How long can Dhokla be stored?
In this article, we will answer the question “How long can Dhokla be stored?”, and how to make Khaman Dhokla from scratch?
How long can Dhokla be stored?
Dhokla is a cereal based indian food. Cereals are grown in over 73% of the total world harvested area and contribute over 60% of the world food production providing dietary fiber, proteins, energy, minerals, and vitamins required for human health. Possible applications of cereals or cereal constituents in functional food formulations could be used as fermentable substrates for growth of probiotic microorganisms, especially lactobacilli and bifidobacteria or as dietary fiber promoting several beneficial physiological effects. It can also serve as a prebiotic due to their content of specific nondigestible carbohydrates or as encapsulation materials for a probiotic in order to enhance their stability (1).
Dhokla lasts about 7 days at room temperature if kept in an air-tight container, away from direct heat and sunlight. In a study, dhokla was stored for 8 days and had losses of overall acceptability, moisture and softness (2).
Dhokla is a cereal based fermented product, a mixture of rice and chickpea flour is also used as the substrate for the fermentation. The fermented batter is poured into a greased pie tin and steamed in an open steamer. As in other indigenous fermented foods, a significant improvement in the biological value and net protein utilization of Dhokla due to fermentation has been reported. Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Streptococcus faecalis, Torulopsis candida, T. pullulans are the major microorganisms involved in Dhokla fermentation. It is used as steamed cake for breakfast or as snack food. Dhokla is a legume based fermented food made with barley, oats and other ingredients that may vary, depending on the region (3).
How to make Khaman Dhokla from scratch?
- 1.5 cups gram flour (besan), 180 grams
- 1 tablespoon Rava (or semolina) – optional
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1.5-inch ginger crushed to a fine paste in a mortar-pestle
- 1.5 teaspoons chopped green chilies crushed to a fine paste in a mortar-pestle
- 2 to 3 pinches turmeric powder
- 1 to 2 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 tablespoon oil – any neutral oil or peanut oil
- 1.5 to 2 teaspoons Eno (fruit salt) or ½ to ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt or as required
- 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice or ⅓ to ½ teaspoon pure food grade citric acid
- 1 cup water or add as required
- 2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil or peanut oil
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds – optional
- 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves – about 10 to 12 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies (optional)
- 2 teaspoons sugar or add as required
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoon grated fresh coconut
Making Khaman batter
- Add 2-3 teaspoons of oil in a steamer pan and swirl it around so that it spreads evenly.
- Take besan or gram flour in a mixing bowl or pan. Stir in turmeric powder, asafoetida, lemon juice, ginger paste, green chilies paste, sugar, oil, and salt.
- Then mix in 1 cup of water so that a thick paste with a flowy consistency is formed. You may need less or more water to reach the required consistency depending upon your flour.
- Stir in the Rara or sooji (semolina). Mix well until a smooth and thick batter forms. Add 1-2 tbsp besan if the mixture becomes too runny.
- Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water in a steamer pan or electric cooker or stove-top pressure cooker. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Adjust the amount of water according to the size of the steamer or pressure cooker.
- Now mix in the Eno or fruit salt. Mix the batter vigorously so that the salt is distributed evenly in the batter. You need to be quick at mixing the salt with the rest of the batter.
- When the salt is mixed and the batter has become frothy, pour the batter into the greased pan.
- Place the pan in a steamer or electric rice cooker or pressure cooker. Make sure the water is already boiling before you put it in the pan containing the batter. When using a pressure cooker, remove the vent weight/whistle from the lid and cover the cooker tightly with its lid.
- Steam for 15 to 20 minutes in an electric cooker and 12 to 15 minutes in a pan or pressure cooker, on medium to high heat.
- Check the doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the khaman. If the toothpick comes out wet, steam the batter for a bit longer.
- When the khaman has cooled down, run a knife along the inside edges of the pan. Cover with a tray or plate.
- Flip the khaman onto the serving plate. Slice and set it aside.
- Heat oil and mustard seeds in a pan.
- When the mustard seeds start to crackle, stir in the cumin seeds (optional), curry leaves, and chopped green chilies (optional). Add the sesame seeds and cook for a minute or two.
- Stir in the water being careful of the splashing and sizzling. To avoid any accident, turn off the heat while pouring the water.
- Then stir in the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil so that the sugar dissolves.
- Sprinkle chopped coriander seeds and grated coconut on top.
- Serve right away or store in an air-tight container.
Serve the sweet and sour fluffy cakes with any Indian chutney or chai.
- Pour the tempering and skip the coconut and coriander leaves for garnishing if you intend to eat your khaman after a few hours or the next day.
- Sprinkle some water on khaman before reheating. This will revive the freshness of the khaman. Steam for 1-2 minutes if you are using an instant pot for reheating.
Tips and variations
- Do not let the khaman batter sit for too long after adding the Eno salt or else the dhokla will turn out flat.
- Steam batter over medium instead of high heat to make the dhoklas spongy.
- Make Amiri khaman by pouring tempering over crumbled dhoklas and sprinkling it with Sev, pomegranate seeds, and cashew nuts.
In this article, we answered the question “How long can Dhokla be stored?”, and how to make Khaman Dhokla from scratch?
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Das, Arpita, Utpal Raychaudhuri, and Runu Chakraborty. Cereal based functional food of Indian subcontinent: a review. J food sci technol, 2012, 49, 665-672.
Ray, Sohini, Utpal Raychaudhuri, and Runu Chakraborty. Innovative formulation of fermented food (dhokla) and its characterization on storage property. J Food Measure Character, 2015, 9, 508-516.
Kumari, Suman, Prixit Guleria, and Nidhi Dangi. Cereal Based Beverages and Fermented Foods: A. Int J Enhance Res Sci Technol Eng, 2015, 4.