You must have tried dhokla. Kitchen Chemistry behind khaman dokhla is similar to idli. It is made of besan and so is good source of protein. Since dhokla is steamed and not fried, it may be taken by people looking to lose weight. Fermented foods are easier to digest. This helps enable a healthy gut flora and an improved digestion.
Take besan, gram flour, sieve it so that you are adding air in flour. Add to it water slowly so that there are no lumps remaining. Mix it well. Enough air should go in the batter. Then add to it lemon juice and curd (this helps in adding required acid and lactobacilli) Fermentation of batter is carried out by Lactobacillus or lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria with oxygen in air and sugar/starch they form carbon-dioxide, water and lactic acid. Water dissolves in batter and carbon dioxide forms bubbles and batter swells. This carbon dioxide should be trapped in batter then add ginger, chilli paste again mix well and keep aside for 1 to 2 hours. Then add baking soda, leavening agent and salt and sugar to batter. Since we are not keeping it for long time to ferment (it becomes sour) we add baking soda to swell along with curd for fermentation. Mix gently without allowing carbon dioxide to leave the batter. Pour in the pan. Steam like idli.
Tips: Do not keep batter for long time after adding baking Soda, otherwise dhokla will not be spongy. Do not steam it on high flame otherwise it will not cook from inside.
In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and sliced green chillies. Let it splutter. Then pour on steamed dhokla. Garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves.
Enjoy cooking! Happy learning !
Author of this article is Vrinda Borker.