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Soft and Spongy Khaman Dhokla- Savory Gram Flour Steamed Cakes


 Soft and Spongy Khaman Dhokla- Savory Chickpea Flour Steamed Cakes

Today's recipe is Khaman Dhokla- a healthy steamed savory cake made with gram flour/besan.  Are you looking for a healthy and filling breakfast? Then why not try this classic Gujarati breakfast. Khaman dhokla has a perfect spongy texture and is delightfully light and fluffy. The pretty yellow hue is from turmeric powder. It is a simple and unassuming snack, sweet and tangy, with a hint of spice. It is a guilt-free breakfast made with minimal ingredients and tastes delicious. These fluffy savory bites are also perfect for entertaining as a filling snack or appetizer. This recipe is an instant version with no fermenting and will be ready in under 30 minutes. Does this sound exciting? Then check the recipe, it is super simple. You are going to love this one!

The first time I checked the recipe for dhokla, it sounded similar to South Indian idlis. Many Indian stores have snack bars where you can buy Khaman Dhokla. There are different variations of dhokla. The traditional Dhokla rice and lentils are soaked, and the batter is fermented overnight just like idli batter. It is steamed, and tempering is added before serving. Khaman Dhokla is an instant one made with gram flour/ besan or chickpea flour. Fruit salt is the leavening agent, and it makes the khaman dhokla soft and spongy. Khaman dhokla is brighter and deeper yellow, while dhokla is whitish. To make the instant version, you will need fruit salt . ENO or fruit salt contains baking soda, citric acid, and salt. Fruit salt instantly makes the batter light and airy. 


The steamed dhokla with the spiced tempering is delectable, super-moist with a rich flavorful taste. The  dhokla is seasoned with chilies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, and curry leaves.  It is garnished with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut. Dhokla slices taste delicious when served with freshly made coriander coconut chutney or tomato garlic chutney. 

To make instant dhokla, fruit salt is a necessary ingredient. You can buy fruit salt from the Indian grocery store. The common alternatives to fruit salt are baking powder, citric acid, and lemon juice. If you are using baking powder, let it rest for two hours before steaming. Pour the batter into a greased plate or baking pan, and steam in a traditional steamer for 20 minutes or in the Instant Pot by selecting the steam function. Move the valve to the venting position and setting the pressure to high.



Soft and Spongy Dhokla- Savory Chickpea Flour Steamed Cakes

Gram flour- 2 cup
Semolina- 2 tbs
Lemon juice- 1 tbs
Eno/fruit salt-tsp
Ginger paste- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Water- 1 1/4 cup
Yogurt- 1/4 cup
Sugar- 2 tsp
Salt to taste
oil- 1/2 tsp

For tempering
Oil - 2 tbs
Water-1/2 cup
Curry leaves- a few
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/8 tsp
Sugar- 1 tbs
Green chilly- 3-4
Chopped coriander- 3 tbs
Hing- a pinch
Grated coconut- 3-4 tbs

In a large mixing bowl, combine gram flour, semolina, turmeric powder, sugar, and salt. It is good to sieve the dry ingredients for a lighter texture and ingredients to mix well. Add water, ginger paste, lemon juice, and yogurt and combine to make a lump-free pour-able batter. Use a hand mixer or a whisk and beat the batter for two minutes or until light and fluffy. This step will help incorporate air into the batter. Do this before adding baking soda or fruit salt.

Heat the steamer and boil the water. Grease the dhokla plate with oil and put it over the steamer stand. When the water is boiling, add the fruit salt and two tablespoons of water into the batter and give it a quick mix. The batter will become frothy. Pour this batter into the greased plate cover and steam for 15 minutes. Once cooking is done, let it sit in the steamer undisturbed for 4-5 minutes. Remove the lid and let it cool down completely. Run a knife around the edges and invert it into a plate and cut into small cubes.

Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and when the seeds start crackling, add chopped green chilies, asafoetida, and mix well. Sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds and add water, sugar, and salt. Pour the tempering over the dhoklas and garnish with chopped coriander, fried green chilly, and grated fresh coconut.


You might also like,

Crispy Masala Dosa-South Indian Crepes with Potato Filling
Chakka Puttu- Steamed Jack fruit Puttu
Mixed Vegetable Upma
Karikku Appam/Tender Coconut Appam
Easy Quinoa Egg Bhurji - Spicy Indian Scrambled Eggs 

Try it,

Hope you will all enjoy!


  1. What a lovely savoury cake! The spice topping and fresh grated coconut garnishes are perfect for the cake. Does fruit salt function as baking soda here?

    1. Thanks Angie :) Yes, fruit salt can be replaced with baking soda.

  2. perfectly made dear, yummy pics as well !!


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