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Khaman Dhokla — Step-by-step Recipe

Khaman Dhokla — Step-by-step Recipe

Khaman Dhokla is a favourite snack/breakfast dish of mine. It is a Gujarati dish. I have a deep influence of Gujarat and Gujarati food in my life. Some of my best friends back in my MBA days were Gujarati. I stayed as a paying guest at a Gujarati lady’s house who cooked some lovely delicacies of the region for me. That is how I developed my taste for Gujarati food. Later, I got my first job in Ahmedabad which is a foodie heaven. I also travelled extensively through Gujarat. So well, Khaman Dhokla, that succulent, sweet, sour, spicy melt-in-the-mouth delicacy has always been a favourite of mine.

khaman dhokla 7

So much so that when I got married and went for the first time to Hyderabad, my dear husband promptly found a Gujarati shop where I could get fresh dhokla on Sundays. Pure happiness!

This recipe is for those times when you wish to make it at home. It is not difficult but you have to keep in mind a few tips and tricks. So here goes:

Makes a plateful of dhokla

Serves 4


2 cups besan (gram flour)

2 tbsp. green chilly – ginger paste

2 tbsp. Lemon juice

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

2 tsp. Eno fruit salt

2 tbsp. Sugar

Salt to taste

1 cup warm water

For the seasoning:

1 sprig curry leaves

1 tsp. mustard seeds

2 pinches asafoetida

3-4 split green chillies

2 tbsp. oil

2 tbsp. sugar

Some water


Chopped coriander leaves

Grated fresh coconut


Khaman Dhokla 1
Make a batter of gram flour with warm water

Sieve gram flour into a bowl or large pan. This helps remove any hard bits. Now make a paste by adding in warm water slowly. Keep whisking till it is a smooth, slightly runny batter.

khaman dhokla 2
Add the salt, sugar, turmeric, ginger-chilly paste

Now add the sugar, salt, turmeric powder, ginger-chilly paste and lemon juice and mix well. Keep aside for about 15 minutes.

khaman dhokla 3
After adding the fruit salt

Before mixing in the fruit salt, keep a greased shallow plate or container ready. Just use oil to grease it. I used my pressure cooker container. Now take about 2-3 inches water in your cooker/steaming container and bring it to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and now get ready to add the fruit salt.

This must be done quickly. Add the fruit salt along with 1 tsp. water. You will see it froth instantly. Immediately mix it into the batter quickly by only mixing in one direction. You will see your batter become lighter, fluffier and almost double in size.

Batter poured into a greased pan
Batter poured into a greased pan

This is the only time that the batter will fluff up. Don’t leave it around waiting. Immediately pour the batter into the greased pan. Tap the container gently to level the batter and then put it in the steamer for steaming.

Let it steam for about 20 minutes. Check by inserting a knife in the centre to make sure it is cooked. If the knife comes out clean, your dhokla is cooked.

Spongy dhokla after steaming
Spongy dhokla after steaming

Take it out. Let it cool down a bit and scrape the sides with a knife which will help loosen the dhokla. Now release it on another plate.

After pouring the seasoning
After pouring the seasoning

Meanwhile, prepare the seasoning. Heat oil in a tadka (seasoning) pan. Put in the mustard seeds. Allow them to sputter. Now add the asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies and cook for a minute. Switch off the gas and then add 3 tbsp.of water along with 2 tbsp. sugar to the seasoning prepared. Dissolve the sugar. Now pour this gently all over your dhokla. Your dhokla will absorb this water and become super succulent. Cut it into pieces of your choice and serve after garnishing with coriander leaves and grated coconut.

Your spongy, moist dhokla is now ready to eat. Serve it hot with chutney. It is filling and delicious. Try it and let me know.


  1. You can increase the quantity of fruit salt if you want your dhokla even more spongy.
  2. You put water in the seasoning so that the dhokla absorbs it and becomes moist. Else, your dhokla will feel very dry when consuming.
  3. As mentioned above, remember to add the fruit salt and immediately put the dhokla for steaming else it will lose its aeration and become flat.
Green chana chaat/ Hara chana chaat

Green chana chaat/ Hara chana chaat

hara chana chaat

I absolutely love the fresh green chana (green gram) that you get for a very short period during winters. During my childhood, I remember my mom making this simple yet delcious chaat with it regularly when it was in season. The sweet taste and crunch of chana complemented perfectly by the sharp taste of green chillies, tomatoes and onions and the piquant tanginess of chat masala. Yum! Even as I type this, I feel my mouth water.

