Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla

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This instant pot khaman dhokla is a soft, spongy, and savory chickpea flour cake steeped in a sweet and spicy infused oil and then topped with crispy fried green chilies and spices.

Sounds fancy, I know. But it’s so very simple to make, especially using the instant pot method I’m sharing with you today.

instant pot khaman dhokla

Khaman is a snack that hits all the right food flavors and is basically texturally perfect.

I mean, how often do you meet a snack that’s sweet, salty, spicy, savory, and sponge-like with some crisp bits that have been fried in hot oil?

Not only is this snack food perfection, it’s also very easy to make – zero prep required.

instant pot khaman dhokla

I am really excited to (finally) be sharing this recipe with you. I’ve been working on perfecting an instant pot recipe for khaman dhokla for a while now, and I’ve finally got it just right. It requires little more than mixing up a batter using common Indian pantry items and pressing the start button on an instant pot.

instant pot khaman dhokla

What is Dhokla? What is Khaman?

Technically dhokla and khaman are different. Dhokla is made from a fermented batter of ground rice and chana dal. Khaman, often called khaman dhokla, is made using either besan (chana dal flour) or soaked chana dal (which is then ground).

While I enjoy eating food made from fermented batter (see my recipe for idli or vattayappam), I love the fact that I can make this instant khaman dhokla using besan on a whim.

Khaman dhokla makes for a great party appetizer when hosting because it’s easy to make and because it’s a snack most people can eat. My recipe is nut-free, vegan, and gluten-free (but if you’re eating this elsewhere, check with the person who made it as all recipes are slightly different).

instant pot khaman dhokla

When I say that dhokla is sponge-like, I really mean it. This cake is literally thirsty. It’ll drink up all the spiced oil sauce that you pour on top of it, leaving behind toasted and fried spices. You don’t want to eat this cake plain; it’ll be dry. So don’t even think about skipping the oil sauce (and yes, I know “oil sauce” sounds strange. But not everyone knows what “tempering” is… I’ll get to that in a minute… er, well, let’s get to it now).

Speaking of “oil sauce” and spices…

What’s up with frying spices in hot oil?

If you’re familiar with Indian cooking, you’ve probably heard of the word tempering or tadka or vaghar or chhonk. They’re all the same word for an Indian technique where you sizzle spices in hot fat like oil or ghee. This infuses the oil and makes spices more aromatic. It also makes green chilies, and curry leaves nice and crisp!

What’s unique about making tempering for dhokla is that you’re supposed to add water to it. This not only increases the amount of sauce, it also helps keep the khaman moist and makes the whole cake flavorful.

Once the khaman dhokla is done and you’ve cut into it, you’re supposed to pour the tempering on top of the cake and basically let it bathe in the sauce. It’ll soak it all up, promise.


Watch how easy it is to make Khaman!

(for the full recipe, see the recipe card below 😋)

First, we mix a bunch of ingredients together in a bowl! mix mix mix!

Then we add eno fruit salt and watch the batter get nice and frothy/airy! Pour the batter into a greased pan and pressure cook!

Let’s sizzle spices in an oil sauce and pour the sauce all over the dhokla. The dhokla will drink the sauce up, making it nice and moist. SO GOOD.


What is Eno Fruit Salt? Can I use Baking Soda instead?

If you’re familiar with making dhokla, then chances are you already have eno fruit salt in your pantry. If you’re not familiar with eno, then this is likely going to sound a bit strange. Eno fruit salt is an antacid. Yes… like for indigestion. When it comes to making khaman, it’s what helps the batter rise. The moment you add it, you’ll see bubbles form in the batter.

Eno is made up of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), soda ash (sodium carbonate), and citric acid. You might be wondering how to replace eno when making dhokla?

I have tried quite a few times (seven, but who’s counting) to make dhokla using different combinations of more common household ingredients (baking soda, baking powder, yogurt, and lemon/lime juice). Still, so far, nothing comes close to doing what eno does, in my opinion.

So get yourself a bottle. You can find it at any Indian grocery store or on amazon – it’s around 5-6 bucks. It makes making khaman dhokla so easy. And once you make this, you will definitely want to keep making it.

I mean, just look at this.

instant pot khaman dhokla

Do you need more convincing? Here, have another slice. Or you know, five.

instant pot khaman dhokla

Make this dhokla your go-to snack when you have visitors drop in. Serve it warm with some green chutney and hot chai. 😋

instant pot khaman dhokla

Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla

instant pot khaman dhokla

Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla

4.91 from 21 reviews
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Ingredients
 

Khaman:

  • 1 cup besan
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 green chili minced, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ginger paste
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon eno fruit salt

Tempering:

Instructions
 

To make the khaman:

  • Mix all of the ingredients listed under batter except for the eno fruit salt.
  • Prepare the instant pot by adding 2 cups of water to the inner steel pot. Place a tall trivet in the pot.
  • Add the eno fruit salt to the batter and mix well, the batter should look a bit bubbly and frothy.
  • Immediately pour the batter into a greased pan (I prefer to use my 7-inch cheesecake pan with a removable bottom for easy removal).
  • Place the pan on top of the trivet.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 15 minutes at high pressure (use the “pressure cook” button on an ultra model or “manual” mode on a duo).
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Cut the dhokla into diamonds (or squares) and slowly pour the tempering on top of the dhokla.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

To prepare the tempering:

  • To prepare the tempering, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and hing.
  • Once the seeds begin to splutter, add the curry leaves, green chilies and sesame seeds, stir and once the sesame seeds start to turn golden, add water, sugar, salt.
  • Slowly pour this on top of the khaman – wait a minute and you’ll see it absorb.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Video

Notes

  • If you only have a 6-inch cheesecake pan, you can use that too with the same cook time –  it’ll just result in a really tall dhokla, which isn’t a bad thing 😉 
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Govind Rangrass says

    5 stars
    Used Ashley’s exact proportions and this came out amazing. Seriously what an awesome recipe!!! Huge fan.

  2. Preethi Naidu says

    5 stars
    Being a South Indian, Dhokla is something that I always bought from store. Had no clue, it could be made so easily at home and honestly tasted better than store brought ones. LOVED this recipe! YUMMY!

  3. Vj says

    Tried nth time. It doesn’t cook. when I added Eno, it was not fluffy or bubbly. May be I need to buy fresh eno salt. After cooking 15 min high pressure, 10 min NPR, it is still doughy on the bottom. i cooked in a glass bown over the trivet. I really want to learn how to make dhokla which is my most fav

  4. Priya says

    Hi there! Looking forward to trying this recipe. I only have a 9 inch round cake pan. How can I adapt the recipe for a 9 inch pan?

  5. Lata says

    Hi Ashley! Do you cover the dhokla pan with foil or a plate? I wonder if the steam would condense and drip down into the inner pan causing a change in ratio of water?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Lata, I don’t cover the pan and haven’t had any issues but I’m sure it’ll be fine to cover if you prefer to do that. Let me know what you think of the recipe if you try it!

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