Category Archives: Dhokla/Idada

Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Idada/White Dhokla of Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea

Savoury Steamed Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Cake

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Savoury Steamed Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Cake








I have talked about the well known Gujarati dish idada in  one of my previous posts when I had made them with cabbage.

Idada are very healthy because they are made from fermented batter and steamed. Fermented foods have many health benefits and are often overlooked in most people’s diets.

in today’s kooky version, I have added a couple of vegetables to up the nutritional quota

My previous idada experiment was so successful that I decided to replicate it with kohlrabi and fresh green chickpeas, both of which are currently in season.

Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpeas for IdadaWhen I had last cooked with kohlrabi (green pea and kohlrabi cake), I had decided to buy the vegetable whenever I saw it.

As for the fresh green chickpeas, they are very nice to look at and cook with but a pain to shell.

So imagine my delight when I chanced upon a greengrocer selling both (the fact that he was selling shelled chickpeas was a bonus!).

As you can see from the above photo, the kohlrabi leaves were very fresh and so I decided to include them as well.

At first, I thought I would coarsely grind the chickpeas in a food processor before adding them to the batter but then I decided to throw them in whole.

If you would like to make these, you can either use ready idli batter (in the UK, ready batter is available in many Indian grocers) or you can soak the rice and lentils, grind them and ferment them. As it is still a bit cold where we are, I used my ‘fermenting in cold climate‘ method to  get the batter to rise. It took nearly 48 hours for this process to happen.

if you use instant idli batter, these can be made in a jiffy

If you can’t get hold of fresh green chickpeas, you can use green peas instead.

The following method is using ready idli batter. If you would like to soak, grind and ferment, please go here for instructions and quantity.


1 Cup idli batter

1 Kohlrabi

1/2 Cup fresh green chickpeas (or green peas)

2-3 Green chillies

Fresh ginger, size of your thumb

Salt to taste

1-2 Teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon oil


  1. First prep the kohlrabi. Discard any tough stems and keep the fresh leaves.
  2. Peel the kohlrabi with a regular knife, The skin will come off very easily.
  3. Wash and finely grate the kohlrabi.
  4. Wash and finely chop its leaves.
  5. Wash the fresh chickpeas or green peas.
  6. Wash and mince the chilli.
  7. Peel, wash and mince the ginger.
  8. To the idli batter, add the grated kohlrabi, chopped leaves, chickpeas/green peas, chilli, ginger and salt to taste.
  9. Grease a cake like tin with half tablespoon oil and pour the batter in it.
  10. Evenly sprinkle coarsely ground peppercorns across the surface of the batter.
  11. Steam for about 45 minutes.
  12. Once cooked, remove from the steamer and drizzle the remaining oil (and a bit more if you like).
  13. Let the idada sit for about 3 to 4 minutes before cutting in square or diamond shape and serving.


  1. To check for doneness, insert a knife or a toothpick, it if comes out clean you know that they are cooked.

Batter for Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea IdadaThis is how my batter looked waiting to be steamed.

delicious with some green or red chutney


Fermenting In Cold Climate

Fermenting in Colder Climate









Seeing as how temperatures are low all across, I hope that today’s Kooky tip will help anybody out there looking to speed up fermentation process in cold weather.

This method will work well for batters, non-yeast doughs as well as for sprouting of beans, seeds and nuts.

having successfully tried it a number of times, am tempted to say that it is fool-proof

Depending on what you are fermenting, I suggest that you have a peek at 12 hour interval to check the progress.

I call this the double-barrel method. Don’t ask me why but the name has stuck in my mind for this approach!

Equipment Required

1 Large pot with lid

1 Medium pot with lid


Step 1: Heat the large pot till very hot. Take it off the heat and place it on a heatproof surface.

Step 1 Fermenting in Colder Climate









Step 2: Put the food that needs fermenting in the medium pot and place this pot in the just heated large pot.

