Khaman Dhokla: A Delicious Gujarati Delicacy

Khaman Dhokla: A Delicious Gujarati Delicacy

Khaman Dhokla, often simply referred to as dhokla, is a savory, spongy snack that originates from the Indian state of Gujarat. This delightful dish has gained immense popularity across India and among Indian communities worldwide due to its unique texture, taste, and nutritional benefits. Made from fermented rice and chickpea batter, khaman dhokla is not only a culinary delight but also a testament to the rich and diverse food culture of Gujarat.

History and Origin

The history of dhokla can be traced back to ancient Gujarat, where it was a staple breakfast item and snack. Over the centuries, various versions of dhokla have evolved, but khaman dhokla stands out for its distinct preparation method and flavor profile. Unlike traditional dhokla, which is made using rice and chickpea batter, khaman dhokla is primarily made from gram flour (besan), making it softer and more spongy.


The primary ingredients for khaman dhokla include:

  • Gram flour (besan)
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Green chilies
  • Ginger paste
  • Eno fruit salt (or baking soda)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Grated coconut

Preparation Method

  1. Batter Preparation: Start by mixing gram flour with water to form a smooth batter. Add lemon juice, sugar, salt, green chilies, and ginger paste to the batter. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
  2. Fermentation: The batter is allowed to ferment for a few hours. However, for an instant version, Eno fruit salt or baking soda is added just before steaming. This helps the batter rise and makes the dhokla fluffy.
  3. Steaming: Pour the batter into a greased steaming tray or thali. Steam the batter for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Tempering: In a small pan, heat some oil and add mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle, add curry leaves and green chilies. Pour this tempering over the steamed dhokla.
  5. Garnishing: Garnish the dhokla with freshly chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut. Cut into squares or diamond shapes and serve with green chutney.


While the classic khaman dhokla is a favorite, there are several variations that cater to different tastes and preferences. Some popular variations include:

  • Rava Dhokla: Made with semolina (rava) instead of gram flour, giving it a slightly different texture and flavor.
  • Khatta Dhokla: Prepared using rice and urad dal, this version has a tangy taste due to the use of sour yogurt or buttermilk.
  • Sandwich Dhokla: Layers of white dhokla and khaman dhokla sandwiched together, often with a layer of green chutney in between.
  • Moong Dal Dhokla: Made with split yellow moong dal, this variation is light and rich in protein.

Serving Suggestions

Khaman dhokla is typically served with an array of accompaniments that enhance its flavor. Popular sides include:

  • Green Chutney: Made from fresh coriander, mint leaves, green chilies, and lemon juice, this chutney adds a refreshing and spicy kick.
  • Tamarind Chutney: A sweet and tangy chutney made from tamarind pulp, jaggery, and spices, providing a delightful contrast to the savory dhokla.
  • Fried Green Chilies: Slit green chilies shallow-fried in oil, often served alongside for an extra spicy option.
  • Chai: A cup of hot masala chai (spiced tea) is a perfect beverage to enjoy with khaman dhokla, balancing its flavors with warmth and spice.

Health Benefits

Khaman dhokla is not only delicious but also nutritious. It is a good source of protein due to the gram flour and is low in calories, making it a healthy snack option. The fermentation process enhances its nutritional value by increasing the availability of nutrients and improving digestion. Additionally, the use of minimal oil in its preparation ensures that it remains light and easy on the stomach.

Cultural Significance

In Gujarat, khaman dhokla is more than just a snack; it is a part of the region’s cultural identity. It is commonly served during festivals, family gatherings, and special occasions. The dish has also found a place in the menus of Indian restaurants worldwide, symbolizing the global reach of Gujarati cuisine.

Khaman Dhokla in Modern Cuisine

Khaman dhokla has transcended traditional boundaries and found its place in modern cuisine. Chefs and food enthusiasts have experimented with this versatile dish, incorporating it into fusion recipes and innovative presentations. Some modern takes on khaman dhokla include:

  • Dhokla Chaat: A street food favorite, where khaman dhokla is topped with tangy tamarind chutney, spicy green chutney, yogurt, and sev (crunchy chickpea noodles), garnished with fresh coriander and pomegranate seeds.
  • Dhokla Sandwich: A creative snack where slices of dhokla are used as bread, filled with a variety of fillings such as chutneys, vegetables, and cheese.
  • Dhokla Salad: A healthy option where crumbled dhokla is mixed with fresh vegetables, herbs, and a light dressing, creating a nutritious and flavorful salad.

Khaman dhokla is a delightful and healthy snack that beautifully represents the essence of Gujarati cuisine. Its spongy texture, tangy flavor, and aromatic tempering make it a favorite among people of all ages. Whether enjoyed as a breakfast item, an evening snack, or a party appetizer, khaman dhokla continues to win hearts with its simplicity and taste. So, the next time you crave something light yet flavorful, try making khaman dhokla and experience a piece of Gujarat on your plate.

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