Recipe for khaman dhokla

Serves 4

Adding ginger and garlic to this recipe, which is traditionally made without either, gives this dish even more flavor.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 jalapeno peppers or other green chiles
1 clove garlic
1 piece (½ inch) fresh ginger
1 cup chickpea flour
¼ teaspoon red chile powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¾ teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon citric acid crystals
Salt to taste
¼ cup fresh, grated coconut
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Eno’s Fruit Salt
½ teaspoon mustard seed
½ teaspoon black sesame seed
2 dried red chiles
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice

1. Set up a large pot: At the bottom, place a small bowl that can work as a stand for the dish. Pour 1 inch of water into the pot and heat on low while you prepare the batter. Rub 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 9-inch round pie pan or other baking dish that fits easily into the pot.

2. In a mortar or food processor, work 1 green chile with the garlic and ginger into a fine paste.

3. In a bowl, use your fingers to blend the chickpea flour, red chile powder, turmeric powder, sugar, citric acid crystals, salt, coconut, coriander, and fresh chile paste. Add ¾ cup of the water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Quickly mix in the Fruit Salt; the batter will become fluffy and yellow. Pour the batter into the dish and place it carefully in the steamer.

4. Cover the pot and steam for 4 to 6 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Carefully lift the dish from the pot. Invert a plate on top and turn the plate and dish right side up. Tap the dish to release the cake.

5. In a small heavy skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the mustard seed and when they start popping add the sesame seed, red chiles, and remaining 2 jalapenos. Stir quickly and turn off the heat.

6. Let the oil cool slightly. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup water, sugar, and lime juice. Spoon over the cake, spreading it evenly. Make 4 cuts in the cake in both directions to shape 1-inch squares. Serve hot. Adapted from “Tiffin: Memories and Recipes of Indian Vegetarian Food”

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