khaman dhokla

Khaman Dhokla Recipe- Gujarati Style

Khaman Dhokla Recipe sometimes an instant mouth watering snack is what you need to get through the midday dips, and talking of such snacks, what is better than the Gujarati- style Khaman Dhokla? Time to know about its fairly easy Gujarati style recipe.

Well maybe to your surprise, traditionally, these native Gujarati dishes, Dhokla and Khaman are two different snacks. Their ingredients, method of making and taste are all different. What these two share is steamed spongy snacks, which are served with sizzling tempered toppings. 

While Dhokla is made with a fermented batter of lentils and rice, Khaman is an instant quick version that does not require any soaking, grinding or fermenting of the batter. It is instead made of gram flour/ ground chana dal  (skinned split black chickpeas). Interestingly, these days some people use these names interchangeably and most commonly Khaman is called Khaman Dhokla. It has gained immense popularity across the Indian sub-continent due to the unique fluffy, spongy and delicious delight it is. It is mostly served with green, red-garlic or tamarind chutney, yet one can always savor it as it is.

Ingredients and Preparation Required For Khaman Dhokla 

Not only is this yum to eat but also fun to cook! Let us first collect all the ingredients and dishes.

Staples like gram flour, fine semolina, Common salt,  spices, spring curry leaves, at least 1 leavening agent (fruit salt i.e., eno/ Lemon juice/ citric acid/ baking soda), sliced chillies, cooking oil, sesame seeds, asafoetida  (hing) (skip to make a gluten-free version), turmeric powder, mustard seed, sugar, water,  grated coconut, and chopped coriander leaves.

Whisk, steamer a large pot/ pressure cooker, knife, toothpick (optional), the lid of the steamer should have a vent, one can also use a pressure cooker lid without the whistle, bowl, and molds steel ring or a trivet.

Let us get to the trail! 

Making Batter For Khaman Dhokla 

  1.  Take 1.5 cups gram flour (120 grams besan) in a mixing bowl or pan. Do use gram flour which has a fine texture.
  2.  Then add the following ingredients:
  • 2 to 3 pinches of turmeric powder
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida (skip to make a gluten-free version)
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon or lime juice or ⅓ to ½ teaspoon pure citric acid
  • 1.5 teaspoons ginger paste (crush 1.5-inch ginger and 1.5 teaspoons green chillies in a mortar-pestle)
  • 1.5 teaspoons green chilli paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or add according to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as per taste

TIP: Avoid adding too much turmeric powder as then the fruit salt or baking soda reacts with the turmeric powder and makes it red in colour, thereby giving reddish dots, specks or tones in the Khaman Dhokla 

  1.  Add 1 cup water (or more or less as needed) and 1 tablespoon oil to make a thick yet smooth flowing batter. The amount of water needed depends on the quality of flour, so start with 1 cup and add as required. Stir well to combine.
  1.  Then add 1 tablespoon rava (semolina). This is entirely optional but adds a good texture to the Khaman. Skip rava or semolina for a gluten-free option.
  1. Stir with a whisk to create a smooth, thick batter without any lumps.
  1.  The batter should be thick yet flow easily off of the whisk. A quick tip is that if the batter becomes thin, then 1 to 2 tablespoons of gram flour.

Next, bring 2 to 2.5 cups of water to a boil in a steamer pan or electric cooker or pressure cooker. The amount of water to be added depends on the size of the steamer or pressure cooker.

NOTE: To know more about the steaming in a pan, cooker and Instant Pot in detail, do read the tips section below.

Leavening Khaman Batter
  1.  Next, add 2 teaspoons Eno or fruit salt. 2 teaspoons of Eno makes the khaman soft and fluffy. But there is a slightly alkaline taste to Eno.

If you’re not a fan of this flavour then add only 1.5 teaspoons of Eno. If using baking soda as your leavening agent add ½ teaspoon to ¾ teaspoon.

  1.  Stir the eno with the batter briskly and quickly.
  2.  The fruit salt should be mixed evenly with the batter. Or else you get uneven texture in the khaman.
  3. The eno will make the batter become frothy, so you need to work quickly to whisk it in thoroughly.
  4. Pour the prepared batter into the greased pan.
  5.  Gently shake so that the batter evens out in the pan. Below is a picture of the batter ready to be steamed.

Steaming Dhokla
  1. Grease a steamer pan with 2 to 3 teaspoons of oil. Place the pan in a steamer or electric rice cooker or pressure cooker. The water should already be boiling or hot when you place the pan with the khaman batter. When using a pressure cooker, remove the vent weight/whistle from the lid and cover the cooker tightly with its lid.
  2. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes in an electric rice cooker. If using a pan or pressure cooker or Instant Pot, steam for 12 to 15 minutes on medium to medium-high heat. In the below photo the khaman is cooked for 17 minutes using an electric rice cooker.

You can begin working on the spice and herb solution for tempering the khaman while it cooks. Continue reading for the instructions.

  1. To check the doneness, insert a toothpick. It should come out clean if the khaman is done. If the toothpick has the batter on it, then you need to steam for another minute or so.
  2. Let the khaman become warm or cool completely. Gently slide a butter knife along the edges to release the khaman from the pan. Place a plate or tray on top of the pan.
  3. Then quickly invert the pan.
  4. If greased well, the khaman will easily slide out onto the plate.
  5. Use a sharp knife to slice the khaman into squares and set aside until ready to temper. Since I used a concave plate, the khaman settled down in the centre. This won’t happen if you use a flat plate.

Preparing Tempering
  1. Tempering is essential to infuse the khaman with flavor and add moisture to the gram flour sponge. To make the temper, first heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan on the stove. Use peanut oil or any neutral-tasting oil.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and allow them to crackle.
  3. When the mustard seeds are crackling, add 10 to 12 curry leaves, and, if you like, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1 teaspoon of chopped green chilli.
  4. Stir and then add 2 teaspoon white sesame seeds.
  5. Fry the sesame seeds for some seconds. But don’t brown them or they’ll become bitter.
  6.  Next, carefully add ⅓ cup of water. You can switch off the heat when adding water.
  7. Then add 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  8. 8. Stir and allow the tempering mixture to come to a boil. Make sure that the sugar is dissolved.

Making Khaman
  1. Remove from the heat and immediately pour this tempering mixture evenly on the Khaman Dhokla so that it seeps through the sliced edges.
  2. Garnish with 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves and 2 to 3 tablespoons grated coconut, if you like. Pair them with Indian chutneys like green coriander- mint, red- garlic or tamarind chutney 

Serve the khaman dhokla straight away or you can store it in an airtight box and serve later after an hour. If enjoying khaman later after several hours, then don’t add coconut until ready to eat.

You can also refrigerate them, and then when ready to serve just sprinkle some water and keep hot and fresh in Casserole for long hours. 


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