Instant Masala Idlis – Dhokla Style

Instant Masala idlis- Dhokla StyleBeing the kinds i am, i do not always like to go by conventional thinking. Impulse often does the trick for me.

I have been missing the awesome-ness of dhokla for a real long time now and had decided many a times to give that a try. Infact, i got so enthusiastic about it once that i took out my steam pot, poured in water and made sure my pot was all hot and ready to steam but i did not realize that the basic ingredient for dhokla – The Besan/ Bengal gram flour, was missing. I thought this was the end of my dhokla craving but the cook in me was just not satisfied being defeated by the loss of ingredients. I was sucked into thinking creatively and think of some other ingredient which could help me get the sponginess & lightness of a dhokla yet be simple to make.

You would be amazed to see how well this fusion dish works. Perfect solution for a high tea snack & 5pm hunger pangs. Light and quick, this dish will not interfere with the dinner plans 🙂

Instant Masala Idlis – Dhokla Style

Well the name says it all. This recipe will use the ingredients used to make Instant idlis but with a dhokla twist. I have also tempered the steamed batter with South Indian masalas and Chinese veggies, making it an all time fusion. My husband’s exact words after eating it were ” Whats the name again ? I am not sure if it was idli, dhokla or Hakka noodles but it felt like i had the pleasures of all 3 in one”

Instant masala Idli-Dhokla style

  • Servings: 3-4
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Instant Masala idlis- Dhokla StyleRecipe

The recipe involves 2 basic steps :

  1. Making the dhokla
  2. Tempering

Ingredients for Dhokla

  • 200 gms Semolina (try to get the thin grains for better results) . You can dry roast the semolina for a richer texture.
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp oil + oil for greasing the steam plate
  • 10-15 cashew nuts – roasted and cut into small chunks
  • 1 tsp roasted gram dal (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 100 ml water / Coconut Milk (optional)

For Tempering –  As per your taste, you can choose to temper it with simple south indian spices or try the veggie variation to add some veggies to the meal. If u are going the simple tempering route, i would suggest coconut chutney along with it.

  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded capsicum
  • 1 small onion/ spring onions- chopped
  • 1 medium tomato- chopped
  • 1 garlic – finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida/ hing
  • 1-2 dried whole chilli or chili flakes
  • 10-12 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp urad dal (optional)
  • 1 tsp gram dal
  • 1 tsp peanuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of dry mango powder/ Amchur (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp oil . I prefer sesame oil for an added flavor
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice


1. In a bowl, take all the dry ingredients for dhokla and mix well. Now add the ginger paste, salt and yoghurt . Mix well. Now, add coconut milk/water slowly. The consistency of the batter should be of “dropping consistency”. It should not be too thick or else the dhokla will come out dry and hard.  You can add more coconut milk/water as per requirement. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes so that the soda-bicarb gets activated,

2. Grease the steam plate and pour the batter in the plate. It should take about 20 minutes for the dhokla to bake. Remove the plate from the steam pot and let it cool down completely. Cut diagonal pieces out of the baked dhokla.

3. Meanwhile, take a frying pan and put it on high flame. Add oil and let it heat. Now add the peanuts. Roast till golden brown and remove from oil. Keep aside. Now add asafoetida, mustard seeds, whole red chillis, curry leaves, urad dal, gram dal. Let the mustard seeds crackle.

4. Now add the onions and fry till the onions turn translucent. Add the tomatoes, capsicum, carrots & cabbage. Stir fry on high flame. Add the salt, dry mango powder and garam masala and toss it in the veggies for about a minute. Add about 3 tsp of  water to the mixture to form a saucy base.

5. Add the dhokla pieces to the mixture and toss around till the mixture is evenly coated.  Sprinkle some lemon juice and serve hot.

Note : You can also try adding soya sauce and vinegar to the saucy base for an intense Chinese flavor.

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