Friday, 28 September 2012

Rabbit Recipes: Dhokla Muffins

Dhokla is a Gujarati steamed fluffy savoury cake made with gram flour and topped with mustard seeds, desiccated coconut and coriander. As they're steamed and made from protein-rich chick pea flour, they're one of the few relatively healthy Gujarati snack foods and are very, very popular with Bartimaeus, my mum, and most folks who try them. There's a lot of different kinds, and different levels of difficulty in making them. It's possible to just buy a Gits packet and add water but having tried this recipe, I really don't see the point and it's much cheaper this way. In place of "curd" I used greek yoghurt and used 2 tsp baking powder instead of "eno fruit salt", but I think using probiotic yoghurt would work to help the batter rise too. I also omitted the ground green chillies and put a pinch of red chilli in there instead.


I can't really take any credit for this recipe, because it's not mine. However, what I can take credit for the presentation/method. Previously, I've used my mother in law's steaming technique of pouring the batter into a foil lined steamer and hoping for the best. This is pretty disastrous - it's a wet batter, and most of it leaks, you have to stab holes in the foil which don't really work and there isn't enough air then circulating for the dhokla to rise nicely. You end up with a sad, flat, wet yellow pancake and no fluffiness at all.

But when thinking up recipes as I drifted off to sleep one day (as I am wont to do) I realised silicone muffin cups would solve all this - and result in cute little individual dhoklas. I would recommend greasing the liners with a little oil/ghee (especially in the edges/nooks as that's where the most sticking happens) and leaving to cool before turning out. Each set of 8 muffins took me about 6-8minutes to steam and the recipe I've linked to made over 30 of the lovely little things.

With the topping

The traditional way to eat them is with Gujarati green chutney but I didn't have any (!) so I served them with sweet chilli-mango sauce (a hybrid of sweet chilli sauce and mango chutney. it is so much awesomeness!) and chilli ketchup.

Whilst they're technically a snack, they're breadlike and I think can be used in the place of blander carbohydrates quite easily. We had them with my Indian spiced scrambled eggs (which I will post about another day) for a tasty twist on brunch. I like the idea of dunking them in soups - lentil, carrot and coriander, chilli bean. And I want to experiment with fillings - particularly a chilli paneer centre, but I think I'd need to make full sized muffins to get enough structure to hold it (watch this space). They're definitely going to be a staple in the Rabbit-Bartimaeus household!

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