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Serves: 4

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
For Vaghar:
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To make Dhokla, lightly grease 2 metal pie dishes with cooking spray or oil.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.