Although I am a Bengali by birth, I have a soft corner for Gujarati and South Indian cuisine. However, since curd is a staple ingredient in most of the Gujarati recipes, I have always avoided trying them (Let us assume that I have a hate-hate relationship with anything that has got to do with curd).
Khaman is a variety of Dhokla, that is made out of gram flour, and can be made without using curd in a few minutes. It is generally lighter in color and softer than Dhokla. Dhokla, on the other hand, is made with rice and curd, and requires fermentation. Also, to make Dhokla, a small amount of baking soda is added, while in Khaman, more baking soda is added to make it more fluffy, spongy and porous.
This recipe was requested by a friend of mine who was a novice in the kitchen, and wanted to try her hand in making some easy recipes. Trust me, if you have unexpected guests or friends coming over to your place, this quick snack can be a total life saviour. And what more, your guests/friends will be mesmerised at your culinary skills.
So let us get to the ingredients and procedure that is used in making Khaman.
For the Batter –
- Gram Flour – 2 Cups
- Semolina – 2 Tablespoons
- Warm Water – One Cup
- Sugar – 2 Tablespoons
- Turmeric – 1/3rd Teaspoon
- Ginger and Chilly Paste – Half Teaspoon
- Salt – As per taste
- Oil – One Teaspoon
- Juice of One Lemon
- Baking Soda/Eno – One Tablespoon
- Oil – One Tablespoon
- Mustard Seeds – One Teaspoon
- Curry Leaves – 10-15
- Salt – Half Teaspoon
- Sugar – Half Teaspoon
- Hing/Asafoetida – One Pinch
- Coriander Leaves and Scrapped Coconut – For garnishing
- Sieve gram flour in a bowl. Add the semolina to it. Make a smooth batter by adding lukewarm water to it. The water should not be added in one go, but should be added bit by bit, mixing thoroughly, so that air is incorporated in the batter.
- Add sugar to the batter. Keep mixing. Next add the lemon juice and mix. The batter should be of pouring consistency. Now cover the bowl and keep the batter aside for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat water in a steamer. Grease a deep bottomed cake tin with oil.
- After 15 minutes, beat the batter well. Add salt, followed by turmeric powder to the batter. Keep mixing. Add the ginger chilly paste. Now add some oil to the batter. Last of all, add the baking soda/eno and pour a few drops of water over it. The batter will bubble up. Mix quickly for 15 seconds and transfer the batter into the greased cake tin. Tap the tin to release any air bubbles.
- Now place the tin in the steamer. Cover it with the lid, and steam it for 20 minutes at low flame. Do not open the lid before 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, insert a knife into the cake tin and check. If the knife comes out dry, the khaman dhokla is ready. If not, steam it for another 5 minutes.
- Once the khaman is cooked, take out the cake tin from the steamer. Scrape the sides of the cake tin with a knife. Invert the cake tin into a plate. Cut the khaman into square pieces. Your soft spongy khaman is “not yet” ready to be served. Let us add the “tadka”!