm on a mission to dispel this myth. anywho, i've seen far more south indian, konkan and rajasthani recipes call for jaggery than i have ever seen in gujarati food so there! ok ok, i know you don't believe me yet, but as for myself - i don't add sugar or jaggery in my savory recipes unless it is absolutely required. and i wouldn't know about the gujarati restaurants in india because i'm always busy eating chinese, but maybe some of them do add it and so people assume this is so for the entire gammet.

so, enough of me defending the state of my state cuisine, lol. all i can do is share my family recipes with you here and give you a glimpse of the going ons in my kitchen.

i would like to send this recipe over to lovely mythili over at Vindu, for RCI - Gujarat!

dhoklas (steamed pieces of ground rice and lentils) are made frequently in the gujarati household as a breakfast item. they are quite simple but because they take a little more time than pouring a bowl of cereal, these are usually reserved for the weekends.

let's get on with the dhoklas. and while we're at it - start this in the morning. the rice and lentils need to be soaked together for a couple of hours and then left to ferment overnight. basically, it is like making idli's or dosa. i made 2 trays; one tray sprinkled with red chilli powder and the other with freshly cracked black pepper - important!

serves 4-5
prep time: 2 hours soaking time and 1 day fermenting time
cook time: 15 min
  • wash & soak: 2.5 cups rice, 1 cup mixed dals and a tspn of fenugreek seeds for 2-3 hours
  • grind in a blender with a little water until smooth, should be like pancake batter
  • cover and place in a warm place like the oven to ferment overnight
  • in the morning, add: 1 tspn of baking soda or Eno and salt to taste
  • grease 2 trays or thalis and pour the batter equally into both
  • sprinkle one with red chilli powder and the other with freshly cracked black pepper
  • steam on high for 15 min
  • cool for 15 min, and cut into small squares
  • serve with jeeralu** and dip in peanut oil - optional


* i usually use chana dal as this is what most gujarati cooks would use, but as recent dal prices have skyrocketed, use whatever you have on hand... a mixture of urad and chana dal would be nice.

** jeeralu is a salty and tangy spice mixture available in most indian grocery stores, if you want it and can't find it, email me and i'll be glad to send you some... alpa_v at yahoo dot com.

Listening to: 'mansard roof' by Vampire Weekend from their album, Vampire Weekend, 2008


Miri said...

This is the same thing I said in my post on Gujarati Shaak sometime back - and I'm not even a Gujarati! All Gujju dishes are not sweet!

Looks great and very fluffy Alpa!

Nags said...

ooooh,, more dhoklas in the blogosphere :) looks lovely!

Richa said...

oh my! dhoklas look so good, Alpa!
will take them any time of the day ;) i've emailed u, not for the jeeralu, but for the full plate of

Cynthia said...

I want to have some but I want someone else, i.e. you :) to make it for me.

Alpa said...

Miri - Hi, i'm glad this is not a one-woman effort! you're so sweet :)

Nags - thanks!

Richa - hahaha, anytime!

Cynthia - Hi there, come on over!

Dhivya said...

love these..looks yummy

TheCooker said...

OMG. Such fluffy dhoklas.

Mango Power Girl said...

yummmmm! thanks for stopping by, kool to know we have pretty similiar backgrounds :)

Alpa said...

dhivya - thanks!

cooker - ya, these turned out pretty good, just remember to add the Eno/baking soda right before steaming. Thanks!

Mangopower girl - Thanks for dropping by!

Garam Masala said...

Wow... awesome pictures! My MIL makes them exactly the same way. She even sprinkles chili pow or black pepper on top. Thanks!

Alpa said...

garam masala - Thanks for your lovely comments and for stopping by!