Khatta Dhokla ~ Delicious Gujarati Recipe with Grandmother Geeta Hamlai

by on March 15, 2013

Talk of Gujarati food and one of the first things that comes to mind is the varieties of dhokla, a delicious snack with fermented lentil flour. Among these, the Khatta dhokla is one of the most popular variety. Most Gujarati homes keep the dhokla flour in stock at all times.


Khatta Dhokla - Gujarati recipe


  • Rice – 2 cups
  • Whole Black gram, husked (Udad) – ½ cup
  • To tweak this into a Jain recipe, use ginger powder instead of fresh ginger. My Jain friends can also prepare this recipe during Paryushan week by substitute green chillies with dry red chillies, fresh curry leaves with dried ones, and fresh coconut with khopra.
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Sour curds – ¼ cup
  • Green chillies – 2-4
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece

The Tempering:

  • Mustard – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida powder – a pinch
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Fruit salt – 2 tsps
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – 1-2 sprigs, chopped fine
  • Coconut – 1-2 tablespoons, grated
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste


1. To make the dhokla flour, wipe the rice and gram with a damp cloth, allow to dry and grind in a flour mill like semolina (Bombay rava). This can be preserved in larger quantities for months and used as and when needed.
2. Combine the dhokla flour, fenugreek seeds and curds. Mix well and allow to ferment overnight.
3. Next morning, check the consistency of the mixture which should be like idly or cake batter. Add more water if required. Pound two chillies with the ginger, mix into the batter along with salt. Now add the fruit salt into the mixture and mix gently.
4. Grease a plate or dhokla plates with a little oil and immediately pour in the mixture up to a height of 1 inch. Shake the plate gently to ensure the mixture is evenly distributed.
5. Steam the mixture in a steamer or idly cooker for 8-10 minutes. Insert the edge of a knife into the steamed mixture. If the mixture does not stick to the knife, then it is done. Otherwise, allow to cook for a few more minutes.
6. Allow to cool and cut into diamond shaped pieces. Set aside.
7. For the tempering, heat the oil and add the mustard. When the mustard starts spluttering, add the asafoetida powder, curry leaves and 1-2 julienned green chillies. Switch off the flame.
8. Garnish the dhoklas with the tempering and sprinkle the sugar on top. Garnish with the coriander leaves and grated coconut.


Serve as a tea time snack or as a starter dish to a meal along with coriander-mint chutney.


This recipe was first published in The Great Granny Diaries – a column in Harmony Magazine. Part-1 of this post is the interview with Geeta Hamlai, a Gujarati great-granny from Raipur.


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