Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
When I made Khaman Dhokla with amazing results, a reader Kavita asked me for Khatta Dhokla! I promised her a recipe and here it is - 2 months later. Though I had a recipe in my notes, they were nothing like the spongy Khaman I was used to. The pores were missing and then it had a more hardened texture than the spongy one I was looking out for.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe

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Thus started experiments where I tried out at least 7 different recipes, each with not very satisfactory results. Then finally about a week ago, few modifications later, I finally got the texture I was looking out for. In the process of searching for a favorite, I have misplaced my original source that I used for as a base.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
The result of this experiment was an airy and spongy Dhokla which has a slight tanginess (rightfully so since Khatta in Hindi means sour). The batter is almost same as South Indian Idli and so is the preparation with a slight variation. Addition of fruit salt gives it the airiness and that immensely spongy texture. You can top it with anything of your choice - roasted fenugreek seeds powder, Pepper powder, chilli powder and the list goes on. It's been raining a lot in my side of the world and as you can see I did go overboard with the chilli powder!
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Yields: Makes one 8 inch (2" deep) pan worth
  • 1-1/2 cups medium grained rice
  • 1/2 cup split black gram (urad dal)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt/curd, slightly beaten
  • 1-2 green chillies, thinly sliced (or use 1/2 to 1tsp green chilli paste)
  • 10-12 whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp fruit salt (Eno)
  • 1 -2 tsp of roasted sesame seeds,coarsely ground black pepper, chilli powder (optional) for garnish
  • salt to taste
1. Soak the rice and black gram separately, at least for 6-7 hours.
2. Drain the rice and grind it in your processor until it becomes a paste. The texture will still feel coarse/grainy.
3. Pour it out into a large bowl.
4. Next grind the black gram. Add water only if required.
5. The texture of this is velvety and very smooth. Pour it into the same bowl with the rice batter.  Add the yogurt/curd, salt , peppercorns and mix well. Ferment overnight.
6. The next day - add the sliced green chillies (or chilli paste) and oil . Mix well.
7. Now sprinkle the 1 tsp of fruit salt over the batter and add 2 tsp of water over it (again sprinkle it on top). You will see the bubbles forming as a reaction to the fruit salt when in contact with water.
8. Take a thali (plate) which you are planning to use for steaming the dhokla. I used a Cake Pan since it fits well in my rice cooker and it was the only deep plate I have on hand. Though this is not necessary, I as a precaution additionally sprinkled a little bit of Fruit salton the plate. You don't have to do it per se.   Keep the steamer ready - there should not be a delay after the fruit salt is added to the batter. When its ready, pour the batter into the plate.
9. Once the bubbles start, very gently stir the batter for the salt to get mixed well with the batter.
10. Top it with the roasted seeds, powders etc. and steam for about 10 minutes
11. or until a knife/skewer inserted in the middle (check in multiple places) comes out clean
Let it cool for few minutes and then cut out pieces - diamond shaped or square - whatever strikes your fancy! Can you see the spongy texture? Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe Of course, I tried very hard to get that spongy texture in the photos..... Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe Hopefully - that has come through. Enjoy it as soon as you make them and with Tamarind/Mint chutney! It was good on its own too. Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe

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By DV on Nov 1, 2016

Hi D.K, The dhoklas looks fab. Just had two questions it would be great if you help me with those. 1. Can we replace the fruit salt with some other ingredient? 2. Can we use basmati rice or rice flour? Thanks a lot. DV

By Kavita Hada on Apr 13, 2014

I love eating dhoklas and your recipe is awesome. Thanksssss

By Samadrita Choudhary on Mar 22, 2014

Hi DK Thanks for ths awesome recipe! I made it today in morning for my gujju husband who grew up eating dhoklas. He loved it !! Thanks again. Sam

By MS on Feb 15, 2014

is there any specific brand of medium grain rice you would recommend? I usually use jasmine rice. Would that work?

By Mrspetlover on Nov 20, 2013

@ poonam Only reason why dholku would turn brown is when eno fruit salt was more than needed. Or did not mix well in the dough mix.

By DIKSHA on Oct 5, 2013


By Niraja Patel on Sep 30, 2012

Your recipe really helps me to making khatta dhokla thank you for sharing this lovely with us. next time when i make i am thinking to add bit of ginger. :-|

By Belu on Mar 31, 2012

thanks for the recipe DK! u have mentioned " split black gram (urad dal)". as far as my knowledge goes, 'gram' is chana dal and not urad. further, if we use urad dal in this, isnt it the same batter that we make for south indian idlies(in 1:3 proportion with rice)?? and yes, it does taste like Idli and i mention likewise in the post --DK

By Sumaiya on Jan 4, 2012

I soaked the rice and the dal a day before and added curd with them. Right now my batter is become too "khatta". Please suggest what can i add to it to reduce the khatta.