Step 2 Fermenting in Colder Climate









Step 3: Cover the medium pot sitting inside the large pot. Finally, cover the large pot. Now keep the large pot with the medium pot inside in a dark corner of your kitchen. Be careful when handling the large pot as it will still be hot; use some gloves or a kitchen towel. You may want to put a heatproof plate underneath.

Step 3 Fermenting in Colder Climate









Step 4: After 12 hours, check whether your food is fermented. If you want to sprout some beans or seeds using this method, put them in a muslin before you place them in the medium pot.


  1. After 24 hours, if your food has still not fermented, follow this process one more time. Based on my experience, I would say that it works.

Happy fermenting!

Ragi Grain Dhokla with Taproot Vegetables/Savoury Steamed Finger Millet Cake with Taproot Vegetables

Ragi Dhokla with Taproot Vegetables









There are several types of root vegetables. According to wikipedia, “Botany distinguishes true roots such as tuberous roots and taproots from non-roots such as tubers, rhizomes, corms, and bulbs, though some contain both taproot and hypocotyl tissue, making it difficult to tell some types apart.”

Vegetables used in Ragi DhoklaTaproot vegetables include parsnip, daikon (horseradish), celeriac, carrot, beet and turnip. Today’s story involves the last three which are currently in season.

I wanted to experiment with ragi dhokla. The internet research that I did showed me recipes for instant dhokla made of ragi flour. I decided to go down the conventional route of soaking, grinding and fermenting.

Am happy to say that the experiment worked. Unlike conventional dhoklas which are light, fluffy and porous, these are slightly dense and have more moisture.

addition of seasonal vegetables makes this a balanced meal


1/2 Cup split chickpeas (chana dal)

1/2 Cup whole ragi

2 Tablespoons brown rice

2 Tablespoons ragi flour*

1 Carrot

2 – 3 Radish (depends on the size)

2 Turnips

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon minced green chillies and ginger

Salt to taste

Oil for greasing and drizzling


  1. We first need to work on the batter.
  2. Wash the split chickpeas, ragi grains and rice.
  3. Soak these in water for 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Once the soaking time is up, grind the cereal and rice to a smooth paste. The consistency should be neither too runny nor too stiff.
  5. Now cover and leave the batter in a cool, dark place to ferment. Fermentation time will depend on the climate. If it is very hot, this can happen in a matter of 4 to 5 hours. If it is colder (as it is right now), allow 36 hours (this is what I did).
  6. When you are ready to cook the dhokla, prepare the vegetables. Wash and finely grate the carrot, turnip and radish.
  7. Take the fermented batter, add salt, turmeric and green chilly-ginger paste.
  8. Stir well and add the grated vegetables. Once again, mix well.
  9. Grease a cake tin (or equivalent) and pour the batter in it.
  10. Place this in a steamer with a tight lid and steam the dhokla for 1 hour. Check after an hour; if not cooked, steam for half hour more.
  11. Once cooked, take out of the steamer, drizzle some oil and let the dhokla rest for a few minutes before cutting in diamond shape.
  12. Serve with some green chutney.


  1. I found my batter to be a bit too runny so I added some ragi flour. It is optional and only needed to thicken the batter before fermenting.
  2. Adjust the quantity of vegetables depending on size.
  3. You can use any other vegetable such as horseradish, pumpkin, gourd or even beetroot.
  4. Ragi dhokla take longer to cook compared to traditional dhokla.

This is how the batter looks once it is fermented. It rises and turns porus.

Fermented Batter for Ragi Dhokla









Ragi grains are tiny and so you may not be able to grind them all (red specks you can see from the photo below). This is perfectly okay and nothing to worry about.