Here is the simple recipe much like the other chaats that we make with sprouts or other fresh produce:

4 generous servings


½ Kg. green chana fresh

1 onion finely chopped

2 tomatoes finely chopped

2 spicy green chillies finely chopped (vary as per your taste)

some freshly chopped coriander for garnish

1 tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. black salt

1 tsp. chaat masala

salt to taste


Toss all the ingredients together with the masalas and mix well. Have it immediately and savour its delightful flavours. It is a healthy, nutritious and yummy snack for any time and occasion. Enjoy!

Easy Poha recipe

Easy Poha recipe

Easy poha recipe

Poha is a favorite breakfast and snack in many parts of India. I had it for the first time when I came to live in Mumbai and immediately fell in love with it. It is really tasty especially with peanuts and potatoes and now with peas. And the best part, it is so very simple to cook. You will barely need 15 minutes if you have all the ingredients at hand.

Do try this simple recipe:


250 gm. thick poha (washed well and soaked in water for 5 minutes)

1 large onion finely chopped

2-3 green chillies split into half

1 boiled potato chopped into small pieces

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1 tsp. oil

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

3-4 cloves

1 small piece cinnamon

1 sprig curry leaves

1/2 tsp. hing or asafoetida

salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

coriander to garnish


Drain all water from the soaked poha and keep it in a colander for the remaining water to drain out. Heat oil in a kadhai, add in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow them to sputter. Now tip in the cloves, cinnamon, slit green chillies, hing and curry leaves and cook for a minute. Tip in the chopped onion and cook till it is transparent. Now add in the boiled potato and peas and cook a bit. Add in the drained poha, salt and turmeric and mix well. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Take it off the fire and pour lemon juice. I fry the peanuts separately in oil and then add to the poha while serving. That way they stay crunchy. But you could just fry them initially after sputtering the mustard and cumin.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

Some people also garnish with fresh grated coconut. Enjoy this hot snack as breakfast or snack!



Chicken nuggets – Indian style

Chicken nuggets – Indian style

Chicken nuggets Indian style

My kids love chicken nuggets, the husband as well. I mean they are pure golden goodness and yummy too. Though earlier, we tried making the frozen stuff from the bag, these days, I prefer to make them myself at home. You know they are not difficult to make or time consuming either. And, I prefer consuming fresh food. Needless to mention that it’s always very healthy and hygienic. It is tastier too. So here is my simple recipe of chicken nuggets with an Indian tadka.


500 gm. boneless chicken breast cut into pieces

1 tsp. black pepper powder

Some chopped coriander


¼ cup buttermilk

1 tsp. chilly powder

2 tsp. ginger garlic paste

Salt to taste

For the nuggets shell:

1 cup breadcrumbs

¼ cup flour

1 egg


Marinate your boneless chicken pieces in the marinade ingredients for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better.  Now drain out the liquid well. Make sure the pieces are almost dry.

Add some chopped coriander, ½ tsp. black pepper and chicken pieces and mince it in your food processor. The mince must be nice and moist but not runny. I always enjoy mincing it in my Morphy Richards Food Processor.

Chicken nuggets Indian style

Now to assemble, take your breadcrumbs in a plate.  I make my own breadcrumbs by throwing in a couple of slices of  bread in the blender. Just blend a little and you have great quality breadcrumbs. Season with some salt and pepper. But keep it less as the chicken already has its own salt and spices.

Take flour in a plate and whip the egg in another bowl.

Now using your hands, form the chicken mince in the shape of nuggets. Dip them gently in flour first, then in egg mix and in bread crumbs. Make all the nuggets in this manner.

Now either shallow fry on each side in a pan or deep fry them in hot oil. They are done in a few minutes. Take them out when golden brown and serve hot with the chutney of your choice.

This is a great recipe as a snack in the evening.

Samosa made in an Airfryer

Samosa made in an Airfryer

I recently bought the Philips Airfryer. I have been weighing this decision for the past several months since it was launched. It is a tempting product to buy because let’s face it we love our fried food. We all droll over those pakodas, fries, nuggets, kachoris and samosas. But the excessive calories due to deep frying makes us stay away. I have two growing sons, and they would love to have their fries and burgers more often. Hence, the lure of airfried food. Hopefully, the taste will be as good sans the ill effects of deep frying. I have been trying many dishes, and this is one of them. Of course, the recipe remains the same if you want to go for the conventional deep-frying method. All you’ll do in the end is deep fry the samosas to a crisp golden brown in hot oil instead of airfrying.

samosa airfryer



Maida/Refined flour 2 cups

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ajwain

4 tbsp. ghee/oil



2-3 medium size boiled potatoes

1 cup boiled peas

Dry masala

1 tsp. saunf (aniseed)

1 tsp. coriander seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

4-5 black pepper

I tsp. pomegranate seeds

1 tsp. chilly powder


1 green chilly

1/2 inch ginger

I tbsp. oil

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

salt to taste


Put the salt and ajwain seeds in the flour. Add in the oil or ghee and incorporate in the flour. It should become the consistency of bread crumbs. Now add water little by little to make a stiff dough for the shell. Keep covered for half an hour. Set aside.

