Hello and welcome to This Spicy Life!
Yesterday was the debut of my YouTube channel featuring a Sooji Dhokla recipe by my friend Leena. I think you will agree that Leena does a great job of showing how to make this delicious and easy snack. Please forgive my lack of filmmaking skills! Anyway, I think the video came out much better than expected for our first try. Click on the video at the top right corner to see our tutorial. We are hoping this is the first of many collaborations!
Here is a link to the YouTube Channel for ThisSpicyLife:
Dhoklas are a light and satisfying snack that is popular in India. They can be made from semolina (sooji) or chickpea flour and eaten with a chutney. Dhoklas are usually steamed in special pan inside a larger pot. You can easily substitute a small cake pan or pie plate, as long as it fits inside of a large pot. Here we used a 6″ cake pan set on top of a wok stand inside of a large stock pot. Add enough water to reach almost to the top of the wok stand and set the cake pan on top of this. Put the lid on and you have a homemade steamer.
Leena’s Savory Semolina Cake (Sooji Dhokla)
Serves 6 – 8
- 2 cups semolina or sooji (medium size is preferred)
- 2 tbsp yogurt (unsweetened – can use soy or other yogurt)
- 2 – 4 tbsp ginger-chili paste (1″ fresh ginger blended with 4-6 green chilis)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 3 tsp eno fruit salt (available at Asian grocery stores)
- 2+ cups of water
- 6 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 6 curry leaves, chopped (optional)
- 2 green chilis, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tsp oil
- 3 tsp mustard seeds
- Place the semolina in a large bowl. Add the yogurt, ginger-chili paste, salt and sesame seeds. Mix well.
- While continuing to mix, add enough water to make a medium thick batter.
- Set aside for 5 minutes. Add a bit more water if the batter has become too thick. You want the batter to easily fall in a chunky stream from a spoon.
- Oil your steaming pan (see note above about steaming) and set aside.
- In a small pan heat the oil to very hot. Add the mustard seeds and allow to cook until they start to pop. Add the curry leaves to the pan and immediately remove from heat. Set aside.
- Mix the cilantro and green chilis together and set aside.
- Remove 3/4 cup of batter into a smaller bowl. Add 1 tsp eno fruit salt and mix well. It will foam and bubble.
- Pour this into the steaming pan. Place the dhokla pan inside the steamer (see note above) and cover with the lid. Allow to steam for 8 minutes.
- Remove the dhokla pan from the pot.
- Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the reserved cilantro mixture over the top of the dhoklas.
- Sprinkle 1 tsp of mustard seeds over the top of the dhoklas.
- Using a pizza cutter or other small knife, cut the dhoklas into pieces approximately 2″ x 2″. Remove to a serving plate and serve with chutney.
- Repeat making more batches of dhoklas until the batter is done. There should be about 3 batches using a 6″ pan and 3/4 cup of batter to a pan.
Makes 1/2 cup of thick chutney
- 2 tbsp raw peanuts
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 cup cilantro (coriander leaves) with stems and/or mint (leaves only)
- pinch of salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 or 2 green chilis, optional (to taste)
- 1 clove of garlic
- Wash the cilantro and trim away any woody stems. Keep tender stems as they provide the most flavor. Clean the mint leaves but remove from stems and toss the stems. Set aside.
- Cut the green chili(s) and garlic into chunks and set aside.
- Blend the peanuts and cumin with about 1 tbsp of water.
- Add the cilantro/mint leaves, salt, about 1 tbsp of lemon juice, green chili and garlic to the peanut mixture.
- Blend until it becomes a fine, thick paste. Add more water if necessary to get it to blend smoothly.
- Adjust salt and lemon as needed.