Dhokla is a steamed savory cake that tastes so good with chai and is also great to serve at parties! This popular snack is traditionally made by fermenting garbanzo bean-flour batter for hours, but in this instant pot version, you can have soft and spongy khaman within minutes. A combination of fruit salt (eno) and citric acid gives the perfect result every time.

Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Savory Chickpea-Flour Cakes) [Vegan]

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Serves

12-16 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups chickpea flour/besan
  • 2 tablespoons semolina/sooji
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 3 green chilies, 1 minced, 2 sliced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon citric acid
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon fruit salt, commonly known as eno
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoonlemon juice
  • Desiccated coconut, for garnish
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Preparation

  1. Lightly spray a 7- to 8-inch steel bowl with nonstick spray. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in the inner pot of your Instant Pot and then press the sauté button. Use the adjust button to set sauté to “more.” While the water boils, make the batter for the dhokla.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the chickpea flour, semolina, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric powder, grated ginger and 1 minced green chili. Mix well and then add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and rub with your fingers so that the oil mixes well with everything. Mix in the citric acid and baking soda, then add 1 cup of water. Mix for a couple of minutes until it is well combined.
  3. Finally, add the fruit salt (eno) and mix again until the batter is well combined; it will increase in volume after you add the fruit salt. Pour the batter into the prepared steel bowl and cover the container with foil.
  4. When the water in the Instant Pot is boiling, press the cancel button and then place the Instant Pot’s trivet inside the pot. Place the prepared bowl on top of the trivet. It’s very important to steam the dhokla as soon as you mix the fruit salt into the batter; do not wait or else the dhokla will not get spongy. Close the lid and then press the steam button. Set the time to 20 minutes, making sure the pressure valve is in the sealing position.
  5. Do a quick-pressure release. Carefully remove the pan from the Instant Pot. Remove the foil and let the dhokla sit for 10 minutes and then flip it over a serving plate. Let it cool on the plate and in the meantime, make the tadka.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop for a few seconds. Then add the sesame seeds and cook for 30 seconds until they start changing color. Add curry leaves and 2 sliced green chilies; the curry leaves will splutter a lot, so be careful and move away from the pan once you have added them.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat. Add 1/2 cup of water, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lemon juice, then put the pan back on medium heat. Let it all come to a boil, then remove from the heat. Cut the dhokla into pieces. Pour half of the prepared tadka over all of the dhokla pieces. It might look like a lot of water, but the flour will absorb it all and you need this much water for soft dhokla. Now pour the remaining half of the tadka onto the cut edges of the dhokla so that they get soft from all sides.
  8. Transfer the dhokla to a serving plate lined with a paper towel and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, sprinkle with the coconut and serve. Dhokla tastes great when chilled! It is also great to serve it with cilantro chutney.

Notes

You may substitute citric acid with 1 teaspoon of lime juice, but keep in mind that citric acid does give the best results. Using baking soda in place of fruit salt here is not recomended as it leads to a soapy taste. You can steam the khaman dhokla in advance and store in an airtight container. Prepare the tadka only 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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