Khaman Dhokla or Nylon dhokla is a common breakfast or tea-time snack. This savory chickpea flour cake is the signature dish from the Indian state of Gujarat. Most people call it instant dhokla. This is now loved and eaten in almost all parts of India. You can find this snack at almost every local eatery. You will find packets at any local kirana shops. Even dhokla mix is very popular just like cake mix. However, that commercial based packet contains citric acid.
Actually, it is very easy to make it from scratch. Some people also make it in microwave these days. I stopped using microwave 3 years back so I don't mind making the steamer version. Might take a bit longer to cook but I am ok with it. It is a chickpea flour based cake and great for proteins.
After samosa, it has earned a place in many hearts world wide. It is a great snack if guests are coming home at a short notice.
Note: Unlike other besan based snacks like pakora, this snack contains sooji rava and heeng, so it is not gluten free.
What is khaman dhokla made of?
This soft and fluffy steamed cake made with gram flour/chickpea flour/besan.
What is the difference between khaman and dhokla?
There are many versions of this snack.One made from besan(Instant/Nylon) called as khaman and while the other, dhokla is made from Chana Dal(Fermented). The one I've mentioned here is the Nylon khaman with besan (Gram Flour) which I have made with Eno or fruit salt.
Another popular nowadays is the sandwich dhokla. You can see many packets of these in local kirana stores at Mumbai packed by small cottage industries. Sandwich dhokla combines khaman and Rava dhokla( made with sooji or semolina) and layers them with a hint of mint chutney in between. Rava besan dhokla is quite yummy too.
Amiri khaman is made with the left-over khaman. We temper it with garlic and serve it with pomegranate seeds and sev.It tastes amazing and is easy for kids to eat as its almost a coarse powder.
You can have it as such or with chutneys .The best thing about it is steamed and hence, is healthy and low calorie. It is vegan and gluten-free too. You can make it for picnic or when you travel.
You can make the it in a steamer or a deep pot. Some people also make it in an idli stand, instant pot or pressure cooker. However, I am yet to try it. What do you use to make your Gujarati khaman? Let us know we will also try. I love to make it in my Ikea 365+ pot for now. Temper green chillies and make sugar water separately from a pan.
There are some questions that we face when we make it first time. Either it is not very fluffy or turns red. When I first started making this recipe from scratch it took me a while to make it fool-proof. Making this snack reminds me of chemistry experiments actually. It is a simple recipe yet might need some time to perfect. Soft dhokla does win your heart eventually.
If you also faced questions like me, read our top tips.
For the batter
- Chickpea flour/besan
- Eno/fruit salt
- Baking soda
- Semolina rava
- Mustard seeds
- Curry leaves
- Green chilies
- Sugar water
- Pomegranate seeds
How to make khaman dhokla?
- Sift the besan/gram flour in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add all the ingredients for batter except Eno/fruit salt.
3. Mix all ingredients using a whisk.
4. Mix until you get a smooth batter.
5. The batter should be of flowing consistency.
6.Add the Eno/fruit salt to the mix.
5. Transfer the khaman batter to a well oiled metal tin.
6. Once it is steamed, remove from tin. Allow to cool(best 20 mins) and cut into pieces.
7.Prepare the tempering and add ½ cup water to khaman.
8. Add the tempering to it, toss gently.
Decorate with chopped coriander leaves, fried green chillies , pomegranate seeds. Serve with mint and tamarind/date chutney.
Looking for more Gujarati recipes?
Instant Khaman Dhokla recipe
For the batter
- 1 -½ cups besan/gram flour
- 3 tbsp. yogurt not very sour
- ¾ cup water 1-2 tablespoon more if required
- 1-½ tablespoon rava or semolina optional
- 2 ¼ teaspoon eno or fruit salt 1.5 teaspoon per 1 cup of besan
- 1 teaspoon salt or as required
- 2 tablespoon oil replace if water if want low fat dhokla
- pinch turmeric powder
- A generous pinch of asafoetida heeng
- pinch baking soda optional
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves about 8 to 10 curry leaves
- 1 green chili chopped (optional)
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon chopped coriander
- Handful Pomegranate seeds
- Grease a steamer pan with little teaspoon oil.
- Take 2 to 3 cups of water in a steamer pan or pressure cooker and allow it to boil
- Mix together all the ingredients for the batter except the fruit salt(eno).
- Stir to a smooth thick batter without any lumps.,Use enough water to make a easy pour consistency batter.
- Add in the Eno or fruit salt to the batter. Mix well
- The batter would froth and become bubbly, so you have to be quick.
- When the mixture rises, pour it into a steamer pan or greased thali and steam for about 15 minutes.
- To check if it is ready, insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, the dhokla is done. If the toothpick has the batter on it ,then you need to steam for some more time.
- Once done allow the Khaman to cool down for 20-25 mins. Take it out in a plate. Cut it in small pieces.
- Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat moderately.
- Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Stir for 3-4 seconds.
- Add green chili and curry leaves, stir for few seconds.
- Now, add ½ cup of water. After mixing well. Cook on high flame for about 2 minutes now.
- First drizzle the hot water over dhokla. This will keep the pieces moist. Then drizzle the seasoning over.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds.
- Serve immediately with tamarind chutney/date chutney ,mint chutney or tomato ketchup.
This recipe with Eno is an easy starter. However, you should mind a few things. Batter should be like cake. Make it immediately after you make the batter. If you let it sit for long once you add fruit salt to it, you will not get the right consistency. You should steam over medium flame. Add a teaspoon of sugar water whenever you reheat. It will help you keep it spongy and soft.
If we mix too much turmeric in the batter. It reacts with Eno fruit salt and turns red. Don't be scared, it will still taste good.
Healthy alternative to pakoras.
Very easy to cook. Required ingredients are usually readily available in kitchen.