samosa airfryer

Take a tbsp. of oil in a kadhai. Add in cumin seeds and allow them to sputter. Now add in green chilly and ginger paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped potatoes and peas to this mix and fry some more. Dry roast all the dry masalas and coursely grind them in mortar and pestle. Add in the this dry masala mix to the potato-peas mixture. Add salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.

samosa airfryer

To assemble the samosa, make balls from the maida dough. Now roll out a circle. Cut it into half. Use each half to form a cone by using water as a glue to form a pocket. Put one teaspoon of the cooled filling inside and seal the ends with water. Make all samosas in this manner. Brush lightly with oil and put in a preheated airfryer for about 8-10 minutes at 200 degrees C. Your samosas will be ready and golden brown. Unlike the flaky pastry of a conventional samosa, this one is way crunchier. But, the taste is great. I will try some other tricks to see if the pastry can be made more flaky in some manner with my next outings.

Overall, this is a tasty, much-healthier version of this much-loved Indian snack. Try it. Like I said earlier, you can use the same recipe and deep fry the samosas in hot oil for the good old taste.

Homemade wholewheat Chicken wrap

Homemade wholewheat Chicken wrap

Wraps are extremely satisfying. And, they are popular all around the world. Whether you have them as the Middle eastern shawarma, the Mexican burrito or the Mumbai Frankie, everyone loves them. I do enjoy eating them and more often than not I make them at home with chicken or paneer (cottage cheese). If you have some marinated chicken at home, then it is easy to throw together. You also get to make it with wholewheat roti instead of the maida ones that you get outside. This way they are healthier and can be had both for breakfast or for a hearty meal.

chicken wrap


(For about 6 wraps)

Marinated chicken breast

250 gm. Chicken breast cut in small pieces

2 tbsp. thick Yoghurt

1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste

1 tsp. chilly powder/fresh ground pepper

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1/2 garam masala powder

1 tsp. oil

salt to taste

Make a paste of the marinade. Marinate the chicken in this thick paste for at least 2 hours and even better overnight.

Sauteed vegetables:

You can use any vegetables that you like. I use capsicum, onion and tomatoes sliced and sauteed in a little oil with some salt and pepper. They must not become soggy and should retain their crunch. You may also keep them raw if you so like.
Wholewheat wrap:

I use chapati dough made with wholewheat flour and water.





Grill/pan cook your chicken breasts till they are done and have a nice coating on top. Cool and make thin slices.

chicken wrap

Keep the vegetables handy. Now roll out one paratha which is slightly bigger than your normal roti/paratha using a rolling pin. Cook it on the griddle by applying a tiny bit of oil on both sides. Take it off the griddle. Now to assemble the wrap, smear the paratha with mayonnaise and mustard. You may use mint chutney or any other sauces that you like.

chicken wrap

Put in the chicken and veggie filling. Now roll both the sides. Your chicken wrap is ready. Wholesome, delicious and very tasty, it makes a great meal. Your kids will love it too.

This is a very versatile wrap. You can substitute chicken with other fillings like cottage cheese, tofu etc. You can use different marinades as per your taste. You can also use mushroom, carrot, pickles in the wrap. Keep trying variations to enjoy this delicious old-world favorite.

Easy Plantain and potato patties

Easy Plantain and potato patties

I have been eating these patties or ‘kele ke kebab’ as they were called since childhood. I always enjoyed their simple flavors. Now my children love them. These are really easy to make and if you have boiled potatoes and plantains at hand then you can have them ready in a jiffy.

Makes about 16 patties


Boiled potatoes: 4 medium

Boiled plantains (kachche kele): 2

Roasted peanuts: 2 tbsp. toasted and lightly pounded

ginger-garlic-green chilly paste: 1.5 large tbsp.

chat masala — 1/2 tsp.

1/4 tsp. cumin seeds

Some fine rava for the coating

salt to taste




Boil the bananas and plantains together. Peel and mash when cooled.

Add all the ingredients to the mash except rava and make a mixture. You may add finely chopped coriander leavers or parsley to the mix for added flavor.


Now with your hands, make thin, round patties. Cook them on a non-stick tava or griddle with very little oil. I do put a coating of fine rava on both sides so that they get a crunchy exterior. Sometimes, I may even use bread crumbs in the mix for softer patties.


It just takes a couple of minutes on each side to get a lovely brown coating. Serve the patties hot as an evening snack along with ketchup or chutney. Goes really well with tea.


