August 15th is a very special day for India. We celebrate our freedom. On this Independence Day I am honoured to host two brilliant foodies from Tadka Pasta. Rajini and Ruchira are two versatile, and creative foodbloggers who have an eye for detail. Not only are their pictures drool-worthy, but their recipes are also healthy and appealing. I've had the privilege to meet and interact with Ruchira, who is a very warm and unassuming person with whom I could connect so easily. Do check out Tadka Pasta for their fantastic work!
Rajini and Ruchira have prepared this appetizing tri-colour dhokla which promises to be delectable, for my readers. With this detailed recipe you just cant go wrong. Happy Independence Day to all EYK and Tadka Pasta readers!
When breakfast hour closes in on a holiday, especially if it's ones that celebrates the nation, and its freedom, it's no place for the typical Sundayesque lazy bones to idle and lounge around. There's ample rattling for the suitably famished family. It's funny how the mind, when put thus to task, reminisces the little things that made Independence Day special when one was a school-going eager beaver. The sound of patriotic themed songs on Vividh Bharati, the AIR program, reverberating from the Philips radio in the kitchen while Mom whipped up those signature tri-colour treats - white bread sandwiches finished off with spiced carrots, freshly grated coconut and generous smatterings of herbs... or carrot halwa topped with home-made khoa and pistachios - all redolent of and pointing to precious moments spent in the living room, watching the parade on Doordarshan, savouring every bite of these goodies with the family. This then, our Tiranga Suji Dhokla, is not only a tribute to those precious memories, but to the present, to our children.. who are used to eating healthy in a fun way as long as we can help it.. and to the spirit of August the 15th as we know and love it.
Tiranga Suji Dhokla
- 1.5 cups sour curds
- salt to taste-about 1.5 tsps
- 1.5 cups fine semolina/suji/rawa
- 2 carrots, chopped and boiled
- 1Tomato, chopped
- A dash of chilli powder
- 2tbs grated coconut
- 1tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 cup prepared coriander/mint green chutney or paste
- 1.5 tsps Eno brand fruit salt
For the tadka-
- 2tbs sesame oil
- A pinch of asafoetida/hing
- 1tsp mustard seeds
- 2tsps sesame seeds
- -2 Green chillies, slices, optional
- A pinch of red chilli powder or paprika
Whisk the curds well along with the salt and stir in the semolina. Set this mixture aside to soak for 30 mins.
Meanwhile puree the carrot and tomato together. You will need about 1/2 cup of this puree.
To make the 3 layers of the dhokla you will need 3 small equal-sized flat-bottom pans/trays (with about 2"high sides). We have used the separator pans that stack inside a pressure cooker. You could also use the traditional dhokla thalis. Line the pans with foil or parchment and grease them well to ensure a smooth release. Heat 2 cups of water in the matching steamer pot or pressure cooker.
Divide the soaked semolina mixture into 3 equal parts in 3 bowls.
For the saffron layer- Add about half cup of the carrot-tomato puree to one bowl along with a dash of red chilli powder and whisk until smooth.
For the white layer- Whisk in the ginger paste, grated coconut and 1/2 cup of water into the second bowl. Set aside.
For the green layer- Mix in the green chutney/paste into the last bowl of semolina.
Once the water in the pressure cooker/steamer comes to a boil, working quickly, add 1/2 tsp of Eno to one bowl of the dhokla mix, stir well and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Repeat this process with the other 2 layers. Cover the pan that will go on top with a plate. Stack the pans and steam the dhokla for about 15-20 mins on med-hi heat or until cooked and a knife inserted comes out clean.
Remove the pans from the steamer and allow the dhoklas to cool, uncovered for a few minutes in the pans.
While the dhokla is resting, make the tadka. Heat the oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds, sesame seeds and a pinch of hing. Once the seeds pop, add the green chillies, if using and toss well. Add the chilli powder and take the pan off the heat.
To assemble, invert the green layer gently onto the serving plate. Sprinkle some of the tadka on it. Top with the white layer, add a little more of the spiced oil and then finally the saffron layer with the rest of the seasoning. Cut the dhokla into generous slices and serve with a side of chutney or thick mint- cucumber raita.
You can also spread mint and/or garlic chutney between the layer of the dhoklas to sandwich them together.