Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sooji Dhokla

My friend Shashi makes the best sooji dhoklas. They are so popular, that when we have potluck dinners, she is almost always asked to bring dhoklas. I have tried making them multiple times.  Mine are edible, but nowhere near as good as hers. Her secret to perfect dhoklas is really sour yogurt. I never plan well enough in advance to leave my yogurt out for it to get sour.

I make yogurt at home.  I don’t like the texture of store-bought yogurt.  Most of the time, my yogurt turns out to be perfect.  Last week, we had an unusually cold spell and my yogurt did not set.  So, I had to leave it out for longer than I normally would have.  Only, I forgot about it.  It stayed out for more than 48 hours and I was now left with a very sour batch of yogurt.  When life gives you sour yogurt, make dhoklas!

Ingredients for dhoklas:
  •  2 cups coarse sooji (cream of wheat or semolina)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 cup sour yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  •  salt to taste
  • a pinch of turmeric
  •  ½” piece ginger, grated
  •  2 green chilies, finely chopped
  •  2 tsp. Eno fruit salt
  • non stick cooking spray

To make dhoklas:

1.     Mix the sooji, oil, turmeric, and salt
2.     Add the ginger, green chilis, salt, and yogurt.
3.     Add water to the above mixture till you get the consistency of idli or thick pancake batter.
4.     Let this sit for 15 – 30 minutes.
5.     In the meantime, grease the dhokla plates with nonstick spray.
6.     Bring a little bit of water to boil in your pressure cooker or stock pot.
7.     Mix the batter thoroughly and add more water or yogurt if it has become too thick.
8.     Add the Eno fruit salt and mix again.
9.     Pour this batter immediately into the dhokla plates taking care to fill them only about 1/2 to 2/3rd of the way.
10. Place the dhokla stand in the cooker and steam for 15 – 20 minutes.  Do not let the pressure build.
11. Take the dhoklas out and let them cool for some time.

Ingredients for tadka (tempering):

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • ½ tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • Few curry leaves
  • Few cilantro sprigs

1.    Wash and chop the cilantro and curry leaves and spread it on the dhoklas
2.    Heat oil in a small saucepan.
3.    When it is hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing and green chilis.
4.    When the mustard seeds sputter, turn off the stove and sprinkle this evenly on the dhoklas

To serve:

Cut the dhoklas into desired shape and arrange on a plate.  Serve hot with cilantro/mint chutney.

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