Steamed Savory Cakes with Rice and Dal (split pigeon peas)
- 1 cup uncooked rice and ⅓ cup split pigeon peas (toovar dal) or 1 ½ cups Dhokla flour
- ⅓ cup yogurt or ½ cup buttermilk
- Water as needed
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to test
- 1 teaspoon sugar or to test
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 jalapeno or Serrano chili or to taste, finely minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Pinch of asafetida powder
- Pinch of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Combine rice and dal in a mixing bowl. Wash rice and dal few times until water is clear. Let rice and dal soak fully covered in water (about 3 cups) for 6 to 8 hours or until rice and dal is soft.
- Drain water from rice and dal mixture. Grind rice and dal in a blender in batches of ½ cup to ¾ cup. Add yogurt (or buttermilk) and water as needed to move the contents of blender to make a thick batter. With flour, make a thick batter with water and yogurt or buttermilk. Cover tightly and let it ferment overnight or up to 24 hours in cold weather.
- To make Dhokla, lightly grease 2 metal pie dishes with cooking spray or oil.
- Add chilies, ginger, turmeric powder, salt and sugar in the batter. Add baking soda and mix everything well. Pour the batter into pie dishes until ⅔ full and put it into a steamer two at a time or one by one and cook it for 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean. Remove dish(es) from a steamer and let it stand for 10 minutes. Cut it into small squares.
- Heat oil in a small soup pot on a medium high heat. Add mustard seeds let it sizzle. Lower the heat to medium and add a pinch of asafetida powder and sesame seeds. Add steamed squares and stir the contents until Dhokla are covered with spices. Keep it on heat for 1 to 2 minutes, covered with lid. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with garlic or cilantro chutney.
You can also make dhokla from ready to make packs available in Indian grorcery stores.