We were on our way to Circle B Bar Reserve last week for a much-needed nature walk to clear our heads after the trauma of living through the death throes of the Tampa Tribune when I noticed an Indian grocery store in a little shopping center in the middle of Lakeland.
After a day of alligators
and Green Herons
I had forgotten about the shop, but William had not - he knows how much I love funky food stores :)
My original intention was to buy some garam masala and cardamom, two spices that are either hard to find or too expensive in our local American grocery stores. Even though they had both spices for good prices, they had to be bought in bulk and I didn't want to buy them because I knew most of it would go stale since they aren't spices I use very often.
I wanted to buy something to support the place, there just aren't enough non-chain groceries in my opinion, and want to do my part to keep the ones that exist on their feet.
While we were perusing the aisles, the shopkeeper brought out a container of food and popped the lid to reveal what looked like some kind of corn bread with greens on top and started eating. When I remarked that the food smelled wonderful and looked deliscious, I was offered a taste in a small bowl.
Wow, was it good.
Khaman Dhokla was the name of the dish, and the nice lady from the store told me it was made from chickpea flour., so I bought some.
She also told me I could find a recipe on a website called Bhavna's Kitchen, and here it is:
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 4 people
A quick and easy version of the traditional khaman.
For the batter:
1 cup Besan(chickpea flour or bengal gram flour)
11/2 - 2 tbsp rawa(Semolina or sooji)-More rawa can be added if you like crumbly texture of Khaman.)
1/2 tsp Citric Acid(Nimbu ke Phool)
3 tbsp oil
3 teaspoons sugar - can be reduced as per your taste
1 teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste
1 1/2 teaspoons Eno's fruit salt
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric powder
About 1 to 11/4 cup water or as needed. Make cake consistancy batter
For the tempering:
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (til)
2 green chillies, chopped
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
For the garnish
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or coriander leaves(Dhaniya)
Mix together all the ingredients for the batter except the fruit salt using enough water to make a easy pour consistancy(Not too thick or thin) batter.
Add in the fruit salt, sprinkle a little water over the fruit salt and mix well.
When the mixture rises, pour it into a greased thali and steam for about 15 minutes.
For the tempering, heat the oil in a small katori and add the mustard seeds, sesame seeeds, green chillies and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds crackle, and pour this over the steamed dhoklas.
Garnish with coconut and finely choped cilantro.
Cut into pieces and serve with green chutney.
!Tips: You can use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or 2-3 tbsp dahi(yogurt) instead of the citric acid crystals.
As soon as I can find Eno and asafoetida, I am going to try making this myself.