Honey glazed almonds with sesame — A sinfully tasty snack

Honey glazed almonds with sesame — A sinfully tasty snack

Honey glazed almonds with sesame
Honey glazed almonds with sesame

When I tasted honey glazed almonds for the first time, I was hooked to the sinfully delicious taste. The kids loved it too. And finally I got around to making it myself. Most people bake the almonds, but I took the easy and faster way out by roasting it on stove top. Trust me this nutrition intense snack is really simple to make. The difficult part is in keeping yourself away from eating more.


1 cup raw almonds

For the glaze:

1.5 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. jaggery

1/2 tsp. chilly flakes or chilly powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder

toasted almonds
Toasting the almonds in a pan


Toast the almonds on low flame for about 5-6 minutes till they are gently roasted and give off a lovely aroma. Now in a microwaveable bowl, add all the ingredients of the glaze. Put it in the microwave for just 30 seconds on the high so that everything mixes well. Now put in this glaze on the roasted almonds in the pan. Mix well and keep on medium flame for about a minute. Turn off the flame and immediately put the almonds on a foil. Let is cool for a couple of minutes by which time your glaze will harden on the almonds.

Honey glazed almonds
Glazed almonds left to cool

Now gently break the almonds apart and store in an airtight can. These are really yummy. And, it will be difficult to keep the kids away. Remember nuts are bursting with nutrition but they are also high calorie so snack carefully. Enjoy!

SmartEats Healthy Snacks – A review!

SmartEats Healthy Snacks – A review!

You know that time around 11 am or 4 pm is when I am most tempted to pick up some sinfully oily snack. Though, I am generally looking for a light meal at those times. And something tasty and healthy is on my mind, but the choices are really restricted. Mostly, I make do with cereal, fruit, or nuts. But there are times, when all of us crave our namkeens and mithais. So, when I first heard about SmartEats’ initiative about healthy snacks, I was raring to try them out. It is not as if I have not seen ’healthy’ snacks in the market before. But reading their nutritional labels reveals the real truth. I would rather snack on cream biscuits knowingly than eat those ‘healthy’ biscuits with hidden fats and maida.

And what tipped the scales for me is the fact that they have a nutritionist on board to help. Their philosophy about cooking with natural ingredients is what I wholeheartedly endorse. Hence, this range ought to be healthy and tasty for sure. So, I signed up to review SmartEats. Glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed!


The package arrived in a nice cardboard box, neatly labeled. Inside were 6 packs that comprised:


Fruity Granola bars: These are individually wrapped which are great for convenience. I loved the taste and so did the kids. These are definitely less sweeter and taste fresher than the other bars that I have tasted in the market. They have a nice taste of coconut as well as dates.

Honey cinnamon almonds: There were the yummiest of the lot. Very difficult to stop at 5-6 nuts, the taste of honey and cinnamon really works for almonds. A fabulous snack anytime. The only problem; what is one serving here?

Walnut brownie biscotti: These were again delicious though a bit hard and crumbly. But then biscotti are supposed to be that way. Go great with tea or coffee.

Baked namkeen mix of lentils and groundnuts: As I love namkeen more than sweet snacks, this was my favorite of the lot. It is quite filling and tastes  good too. You can instantly notice that it is not fried, as it leaves no oil in your hands. Have it by itself or with chopped veggies.

Fruity cashew Carribean cookies:  These were rich in taste with a lovely vanilla flavor and whole cashews that are delightfully chewy. Kids really enjoyed this one. Way better than any cookies that I’ve tasted. Is it because they used whole wheat flour instead of maida?

A small packed of Infusion tea: This looks nice but I haven’t tried it as yet.

The pluses:

  • Each pack comes with detailed nutritional information which is really good, as you know exactly what you are consuming.
  • All these snacks are made with natural ingredients with no additives. They are fresh, and that reflects in the taste too.
  • The individual wrappings and ziplocks make the snacks easy to store as well as carry along.
  • Each snack is tasty. It can be seen that in the quest for keeping them healthy, the taste has not been compromised.
  • You can order online and they ship it free of cost to your home!

What can be made better?

  • In my opinion, each serving must be individually packed. This is because it is very easy to go overboard when eating nuts or namkeen. How does one know where to stop? Also the nutritional information at the back of the pack must be for one serving. So that the consumer knows exactly what is going in with each serving.
  • The website says that a pre-determined box of snacks will be sent to you. I think, customization as per individual preferences must be allowed because not everyone may like everything in the pack.
  • There must be an option to try out small sample packs as well.

Final verdict!

Did I like the box? I Loved it! Will I buy it again? Yes, most definitely! It helped that everyone in the family enjoyed it. I think it would make for a good gift as well. I think, it is a lovely concept and something that is much needed in the Indian market with our unhealthy packaged snacks and junk foods. Each box with 20-25 servings spread over 5 packs is priced at an affordable Rs. 399 with free shipping!

Find out more about their extensive range of snacks and healthy eats on their website.

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