Ragi Dhokla in Steamer









Carrot & Green Pea Dhokla/Savoury Steamed Cake with Carrot & Green Pea

Carrot Green Pea Dhokla Batter









After the indulgent chicken dinner on Monday, I need to make up for the excess.

say hello to steamed dhokla

Traditionally, dhokla are not cooked with any vegetables. I wanted to make a healthier version of this anyway healthy Gujarati dish so decided to add carrots and green peas.

the end result is so moreish that it is definitely one I plan to revisit

This is another quick meal which takes little time to put together. However, you do need to plan a day ahead to allow for the fermentation process.


1 Cup dhokla flour*

1-2 Tablespoons ragi flour

1-2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1 Carrot, coarsely grated

0.5 Cup shelled green peas

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1-2 Teaspoons minced green chilli-ginger paste

A pinch of bicarbonate of soda (optional)

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle on top


  1. Combine the dhokla and ragi flours.
  2. Add one cup of water, mix well and leave it in a warm, dry place for 12-24* hours to ferment.
  3. When you are ready to cook the dhokla, add the quick cooking oats, turmeric powder, chilli-ginger paste, bicarbonate of soda (if using) and salt to the batter.
  4. Mix well and pour it in a greased cake tin (or equivalent).
  5. Put the tin in a steamer and steam for 30-40 minutes.
  6. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know the dhokla are cooked.
  7. Take the tin out of the steamer, drizzle the sesame oil all over (make sure to spread it evenly across the surface) and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  8. After 5 minutes, cut in diamond shape and serve with green or red chutney.


  1. If you don’t have access to ready dhokla flour, you can try this method of soaking rice and chana dal.
  2. Fermentation time will depend on where you are and the temperature in your home. In hot climate, the batter can ferment within 6-8 hours. In cooler climate, it takes longer. If unsure, even if you let the batter ferment for upto 24 hours, it shouldn’t go bad.

This is how my dhokla looked once cooked.

Carrot and Green Pea Dhokla Batter Cooked









And here’s the end result.

Carrot and Green Pea Dhokla

Cabbage Idada/Cabbage White Dhokla/Savoury Steamed Cabbage Cake

Cabbage Idada

Idada is a specialty from the state of Gujarat in India. Made of rice and skinned, split black lentils (urad dal), the batter is similar to that of idli.

Idada batter before steamingThis is a versatile dish as in you can have it for breakfast, as a snack, for dinner or accompaniment as part of an elaborate Indian meal.

To my mind, there are two main differences between idada and dhokla (another Gujarati dish with similar cooking method). Idada are white in colour (and, so, called white dhokla by some) and there is no tempering involved before serving.

In my family, we tend to ferment the idada batter before cooking although you will find some recipes on the internet which skips this stage.

Here, I would like to share with you my idada recipe with a twist. The addition of cabbage increases this dish’s nutritional value without taking away from the original taste.

The above photo was taken before steaming. Not sure whether you can see the specks of green but this is what the batter looks like with the inclusion of cabbage.


3/4th cup white rice

1/4th cup skinned split black lentil

one cup finely grated white or green cabbage

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon oil for greasing

1 tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle


  1. Soak rice and lentils for 8 hours.
  2. Finely grind them in a mixer or a blender with some water. The consistency should be neither too runny, nor too thick.
  3. Now put the batter in a large container, cover and place in a dark corner of your kitchen for 8-10 hours for it to ferment. The reason we are using a large container is to allow some extra room for the batter to rise.
  4. When you are ready to cook the idada, mix the cabbage and salt in the batter.
  5. Grease a cake tin or a thaali, pour the batter in it and sprinkle the coarsely ground black peppercorns all over (see photo above for visual reference).
  6. Put the container with the batter in a steamer (or over a pot which is half filled with water), cover and steam for 30 minutes.
  7. To check whether it is cooked, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know that it is done.
  8. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Drizzle some sesame oil over the cooked idada making sure it is evenly spread, cut into diamond shapes and serve.

Idada cooked

This is what my cabbage idada looked like once cooked and oiled. The cabbage has visually disappeared!

serve idada with green or red chutney