The 71st Independence day of India is right around the corner. This month’s Toka Box is all about India Our Toka Juniors explore the colorful streets and street transportation in India, and our Toka Explorers learn all about the Dandi March. So I decided to go with a grab and go snack recipe from the land of Gujarat and capture the feel of India.
Here comes the famous dhokla recipe – it’s not the usual besan dhokla, but it’s rava dhokla with veggies sneaked in.
Why a Rava Dhokla?
As I wanted to represent the Indian flag colors in the food, I went with this Rava Dhokla. So for the white color, I used rava. For the saffron, I used shredded carrots, and for the green, I used spinach. For the decoration on top of the dhokla, I used carrots, grated coconut, and cilantro and used the tempering/tadka to represent the chakra. This Rava Dhokla with veggies is a great recipe to talk about the Indian Flag colors.
The Process of Steaming
Along with flag colors, we are also learning the process of steaming and about kitchen gadgets. Steaming is an important cooking method. It is a moist – heat cooking technique. According to Wikipedia, steaming is the process of boiling water continuously, vaporizing to steam and then using the steam to heat food and thus cooking it.
The food is kept separate from the boiling water but has direct contact with the steam, resulting in a moist texture.
Kitchen Gadgets | Instant Pot
Instant Pot website puts it perfectly – Instant pot is an intelligent multi-cooker, capable of completely replacing pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker/porridge maker, sauté/browning pan, steamer, yogurt maker and stock pot warmer. Most importantly, Instant Pot cooks meals faster with less energy while preserving more nutrients.
What I like about Instant Pot (IP) is you don’t need to monitor and stand before it as we do for other cookers. Also once the food is cooked, it goes to warm mode automatically. Kids can easily press the buttons on the IP and you can teach them some simple recipes with the same. (More IP recipes to come).
For this dhokla recipe, I used the STEAM option and cooked the dhokla for 12 minutes. With the steam option, there is no timer set, so you need to make sure you are turning it off after 12 minutes. That’s one drawback with IP, but the pros outnumber the cons, so no complaints here.
- Rava/Fine Sooji /Semolina – 1 cup
- Chopped Spinach Leaves – 2 tbsps
- Shredded Carrots – 2 tbsps
- Water – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
- Baking soda – a pinch
- Hing – a pinch
- Ginger – 1-inch piece
- Green chilly -1
- Chopped Cilantro – 1 tbsps + for garnish
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Curd – 1 cup
- Fruit salt – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 2 tsps
- For tempering:
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- White Sesame seeds – 2 tsps
- Curry leaves – 5 (broken into few pieces)
- Green chili – 1
- Oil – 2 tsps
- Cilantro, coconut, and carrot as required for garnishing
Dhokla Prep Work
- Chop the ginger, cilantro, and green chili finely or coarsely grind them.
- Grate the coconut, if using frozen thaw them to room temperature and also chop the other veggies and set aside.
- Break the curry leaves into small pieces for tempering and set aside. Chop some cilantro and green chilli for tempering.
- Child and Parental Step: In a wide mixing bowl, help your child add the rava, baking soda, hing, salt, sugar, ginger cilantro chili paste, grated carrots, chopped spinach, and yogurt.
- Child Step: Now let your child mix it nicely without any lumps.
- Child and Parental Step: Add little by little water (approx 1/2 cup) and mix again till you get the thick consistency like below.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Parental Step: Meanwhile, add about 3 cups of water in the Instant Pot and insert the wire rack that came along with IP like below.
- Child and Parental Step: Also, help your child grease a wide plate or bowl with one tsp of oil that will go inside your IP.
- Child and Parental Step: After 15 minutes, help your child add the 1 remaining 1 tsp of oil and Eno fruit salt and stir vigorously. The batter should rise nicely. If required add two more tbsps of water.
- Parental Step: Now pour this mixture into the greased plate and place that inside the IP and cover it the with the lid with the vent in the open position.
- Child Step: Let your child press the buttons. Let them press the steam button.
- Parental Steps: Let it steam for about 12 minutes. Remove the IP lid carefully and insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, then the Dhokla is done.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. With a knife, go around the edges so that we can separate the Dhokla quickly.
- Now turn it upside down on a plate and overturn it again so that the base goes down.
Dhokla – Tempering and Garnishing
- Heat a small pan or kadai and add oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, sesame seeds, hing, chopped green chilies, and curry leaves. Sauté for a couple of minutes and spread this tadka on top of the Dhokla.
- Parental and Child Step: Garnish and decor the dhokla with the Indian flag in the center with grated coconut, cilantro, and spinach. For the chakra, I added the tempering.
Chop the Dhokla into small squares or your favorite shapes and serve it with green chutney and sweet chutney.
- For Vegan Dhokla, Instead of yogurt, you can add ¼ of citric acid and add ¼ more cup of water to prepare the dhokla mix.
- Adjust the salt and spice as per your preference.
- Grated coconut can be added during the tempering.
Toka Chef Moment
The kiddo really enjoyed stirring especially after adding eno. The quick rise was a sight for him to watch. I know it’s little too early for me explain the quick fermentation process to him but the mixing and stirring gave him a sense of accomplishment.
Toka Yum Moment
The kiddo enjoyed the dhokla but more than that he liked the crunchier Sesame seeds tempering. He did not complain about the sneaked in spinach and the carrots. 🙂