Baker's Canvas is back after a long break (with another vow to be more regular) and wishes her readers a Happy Ramazan. The month of Ramazan is here and a whole new set of cookery begins in this month, the preparation of Sehri and Iftar. So what is one dish that you can't do without on your table for Sehri and Iftar?
I introduce here the Dhokla, a very beautiful name for a scrumptious Gujrati dish, which can be served at Iftar. Originally, dhoklas are steamed in a basin of water. I tried to find out whether it can be baked or not, but the best teacher is experience, so here is the baked version of Dhokla. I'll include the steaming method as well, but since I haven't tried it myself, so no guarantee if it works or not, even though there is plenty of evidence in Gujratis that it does work. Even my quest on the baked dhokla among Gujrati friends came up with the answer that they always steam it.
The recipe is adapted from Manjula's Kitchen.
1 cup sooji (semolina flour)
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup water as needed
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of turmeric (haldi)
1 green chili finely chopped
2 ttbsp fine chopped cilantro (hara dhania)
1 tsp baking soda
Seasoning (The bhagar or tarka):
2 tbsp of oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seed
2 green peppers chopped into about 1/4 inch pieces
Mix the sooji, yogurt, salt, lemon juice, green chili, and cilantro together in a bowl and make a smooth batter; add more water if needed. Mix well so that there are no lumps and the batter is of pouring consistency. Allow batter to rest for an hour.
After 50 minutes (of resting batter), preheat oven at 150 C/300 F. Grease a cake pan and set aside.
After the batter has rested for an hour, add the baking soda and mix. The batter will foam up. Quickly pour into the cake pan and put in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until done (a skewer inserted comes out clean ). It may take more depending on your oven. When done, let cool to room temperature, cut dhokla into diamonds or triangles.
Prepare seasoning. Heat oil and add the mustard seed and green chilli. Heat until aromatic. Pour over the dhokla. Serve with green mint chutney.
Dhokla can be refrigerated, before serving heat dhokla in microwave oven.
While the dhokla batter is resting take a pan larger than the cake pan. Put a cooling rack (or a small bowl of the same height) in the pan, pour some water (should just reach touch the top of rack or bowl) and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Mix baking soda in the batter, pour in cake pan and place pan over the cake rack or bowl. Cover the complete setup so as not to let the steam escape. Cook for 10 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Follow rest of the steps as above.