Khatta Dhokla

By DK on Feb 03, 2010
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!
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
I am not complaining - I loved it! Only my better half had a tough time with the 'heat' of the dish! And you might think it weird but you will have a riot if you hear what we did with the leftovers! I made Upma with it the next day and it was amazing!!! Since its taste matches that of Idli, I thought a upma just like 'Idli-Upma' would not hurt it and it did not!
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions:
How to make Dhoklas without ENO?
Why does my Khaman Dhokla turn red in color?

You could also enjoy it with Idli-chutney powder and you will know why I keep saying that it matches the taste of idlis. Esp. when enjoying it with idli chutney powder, the similarity becomes profound :). I have added green chillies in the recipe but you can add chilli paste to the batter for a spicier version.
Basic Information
Prep Time: 1 to 2 days
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 4 people
Yield: 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
Soak the rice and black gram separately, at least for 6-7 hours.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
Drain the rice and grind it in your processor until it becomes a paste. The texture will still feel coarse/grainy.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
Pour it out into a large bowl.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
Next grind the black gram. Add water only if required.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
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.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
The next day - add the sliced green chillies (or chilli paste) and oil . Mix well.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
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.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
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.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
Once the bubbles start, very gently stir the batter for the salt to get mixed well with the batter.
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
Top it with the roasted seeds, powders etc. and steam for about 10 minutes
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
or until a knife/skewer inserted in the middle (check in multiple places) comes out clean
Indian Khatta (Rice) Dhokla Recipe
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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25 Responses to “Khatta Dhokla”
  1. I love eating dhoklas and your recipe is awesome. Thanksssss

  2. Samadrita Choudhary

    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.

  3. MS

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

  4. Mrspetlover

    @ 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.



  6. Niraja Patel

    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. :-|

  7. Belu

    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

  8. Sumaiya

    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.

  9. Rajani

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

  10. kavita

    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

  11. Charunima

    :?: 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!

  12. 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…

  13. mrs senta pereira

    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

  14. Poonam

    I made this dhokla..They were good but they turn brown while steaming…do 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

  15. 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.

  16. lavi

    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

  17. :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…

  18. 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.

  19. Sudha

    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

  20. love the dhokla with coriander chutney…we add chana daal..lovely pics…

    cheers Joy Of Cooking

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

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

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

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

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

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