Chana Dal Dhokla | Traditional Gujarati Vati Dal Dhokla

Jump to Recipe

Chana Dal Dhokla recipe with step by step pics. Dhokla is a steamed lentil cake made with ground, fermented batter made of bengal gram (chana dal), rice and curd (yogurt). It is also called vati dal dhokla or vati dal na dhokla.

dhokla recipe

It is a very popular snack from Gujarati cuisine. In the mithai and snacks shops, what one gets is khaman which is also known as Khaman dhokla. whereas the fermented dhokla is not that much easily available in shops and stores.

Living in a suburb in Mumbai, there was this guy in the vegetable market who would sell dhokla made with fermented batter. When my mom would go to buy vegetables in the market, at times she would also get dhokla for us. Now this vendor’s dhokla would sell like hot cakes as they were too good.

Even after so many years, I still do remember the taste and flavor of this fermented dhokla. We actually prefer foods made with fermented batter than the instant versions and the same goes for dhokla too.

Fermentation brings about complex changes in the food in terms of taste, flavor and nutrition and it only becomes better.

Now even though the batter is fermented, when steaming the batter, some fruit salt (eno) or baking soda needs to be added to give lightness, fluffiness and sponginess in the dhokla. If you want, you can even skip adding baking soda and fruit salt.

I have made this dhokla without the addition of fruit salt (eno) but they do not have the characteristic sponginess and fluffiness in them. They will be soft and taste good also, but the porous texture will not be there.

dhokla

I have been making this chana dal dhokla for some time and every time it yields me good results. Though I use only chana dal and rice, but you can even use just chana dal or a mixture of chana dal, moong dal and urad dal can also be used. Addition of rice makes the dhokla soft.

Serve this traditional Gujarati vati dal na dhokla with some coriander chutney.

How to make chana dal dhokla

For ease of understanding, I have divided this dhokla recipe post into 4 steps:

  • Step 1 – soaking dal and rice
  • Step 2 – making dhokla batter
  • Step 3 – steaming dhokla
  • Step 4 – making tempering for dhokla

Lets start with step 1 – soaking dal and rice:

1. In a bowl take ¼ heaped cup rice (50 grams) and 1 cup chana dal (200 grams). For english readers, chana dal is split and husked bengal gram.

making dhokla recipe

2. Also add 10 fenugreek seeds (methi seeds). Fenugreek seeds are optional and can be skipped.

making dhokla recipe

3. Rinse everything a couple of times with water. Add 2 to 2.25 cups water. Cover and soak for 4 to 5 hours.

making dhokla recipe

Making chana dal dhokla batter

4. After 4 to 5 hours, drain all the water and add the soaked dal, rice, fenugreek seeds in a grinder jar. Depending on the size of the grinder jar, you can grind in one or two batches.

making dhokla recipe

5. Also add 1 green chili (chopped), 1 inch ginger (chopped) and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.

making dhokla recipe

6. Add water in parts and grind to a batter where you can feel the fine rava or sooji like the consistency of rice in the batter. The batter should not be ground fine. While grinding the chana dal will be ground finely but the rice should have fine rava like consistency. Overall you can add ¾ to 1 cup water while grinding.

making dhokla recipe

7. Take the batter in a bowl or pan. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 pinch asafoetida, 3 tablespoons curd (yogurt) and 1 teaspoon salt or add as required.

making dhokla recipe

8. Mix very well. Cover and let the batter ferment for 8 to 9 hours. In a warm or hot climate, it will take 5 to 6 hours for the batter to ferment. In a cold or cool climate, it can take more time.

making dhokla recipe

9. After fermentation, the batter will have tiny air bubbles in it and a faint sour aroma.

making dhokla recipe

10. Before steaming, grease a pan with some oil on the base as well as the sides.

making dhokla recipe

11. In a large pot or pressure cooker, take 2.5 cups water. Place a stand inside. Keep the pot or the cooker on a medium-low to medium flame and let the water come to a boil. Use a slightly tall stand so that the hot bubbling water does fall in the batter while steaming.

making dhokla recipe

12. Now add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the fermented batter.

making dhokla recipe

13. Add 2 teaspoons peanut oil to the batter. You can even use sunflower oil or any other neutral tasting oil.

making dhokla recipe

14. Mix very well.

making dhokla recipe

15. Now sprinkle 1 teaspoon eno or ⅓ teaspoon baking soda all over the batter evenly.

making dhokla recipe

16. With brisk and quick movements of a spoon or spatula or a wired whisk, mix the eno or baking soda very well in the batter. The mixing has to be done very well or else some parts of the dhokla won’t be spongy and porous. Mix very well and do it quickly.