By Rajani on Nov 3, 2011

What should be added to get a juicy kata meeta Dhokla..

By kavita on Oct 10, 2011

Thank you so very much for this recipe.It was very thoughtful of you to take the time and actually remember that i had asked you for this recipe. I will surely try it out in the next few days and let you know how it goes. would love to share with you some of my recipes too,just have not started blogging yet , really dont know where to begin. Thank you again though

By Charunima on Feb 17, 2011

:?: HELP ASAP.....I made this batter a day before(a lot of batter, in fact), and yesterday, before making the first batch of dhokla I added ENO. Now, maybe, I was thinking of idly batter and kept the rest of the batter for today. 8-O Now, I need to make dhoklas again. What to do with Eno-ed batter? Add some more ENO to it and make dhoklas again??? Will the texture be soft and spongy again??

The eno is to be added only when you are going to cook. So I am not sure what u wud do with leftovers cos I havent personally tried it myself!

By Dhanashree on Jul 6, 2010

Hey DK, I have this "rasbhara dhokla" in my hometown that is bright red in colour and basically contains normal dhokla dipped in a red chilli powder, sugar, tamarind and mustard seeds tadka mixture(liquid), but its so yummy than the regular dhokla, lot soft and juicy texture, just to try...

By mrs senta pereira on May 23, 2010

i tried your dhokla recipe just the way shown by you. but my dhoklas did not turn spongy. i added eno fruit salt just before putting it in a dhokla maker. what could be the reason. pls reply.

Did you sprinkle some eno on the plate before pouring the batter? Was the batter cooked enough? Did the toothpick/knife come out clean on all the sides? Sometimes if its not cooked enough, it will still be soft and sticky and wont be spongy enough. Also letting it cool and can also help to develop the sponginess. Other than these, I cannot think of any other factors if you have followed all the steps! Hope these points help :) --DK

By Poonam on Feb 27, 2010

Hi!! I made this dhokla..They were good but they turn brown while you know wht can be the reason...I used baking soda instead of eno...can tht be the reason.....Thanks for the lovely receipe

Brown? I am really not sure! It has never happened to me in spite of me having tried variety of recipes. Guess as you said, it cud be cos of the Baking soda...:) --DK

By Ramya on Feb 22, 2010

Hi, You present your recipes very methodically which makes it so easy for amateur cooks like me .. thank you and please keep up the "delicious" work.

By lavi on Feb 10, 2010

Hi I do make dhoklas with sooji. but it falls apart. i guess i do not use right consistency batter. any help!!

I haven't yet tried my hands with making Dhokla with sooji!! I will surely update once I do :) --DK

By Vandy on Feb 4, 2010

:wink: Good one but as you yourself pointed ot, it looks more like idlis cut in a different shape but it looks yummy with a different presentation...

By simplyfood on Feb 3, 2010

Lovely dhoklas, I make with rice and chana dhal and also add some chamna dhal whole to add texture.(but I like your variation will definately try it,) Dholas look spongy and tasty.

By Sudha on Feb 3, 2010

Hi DK, The khatta dhokla looks very spongy and delicious!! I just had a quick question. At what stage do you add the yoghurt? I see yoghurt on the list of ingredients however, I don't see it in your amazing step-by-step instructions! Keep up the great work!!

Hi Sudha - thanks for the pointer! This is why I should stop drafting my posts late at night when I am half asleep ;). It is to be added along with salt and peppercorns just before fermenting. I have added this in the post. Thank you so much :) --DK

By Jagruti on Feb 3, 2010

love the dhokla with coriander chutney...we add chana daal..lovely pics... cheers Joy Of Cooking

By sheba on Feb 3, 2010

Lovely texture...never made dhoklas before..but i do love them...

By Priya on Feb 3, 2010

Its looks very spongy and thanks for sharing this delicious dhokla...

By Jayashree on Feb 3, 2010

The sponginess has definitely come through in the pics. Looks good.

By Radhika on Feb 3, 2010

:wink: One helluva step by step explanation. Lovely pictures. makes me want to go for the screen. Bookmarked this.

By jayasree on Feb 3, 2010

It looks very spongy...Loved the toppings. Beautiful step-by-step pics.