June 28, 2012

Rava Dhokla | Steamed Savoury Semolina Cake

I have always been a huge fan of Dhoklas ever since my Bombay days .. Even though, Dhokla is a traditional Gujarati snack, it is equally popular in Bombay & are a staple in most takeaway places in the city.

I never bothered to look for a recipe back then, because Mum made lovely Dhoklas or even easier, it was always available at the nearest takeaway. What I didn't know is that there are several variations to this like Khaman, Nylon Khaman, Dhokla, Rava Dhokla, Khatta Dhokla, Instant Dhokla & what not .. Another important fact that I was unaware of all these years is that Khaman & Dhokla are NOT the same & there is nothing known as 'Khaman Dhokla' which is what Khaman is referred as, all over the country. Perhaps, a Gujarati would be able to explain this better


I came across a recipe for Rava Dhoklas which uses semolina instead of gram flour. They turned out very fluffy & super soft .. I really don't know, if this is how it is traditionally made, but then, I am in love with this :-)

Makes about 35 Dhoklas

You Will Need:
  • 2 cups fine Semolina
  • 2 tbsp Gram Flour/Besan
  • 1 cup fresh yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Eno Fruit Salt
  • Salt as per taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Additional 2 tsp sugar

To Temper
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut

How To:

In a large bowl, add semolina, Besan, turmeric, sugar, salt. green chilli & ginger paste & cooking oil. Add yogurt & mix well. Slowly add water & mix well to form a smooth batter. See to it that no lumps are formed. Allow this batter to rest for about 5 mins.

Meanwhile, fill a stramer with about 1.5-2 inches of water & bring it to a boil. Grease a shallow metal dish with cooking oil & set aside

Just before pouring the batter into the metal dish, add Eno & whisk well. The mixture rises & doubles in volume. Pour the batter into the metal dish. Gently place into the steamer. Cover & steam cook for about 15-20 mins. Insert a toothpick in the center. if it comes out clean, then your Dhoklas are done. Remove from heat & Allow them to cool slightly

Meanwhile, heat a tbsp of cooking oil & splutter mustard seeds. In a small bowl, take about less than 1/4 a cup of water. Add juice of  one lemon, & about a tsp of sugar. Mix well & allow the sugar to dissolve. Add spluttered mustard seeds along with oil to this & mix well. Pour this evenly over steamed dhoklas before you add the garnishing. Let the Dhokla soak in it for a while. This helps in keeping the Dhoklas moist. Cut the dhoklas into neat squares & garnish with fresh coconut & tons of chopped coriander. Serve with Coriander & Mint Chutney

This works great as a starter & since they are eaten at room temprature, they work great for potluck lunch/dinner & for picnics too

June 20, 2012

Vegetable Poha

Breakfast has always been an elaborate affair at home. Like most South Indian homes, I grew up eating Idli, Dosa, Upma, Pongal, Akki Rotti etc & I love it that way .. Infact, I don't even remember eating Cereals for breakfast for the 1st 20 years of my life .. Really :)  Later on in life when losing weight & dieting came into picture, we got into eating cereals & fruits for breakfast, only to go back to the good old Indian breakfast, in a matter of few weeks :)

Vegetable Poha

Poha is one of  India's most staple Breakfast dishes & you will find variations as you move from one state to another. On days when I am very hungry, I like a big bowl of Hot steaming Poha for Breakfast, loaded with lots of veggies, a generous amount of Sev added on top .. Yumm

You Will Need:
  •  2 cups Thick Poha
  •  1 big onion - finely chopped
  •  1 carrot - peeled & diced into cubes
  •  1 medium sized potato - peeled & diced into cubes
  •  A handful of green peas - fresh or frozen
  •  2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  •  1 tsp mustard seeds
  •  1 tsp cumin seeds
  •  1 tsp chana dal
  •  1 tsp urad dal
  •  4 green chillies - finely chopped
  •  juice of half a lemon
  •  1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  •  2-3 tbsp cooking oil
  •  Salt as per taste
  •  Fresh coriander for garnish
  •  Sev for garnish

How To:
  • In a colander, wash Poha in several changes of water. Drain water & Set aside.
  • In a pan, heat cooking oil, splutter mustard & cumin seeds. Add green chillies, Urad & chana dal. Saute for about 20 secs until the urad & chana dal slightly change color. Add onion & little bit of salt & turmeric & saute until the onions turn pink.
  • Add Potatoes & carrots & cook covered with a lid. Saute at regular intervals to avoid the vegetables from getting burnt. When they are half cookes, Add green peas & cook for another 3-4 mins.
  • When the vegetables are done, Add poha, salt, grated coconut, lime juice & gently mix well on low flame.
  • Garnish with fresh corinder & top with Sev if you don't mind a few extra calories

Serve with some good old Filter Coffee .. Aah Bliss !!

June 8, 2012

Chane Ka Shorba | Indian Spiced Chickpea Soup

I am seriously done with restaurants that serve greasy & spice laden food in the name of Punjabi Cuisine. I didn't grow up eating Punjabi food, but I for sure know that  what you get in such restaurants is not what is typically cooked in a Punjabi household. So, when I happen to visit a Punjabi restaurant, I am always on the lookout for something that has subtle flavours & is relatively less greasy. For how long can one enjoy the very rich  Paneer Butter Masala & Butter or Butter Kulcha anyways?


We went out for dinner at this typical Punjabi restaurant many moons ago & I happened to order Chane ka Shorba - A delicately spiced Indian Chickpea Soup. It is not very often that I try to recreate what I order at fancy restaurants but then I fell in love with this shorba so I had to make  this again.

This Shorba was originally made with Kaale Chane or Black Chickpeas. Since, I didn't have any on hand,  I made use of the white one. I reckon, you can even use Sprouted Chickpeas.

Since, I didn't have a recipe on hand, this is loosely based on whatever my tastebuds could predict. But then, it was really really close to the original :)


You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas - soaked overnight or for 8hrs
  • 1 big onion - roughly chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes - roughly chopped
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp Everest Chole Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 cup cream or 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 cups water/vegetable stock
  • Fresh coriander for garnish

How To:
  • Pressure cook chickpeas, with a pinch of salt, until soft. Set aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat butter. Splutter cumin seeds. Add onions & tomatoes along with green chillies, ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a couple of mins. Add Choley Masala & saute until the onions & tomatoes are soft & mushy. Set aside & allow it to cool
  • Blend together chicikpeas & the onion tomato mixture until smooth.
  • Strain into a soup pot. Add 2 cups of water/vegetable stock & heat it gently. Add Garam Masala, Salt to taste & cream. Simmer for about 10 mins on low heat.
  • If using milk instead of cream, reduce the amount of water/vegetable stock
  • Garnish with fresh coriander & Serve Hot