by Shumaila

Khaman Dhokla is a very tasty Indian snack made from gram flour. It is a dish typical to the western state of Gujarat in India, but enjoyed all over India. Traditionally, chickpeas, or gram flour in some recipes, are soaked overnight. This paste is fermented for four to five hours, then is spiced by adding red chilli powder, ginger and baking soda. The dhokla is then steamed for about 15 minutes on a flat dish and cut into pieces. Once done, mustard seeds, green chillies are tempered in oil and along with a little sugar and water, poured over the dhokla. Garnished with fried green chillies, coriander and sometimes grated coconut, it is best served with tamarind and mint-coriander chutneys and a hot cup of tea!

Now, we don’t have the luxury of buying freshly made Dhokla from the local sweet shop here. We had been getting our doze of Dhokla off frozen boxes available in an Indian store in Phoenix. I know! The horror! hate frozen stuff but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and when it came to no Dhokla Vs. Frozen Dhokla, the latter won. Sigh!

But things are gonna change from now on- thanks to my in-laws who gave me these amazing books on microwave cooking. I made the Dhoklas at home today! And I still can’t believe what a snap they were to make. I mean, I made it for V’s breakfast- they were that quick. While he took a shower to get ready for work- I was done with making the Dhoklas! Half groggy and sleepy at 6.30 in the morning, the Dhoklas came together in under 15 minutes! Woop woop! And they taste so good- so much better than the frozen kinds! Double woop! 🙂


Adapted from Nita Mehta’s Vegetarian Microwave Cookbook

Serves 6


1 1/2 cups besan (gram flour)

1 cup water, 1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp green chilli paste ( I had none, so I used red chilli powder)

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp soda bi-carb or baking soda

1 1/2 tsp eno fruit salt (as recommended by my mom-in-law I upped the amount to 2 tsp)

2 tsp lemon juice


2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds

2-3 green chillies- slit into long pieces

1/4 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup water

1 tbsp sugar


  1. Grease a 7″ diameter round, flat dish with oil. Keep aside. (You can also use a rectangular dish with comparable volume.)
  2. Sift gram flour through the sieve to make it light and free of any lumps.
  3. Mix the gram flour, water, oil, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, chilli paste, ginger paste and water to a smooth batter.
  4. Add eno fruit salt and baking soda to the batter and pour lemon juice over it. Beat well for a few seconds.
  5. Immediately pour this mixture in the greased dish. Microwave uncovered for 6 minutes. Remove from the microwave and keep aside.
  6. To temper, microwave oil, green chillies, mustard seeds, water, sugar and vinegar for 4 1/2 minutes. Pour over the dhokla and wait for 1/2 hour to absorb it and to turn soft.
  7. Cool and cut into 1 1/2″ pieces.
  8. Sprinkle chopped coriander/cilantro. Serve.