Khaman Dhokla (a very Gujarati dish)

Today, I am going to share the recipe for Khaman Dhokla with you, originally a very typically Gujarati dish, now available and eaten in most parts of India.

(generously serves 2 people)

This dish is made of chickpea dahl known as chana ni dahl in Gujarati and rice and eaten either as a starter or a main course and is often garnished with fresh, chopped coriander; it can also be eaten with a tomato or coriander chutney.


0.5 mug chickpea dahl / chana ni dahl
1 fistful Basmati rice
3 tbsps sunflower oil
2 heaped tsps ginger (grated)
1 heaped tsp green chilli (ground)
2 tsps salt
1 big pinch turmeric powder
2 tsps Eno Fruit Salts powder
a handful of desiccated coconut
a handful of fresh, washed and chopped coriander (optional)

For the Tarka:

2 tsps sunflower oil
2.5 tsps mustard seeds


Chickpea dahl looks like this out of the packet:

1. Wash the chickpea dahl well in warm water. While washing, put your hands into the dish of water and rub the chickpea dahl firmly but carefully between the palm of your hands so that you get rid of any oils on the chickpea dahl. Once the water gets cloudy, change the water to clear warm water and repeat the above process 3 times in total until the water runs clear.

2. Wash the rice in the same way.

3. Mix the rice and chickpea dahl together and leave to soak in a dish/big bowl of warm water overnight or for at least 6 hours, at room temperature. Make sure that the warm water is at least 1 inch above the chickpea dahl and rice mix in the dish/bowl and make sure that they are covered with a lid.

4. The next morning or 6 hours later …
Get rid of the water from the dish/bowl and wash it through with some fresh, clean water a couple of times until the water in the dish/bowl runs clear. Throw the water away and place the soaked chickpea dahl and rice mix into a large grinder or a blending jug. (We use a Kenwood one at home.)

5. Add half a mug of cold water to the mixture in the blending jug and whizz it all together until the chickpea dahl and rice mix is nearly a very smooth consistency. It does not matter if it feels slightly granular.

6. At this stage, add in the 3 tbsps sunflower oil and mix it in well.

7. Leave the mixture to stand (cover it with a lid) for at least 2 to 3 hours though it can be left for about 6 hours outside before the Khaman Dhokla are steamed if the room temperature is below 25 degrees C. If all the batter is not used, you may leave the mixture in the fridge for up to a day.

8. Once the mixture has been left to stand, remove the lid and add in the following ingredients: the ginger, green chillies, salt and turmeric. Mix well.

9. Lightly oil with sunflower oil, a steel plate about 1 inch or more deep, about 8 inches in diameter.

10. Fill your steamer with boiling water only one-third of the way up from the bottom. Place it on the hob and leave to boil on a medium to high heat while you carry out stage 11.

11. Pour half the batter into a separate bowl and add in 1 tsp Eno powder and mix well. Immediately pour the mixture into the oiled, steel plate.

12. As soon as you have done this place the steel plate with the mixture in it on the supporting plate in the steamer and cook it with the lid closed. Cook on a medium to high heat for 5 minutes and then on a medium heat for 15 minutes.

13. Take off the lid and check that it is cooked by piercing a knife into the cooked Khaman Dhokla. If it comes out clear, it is cooked. Another way to check, is to taste some and if it does not stick to your teeth, then it is done.

14. In a small pan, for the tarka, heat the 2 tsps oil on a medium to high heat and when heated, add in 2.5 tsps mustard seeds. You will know they are done when they start to pop. Take off the heat.

15. Take out the steel plate from the steamer and let it cool for a few minutes.

(The one above has a piece cut out of it that has been tasted to see if the khaman dhokla are cooked :) )

16. Sprinkle half of the tarka from stage 14 on top of the cooked plate of khaman dhokla and make sure it is spread as evenly as possible. At this stage you can also sprinkle some desiccated coconut and the chopped coriander on top.

17. Cut the Khaman Dhokla into diamond shaped pieced about 2 inches long each side with the blunt side of a butter knife so as to keep the shape of the Khaman Dhokla. These are now ready to serve and eat, ideally but not necessarily, with sev (spicy Indian vermicelli).

18. With the batter/mixture that has to be cooked, repeat the process from stage 9.

So there you have it! I hope you have enjoyed this instalment of Gujarati Food Made Easy.

'Til next time ... enjoy!
Bon app├ętit! … xx


  1. Wow.......... these look and sound amazing! Great explanation. Thanks for sharing.


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