making dhokla recipe

17. Meanwhile the water has come to a boil.

making dhokla recipe

18. Pour the batter in the greased pan.

making dhokla recipe

19. Level the top with a spatula or spoon.

making dhokla recipe

20. Sprinkle some red chilli powder on top. This step is optional.

making dhokla recipe

Steaming chana dal dhokla

21. Place the pan on the stand inside the large pot or cooker.

making dhokla recipe

22. Cover with lid having a vent and steam dhokla batter on a medium flame for 20 to 25 minutes or more. If using a pressure cooker, then remove the vent weight (whistle) from the lid. If using a flat steel lid, then make sure some steam escapes from the sides of the pot.

making dhokla recipe

23. The steamed dhokla in the pic below:

making dhokla recipe

24. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the dhokla should come out clean. If the toothpick has batter sticking to it, then steam for some more time. Add water if required in the large pot or pressure cooker.

making dhokla recipe

24. Place the dhokla pan on a stand and let it become warm or cool at room temperature.

making dhokla recipe

25. Then place a plate on top of the dhokla pan and turn upside down. Tap the pan and the dhokla will gently glide on to the plate. In the pic below see the sponginess and porousness on the top.

making dhokla recipe

26. Place another plate on the dhokla and again turn upside down. The top side will face you know.

making dhokla recipe

27. Cut the dhokla with a knife. Keep aside.

making dhokla recipe

Tempering for vati dal dhokla

28. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a small pan or tadka pan. Keep flame to a low and add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds. you can even use sunflower oil or any other neutral tasting oil.

making dhokla recipe

29. Let the mustard seeds crackle.

making dhokla recipe

30. When the mustard seeds finish crackling, add 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds and give a stir.

making dhokla recipe

31. Then add 1 pinch asafoetida and 7 to 8 curry leaves.

making dhokla recipe

32. Fry for a few seconds till the curry leaves become crisp.

making dhokla recipe

33. Carefully add 2 tablespoons water as the mixture splutters. You can even switch off the flame and then add the water.

making dhokla recipe

34. Then add 2 teaspoons sugar or add as per taste.

making dhokla recipe

35. Stir and mix the sugar with the water.

making dhokla recipe

36. Let the water come to a boil.

making dhokla recipe

37. Then switch off the flame and add this entire tempering mixture all over the dhokla.

making dhokla recipe

38. Lastly add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves) and 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut all over the dhokla.

dhokla recipe

39. Take each piece carefully and Serve chana dal dhokla with coriander chutney.

dhokla recipe

Few more popular snacks recipes

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. If you want more delicious vegetarian Indian recipes delivered straight to your inbox, Sign Up for my email newsletter.

If you’re looking to brighten up your feed with beautiful, delicious and attainable Vegetarian Indian or World recipes, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter.

Like this Recipe?
Pin it Now to Remember it Later

Pin Recipe Now

Chana Dal Dhokla (Vati Dal Dhokla)

4.96 from 25 votes
Chana Dal Dhokla is a steamed lentil cake made with ground, fermented batter made of rice, bengal gram (chana dal) and curd (yogurt).
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
fermenting time 9 hrs
Total Time 20 mins

Cuisine Gujarati
Course: Side Dish, Snacks, Starters
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

for batter

  • 1 cup chana dal (split and husked bengal gram) or 200 grams
  • ¼ heaped cup rice or 50 grams
  • 10 fenugreek seeds – optional
  • 2 to 2.25 cups water for soaking
  • ¾ to 1 cup water for grinding
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 inch ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 3 tablespoons curd (yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil - can also use sunflower oil or any other neutral tasting oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon eno (fruit salt) or ⅓ teaspoon baking soda

other ingredient

  • 2.5 cups water for steaming

for tempering

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil - can also use sunflower oil or any other neutral tasting oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida - optional
  • 7 to 8 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or add as per taste

for garnishing

  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut – optional

Instructions

soaking dal and rice

  • In a bowl take 1 cup chana dal (200 grams) and ¼ heaped cup rice (50 grams).
  • Also add 10 fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek seeds are optional and can be skipped.
  • Rinse everything a couple of times with water. Add 2 to 2.25 cups water. Cover and soak for 4 to 5 hours.

