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, itโ€™s also very easy to make โ€“ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‹)

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. ๐Ÿ˜‹

instant pot khaman dhokla

Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla

instant pot khaman dhokla

Instant Pot Khaman Dhokla

4.93 from 27 reviews
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Ingredients
 

Khaman:

  • 1 cup besan
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ยฝ teaspoon salt
  • ยผ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 green chili minced, to taste
  • ยฝ teaspoon ginger paste
  • ยพ 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 โ€œpressure cookโ€ 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 –ย  it’ll just result in a really tall dhokla, which isn’t a bad thing ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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About Ashley

Hi, Iโ€™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 youโ€™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. Sarah says

    Hi Ashley! I love cooking Indian food and was so happy when I found your site. Every recipe I’ve tried has been wonderful and your Mushroom Mattar Methi recipe I made tasted way better than our local Indian restaurant!

    Question re curry leaves. Can I substitute dried curry leaves?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  2. Govind Rangrass says

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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?

  6. 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!

  7. Sabira Devjee says

    I made the dhokla today, and followed the recipe, except for using a trivet. It only cooked on the top, and the rest was all mushy. Was it because of the trivet? I have used other recipes of dhokra without the trivet, and with sooji. It turns out fine. I thought I’d try with besan instead, but it didn’t turn out at all. Any thoughts?

  8. Ranjana says

    5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I tried it today. It turned out nice and soft and tasty. But it was not as spongy as I expected it to be although I followed the recipe to the tee. Where could I have gone wrong?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Ranjana, how long ago did you make it? It should continue to get spongier as it sits and soaks the sauce (tadka) – please let me know if that’s what happens ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Jenita says

    5 stars
    Made this today and even my gujju friends thought it was fantastic. Super easy to make and delicious and makes for a wonderful mid day snack or picnic item.

  10. Nazlin Daya says

    5 stars
    I followed your recipe twice but both times
    it was not fluffy – wonder what I am doing wrong?

  11. Sarah DeStefano says

    Hello Ashley,
    I am so excited to try your recipes!!! I was raised on Italian cuisine and can’t wait to awaken my taste buds with Indian cuisine. You have the best resource! It appears that Eno Fruit Salt, regular is out of stock at amazon. Would I be able to use the Eno Fruit Salt, Orange flavor?
    Thanks,

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks for the kind words, Sarah! I wouldn’t use flavored eno for this recipe – sorry! It looks like the regular version is back in stock – I hope you’re able to get some!

  12. Sara J Bergen says

    4 stars
    How long can I let this sit if serving it to guests? There is a lot of prep work for all of the stuff I am serving, so it would be best to make this around 3pm. If I let it sit until 5:30pm or 6pm, will it still be good? Thanks!

  13. Debdatta Bhattacharya says

    5 stars
    This recipe was excellent! Most dhokla recipes are vague on the amount of water to be added to the batter and the steaming time. Your specific detail was very helpful. If I increase the batter, will the steaming time be the same?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thank you! I’m really glad you liked it ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t tried increasing the batter but my guess would be that this recipe would need a longer cook time – I’m just not sure how long. I would just make multiple batches. If you try, please let me know!

  14. Roxie says

    5 stars
    I canโ€™t wait to try this
    My mother in law makes it in this boiling pot on the stove and I donโ€™t have that so this instant pot option is fantastic
    Thanks for sharing

  15. mina says

    5 stars
    my first time making dhokla and this recipe was great!
    i used parchment paper to line the cheesecake pan and there was essentially no clean up.

  16. Upstairs Woman says

    5 stars
    Dang! Your recipes are always spot on! Thanks for another winner! This came out great. One slight mistake I made was not to get the tempering quite out to the edges, so next time I’ll be more even in my pouring, but even so, this was awesome!

  17. Padma says

    Really enjoying your site and have several recipes in our family binder already. Love dhokla and looking forward to making this. Only question is what would happen if the regular IP trivet was used instead of the “tall” one you are recommending.

      • Maverick says

        Tried twice with the regular trivet and there was the Khaman dhokla were not spongy at all. As a result they didnโ€™t absorb the oil sauce. Not really edible. How high do the dhokla pan should be from the bottom of the instant pot steel container. I had it right at the 3 cups mark just above the water

  18. Chhavi says

    5 stars
    What an amazing recipe. I tried it today and loved it. The dhokla came out soft, fluffy and flavorful ! The best part is that this can be whipped up in a jiffy with pantry staples ! What’s not to like ? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Ashley, will be making this more often. I was in search of a gluten free version as most other bloggers include semolina in theri recipes. So glad you shared yours !

  19. Sonal Patole says

    What is the best way to preserve curry leaves? I have my Indian store and usually get curry leaves but don’t want to waste the big bunch they come in. Thanks in advance

  20. Mark says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I took a few shortcuts in omitting the hing (didn’t have any) and I used old curry leaves from the freezer. I look forward to making it again properly in the near future with the hing and fresh curry leaves to see how much better it will be!

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