Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moong dal Dhokla - discovering non greasy snacks with a cuppa

I don't want to sound like a person who has waged a war against use of oil in cooking, because I am not. I do understand the need to consume oil so the body functions normally. I just like to cook being conscious of what goes into my food, that is all. Deep fried food is my personal weakness and I try to avoid making them very frequently. There was a time when I oil fried snacks on a regular basis, ate them and fed family and friends. I am surprised and glad that I have discovered other equally tempting, less harmful snacks to munch on. well, I will get off my soap box before you get bored/scared and go away from my blog :-)

The other day I was watching something on you-tube and you know how you get carried away sometimes following one link after another, I landed up with some Indian show that had this guy visiting different places in Gujarat and exploring local food. One Ahmadabad eatery showcased 50+ varieties of dhoklas. Traditional dhoklas deep fried, sauced up like the Manchurians, dipped in various sweet and savory sauces :-) and so on. It reminded me of Ganesh Darshan in Jayanagar famously known as Dosa corner with his umpteen varieties of dosas.
When I wrote my Dhokla post previously, I mentioned about a friend who actually soaked, ground dal and made the most moist, fluffy dhoklas. The instant, gram flour dhokla is very tasty and popular among my family and friends but I always wanted to try the real deal once. My inlaws have a psychological block about certain ingredients in the kitchen and besan is one of them, they fear that besan is not good for their system. I feel bad when they don't enjoy besan based dishes but it is deep rooted and I totally respect their opinion. Amma only makes moong dal pakoda or urad dal peruggarelu etc but not the regular besan dipped pakoda, bajji or bonda. So when I set out to do the dal soaked dhokla, I decided to try my hands with moong dal, this infact is a traditional Gujarati Dhokla recipe. I took some help from the great Gujju chef a.k.a Tarla Dalal and made it spicier to suit my taste.

These moong dal dhoklas turned out to be perfectly moist and fluffy just like the other one and since moong dal soaks quickly, there is not much wait time either. So this gets added to my list of 'frequently made snacks' especially for the Summer when in laws are going to be visiting :-).
What do you need to make moong dal dhokla?
Makes about 25 1X1X1 inch piece 
1 cup moong dal/hesaru bele
3-4 green chilies (adjust to taste)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/2 Tsp sugar
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup oil
1 Tblsp besan/gram flour
1/2 Tsp eno fruit salt
1/8 Tsp asafoetida
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
Seasoning & garnish
1 Tsp oil
1 Tsp mustard seeds
3/4 Tsp white sesame seeds
1 Tsp grated coconut (optional)
1 green chili chopped fine (optional)
1 Tsp finely chopped cilantro
1 Tblsp lemon juice

How do you make moong dal dhokla? 
  • Wash and soak moong dal in 3 cups of water for about 2 hours or until the dal plumps up completely.
  • Wash and drain the moong dal. 
  • Grind moong dal, green chilies, ginger into a smooth paste, add a Tblsp or so water if needed. Wet moong dal usually grinds easily without needing any additional water. 
  • Take the ground dal into a bowl, add whisked yogurt, oil, salt and gram flour and mix lightly to incorporate. Consistency of the batter is similar to idli batter (dropping but not flowing)
  • Add the eno fruit salt and immediately pour into a pressure cooker vessel or any deep plate that fits into the pressure cooker. 
  • Cook without weight for 15 minutes on medium heat once steam starts coming out. 
  • Let the steam subside, open the pressure cooker and keep the dhokla vessel/plate outside to cool. 
  • Heat oil in a seasoning pan, add mustard seeds, give it 15 seconds head start, add sesame seeds and green chili pieces (if using) and let them crackle. 
  • Switch off, add the lemon juice, spoon the seasoning all over the dhokla. 
  • Garnish with grated coconut and cilantro. Cut into pieces and enjoy. 
See notes from here 


Priya R said...

I love dhoklas and this is sure a lovely recipe to try, new and innovative

Nandita SS said...

This is such a healthy twist to the traditional besan dhokla. Loved this :)

Chitz said...

Looks really inviting Nagashree... Exactly like the normal besan dhokla except that here u can see the grainy texture & I believe that's the moong dal effect :) Hope ur in-laws also enjoy this :)

NamsVeni Pothas said...

Moong Dal Dhokla really wonderful summer especially moong dal is easy digestble dal. we can prepare Paatholi also with moong dal paste but it consumes a bit oil. i love Dhokla .

Saranya Balaji said...

looks delicious and perfectly made...

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Instant gram flour ones are a huge hit with my family too...should try this version...looks really soft and fluffy Nagashree

kitchen queen said...

yummy moong dal dhokhla very tempting and awesome.

Priya Suresh said...

Protein packed dhoklas, never tried with moongdal,will definitely make some soon.

Meena Selvakumaran said...

i am always fascinated by dhokla,never able to make one successfully.yours looks like a pro.

first time have a lovely space.Happy to follow you.

glad if you follow me back.