making batter

  • After 4 to 5 hours, drain all the water and add the soaked dal, rice, methi seeds in a grinder jar. Depending on the size of the grinder jar, you can grind in one or two batches.
  • Also add 1 green chili (chopped), 1 inch ginger (chopped) and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
  • Add water in parts and grind to a batter where you can feel the fine rava or sooji like consistency of rice in the batter. The batter should not be ground fine. Overall you can add ¾ to 1 cup water while grinding.
  • Take the batter in a bowl or pan. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 pinch asafoetida, 3 tablespoons curd and 1 teaspoon salt or add as required.
  • Mix very well. Cover and let the batter ferment for 8 to 9 hours. In a warm or hot climate, it will take 5 to 6 hours for the batter to ferment. In a cold or cool climate, it can take more time.
  • After fermentation, the batter will have tiny air bubbles in it and a faint sour aroma.
  • Before steaming dhokla, grease a pan with some oil on the base as well as the sides.
  • In a large pot or pressure cooker, take 2.5 cups water. Place a stand inside. Keep the pot or the cooker on a medium-low to medium flame and let the water come to a boil.
  • Now add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the fermented batter.
  • Add 2 teaspoons oil to the batter. mix very well.
  • Now sprinkle 1 teaspoon eno (fruit salt) or ⅓ teaspoon baking soda all over the batter evenly.
  • With brisk and quick movements of a spoon or spatula, mix the eno or baking soda very well in the batter. The mixing has to be done very well or else some parts of the dhokla won’t be spongy and porous. Mix very well and do it quickly.
  • Meanwhile the water has come to a boil. pour the batter in the greased pan.
  • Level the top with a spatula or spoon. sprinkle some red chilli powder on top. This step is optional.

steaming chana dal dhokla

  • Place the pan on the stand inside the large pot or cooker.
  • Cover with a lid and steam the batter on medium flame for 20 to 25 minutes or more. If using pressure cooker, then remove the vent weight (whistle) from the lid.
  • A skewer or toothpick inserted in the dhokla should come out clean.
  • Place the dhokla pan on a stand and let it become warm or cool at room temperature.
  • Then place a plate on top of the pan and turn upside down. Tap the pan and the dhokla will gently glide on to the plate. 
  • Place another plate on the dhokla and again turn upside down. The top side will face you know.
  • Cut the dhokla with a knife to get medium or large bite sized pieces.

tempering for chana dal dhokla

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan or tadka pan. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds. let the mustard seeds crackle.
  • When the mustard seeds finish crackling, add 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame seeds and give a stir. 
  • Then add 1 pinch asafoetida and 7 to 8 curry leaves.
  • Fry for a few seconds till the curry leaves become crisp.
  • Carefully add 2 tablespoons water as the mixture splutters. You can even switch off the flame when adding water. 
  • Then add 2 teaspoons sugar or add as per taste.
  • Stir and mix the sugar with the water.
  • Let the water come to a boil.
  • Then switch off the flame and add this entire tempering mixture all over the dhokla.
  • Lastly add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut all over the dhokla.
  • Take each piece carefully and serve chana dal dhokla with coriander chutney.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Calories: 276kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 14gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 906mgPotassium: 514mgFiber: 16gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 140IUVitamin C: 54mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 5mg

Like our videos? Then do follow and subscribe to us on youtube to get the latest Recipe Video updates.

Tried this recipe?If you have made the recipe and liked it then do share the recipe link on facebook, twitter & pinterest. For instagram mention @vegrecipesofindia and tag #vegrecipesofindia!

Share This Recipe:

PinPrintShares1.7k
Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food
Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking

Comments are closed.

18 Comments

  1. I was looking for a no Eno, no baking soda, no yeast recepies of dhokla. The authentic fermented batter version. Thanks for posting this. 👍4 stars

    1. You could use a vegan curd. If you do not have vegan curd, then skip curd and let the batter ferment without adding curd. You may need to slightly more water to the batter then. Before steaming, add about 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice in the batter and mix very well. Then add eno or fruit salt.

  2. I love dhokla as breakfast or evening snack. I usually get from sweet shop near me.. Then one fine day I came across your amazing recipe and voila.. Now I can have it any time..Thanks for this healthy recipe.

    1. same here. we also love dhokla and sometimes i make them as an evening snack. thanks for this lovely feedback. i am glad that you liked the recipe. happy cooking.

  3. Excellent recipe.
    My mom was an expert making dhokra exactly the same way described in this recipe. She did not use baking soda ( occasionally used eno) so her dhokra were not spongy but they tasted delicious.
    Since a long time, I’ve been looking for this recipe. Thank you 4 sharing.5 stars

    1. thanks rukhsana for the feedback as well as sharing your mom’s method. welcome and happy cooking. thanks for the rating too.

See More Comments