Vegetarian Concoctions

September 21, 2006

Khaman

GUJARAT. The place. The beauty. The people. The language. The festivals. The food. What can I say? I can never get enough of it. I spent most of my growing years in Ahmedabad and Baroda. This place has a rustic charm that you learn to love. The simplicity, straightforwardness and hospitality of the people you learn to respect. The language in its various forms is beautiful. The colors of the festivals especially garba during Navratri is enchanting and the food….oh I am lost for words now. A lot of people from other places do not like the sweet that goes into every food item that is prepared, but the taste grows on you slowly and it stays. In fact a lot of times, preparations do not taste as good without a little bit of the sweet ingredient – Sugar!

Khaman, is one of my favourite Guju preparations – more commonly and wrongly called dhokla in other parts of the nation. Dhokla is very different from khaman and I will blog about it some other time. But for now, here is an easy khaman recipe that I hope you will all make and enjoy. I got this recipe from Tarla dalal’s site and modified it a little bit.

Besan (Chickpea flour)        1 cup

Rava (Sooji)                      1 1/2 tbsp

Citric acid crystals               1/2 tsp

Ginger, chilli paste               1 tbsp

Salt                                   1 tsp

Sugar                                2 1/2 tsp

Baking soda                       1 1/4 tsp

For the garnish

Oil                                     1 1/2 tbsp

Mustard seeds (rai)             2 tsp

Hing                                  a pinch

Green chillies                       2-3 nos

Coriander leaves (cilantro)     2-3 tbsp

Grated coconut (optional)     2 tsp

Seasme seeds (til) (optional) 1 tsp

Water                                  1 cup

Mix all the ingredients except the baking soda. Add about 3/4 cup of water. I usually grind about a tsp of ginger and 1 chilli in 3/4 cup of water since I never buy ginger-chilli paste. The batter should be about the consistancy of dosa batter. Add little more water if required. There are two ways of preparing the khaman, steaming or microwaving. Microwaving is easier but khaman tends to become too dry and rubbery if you keep it out long (2-3 hrs). I would recommend microwaving only if you want to eat it up as soon as you prepare it.

Steaming: Apply some oil to a deep, flat bottomed stainless steel vessel (like a cake pan) that fits into your pressure cooker. Pour some water into the cooker and let it boil up. Once the water boils, add the baking soda to the batter and whip it up. It should froth up. Pour it into the prepared vessel to half the height (about 3/4 inch). Remember, the batter is going to rise up further and it needs some space. If you think the amount of batter is too much for your vessel’s capacity, just do it in batches and make sure you add the baking soda just before steaming each batch. Place it into the cooker at an elevated level making sure no water gets into it from the sides. Close the cooker and let it steam for about 10 minutes. Do not put the weight on the cooker. (This is done just like idlis).

Microwaving: Use a plastic/glass container that has a flat bottom and apply oil it. Add the baking soda to the batter and half-fill the container. Microwave for 4 minutes.

After steaming/microwaving, do the needle test and make sure it comes out clean. Let the khaman cool down and then transfer it to a plate and cut it into large squares. The original recipe by tarla dalal called for 1 1/2 tsp of eno fruit salt instead of salt and soda. Again, if you use eno, add it right before steaming or microwaving.If you have microwaved it, sprinkle some water on the khaman. For the garnish, heat up some oil and add mustard seeds. After they splutter, add hing and chillies and then pour it over the prepared khaman. Decorate with cilantro, coconut and til and you are done.

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16 Comments »

  1. i luv dhoklas. definatel will try yours, so tempting Hema. and thanks a lot for your comment.

    Comment by lakshmi — September 21, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

  2. I love Gujarathi dishes. they are so yummy…. Thnx for sharing this will surely try.

    Comment by Jayshree — September 21, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

  3. Loove Khaman dhoklas!! Always used pre-packaged mix, I got to try this!! Thanks!

    Comment by Asha — September 21, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  4. Hi Hema,

    Came in through your comment on my blog — thanks for visiting! This recipe looks interesting and delicious — will save and give it a try one of these nice cool autumn weekends 🙂

    Best wishes
    Linda

    Comment by outofthegarden — September 21, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

  5. The khaman looks delicious! Will try it for sure.

    Comment by Vani — September 22, 2006 @ 10:18 am

  6. I too make Khaman using Tarla Dalal’s recipe. Yours looks delicious. Looks really light and fluffy. Thanks for sharing

    Comment by krithika — September 23, 2006 @ 8:58 pm

  7. Hi Hema,
    Haven’t cooked dhoklas or khaman .. thought it was complicated.. Ur picture looks very attractive. thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by prema — September 24, 2006 @ 1:37 am

  8. Hey what a coincidence- I posted khaman too today! Your version looks interesting and i guess the dhoklas are fluffier than mine !

    Comment by Nandita — September 27, 2006 @ 10:55 am

  9. Hi Hema,
    I made the dhokla’s last night after I read your post. They were yummy….your recipe was too easy to avoid 🙂 Thank you soo much ! I am going to make them often

    Comment by Priya — September 27, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

  10. @Lakshmi, Jayshree, Asha, Linda, vani

    Thanks! do try it out and let me know how it turned out.

    @ Krithika
    It does come out really fluffy if the baking soda is added right before steaming and whipped well

    @ prema
    Not at all complicated. Infact i often make it when i need to get something on the table with tea/coffee for surprise guests who turn up without prior notice.

    @ Nandita
    Good to know. Your khaman looks great! About the fluffier part – thats trick photography girl;)

    @Priya
    I am so glad they turned out well. Now, how about some pictures?

    Comment by Hema — September 27, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

  11. Hi Hema,

    If i dont find citric acid crystals what can i use to replace it. Please do respond I do want to try this dish.

    Comment by Radha — September 28, 2006 @ 10:31 pm

  12. @ Radha
    If you are in the US, you will definitely find citric acid at an indian store. It gives the khaman a sour flavour. You probably could use lime juice or sour buttermilk instead. You may have to add about 1/2 tsp of extra salt too in that case. I have never tried this. but if you do and it turns out well, please let me know.

    Comment by Hema — September 29, 2006 @ 9:43 am

  13. Hi Hema,

    Thanks for the response, First I will try to find citric acid if not, then will try the other way and let you know.

    Comment by Radha — October 9, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

  14. i tried this,it really worked out 🙂

    Comment by deepa — November 13, 2010 @ 10:28 am

  15. Hi, I accidentally added the Baking Soda tonight rather than tomorrow morning when I actually plan to steam the Khaman. Do I need to throw the batter out and start over or will it taste ok having put the soda in so early?

    thank you,

    David

    Comment by David — November 19, 2010 @ 5:29 am

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