Cluster Bean Dhokla

by Srishty Jain

Sharing with you all the recipe cluster bean/fali dhokla, which is closest to my heart. This is one recipe which brings back such nice childhood memories. My mother used to teach at the school along with taking care of me and managing the house. Those were the days when household helps were limited and automation was minimal.

Because of her busy schedule, we had very little time for picnics or going out. But every year, with the first rain we would go out onto the terrace and sit on a platform next to the water tank. It was the highest accessible point of the house. My mom would cook fali dhokla specially for that day and bring it up in a big tiffin.. The aroma of dhokla would mingle with the smell of moist sand, the chirping of birds, the sun at the horizon about to set, occasional sighting of rainbow and the cool breeze.

We followed this ritual year after year; it was our idea of a little picnic on the terrace. Those were the small joys of life. This memory is etched into mu mind for a lifetime.

I was missing my mom today, hence tried this dish. The recipe is as follows:

Serves two.

For dough

  • 2 cups of wheat flour
  • 1 cup of fine flour/maida
  • 1 teaspoon spoon carrom seeds/ajwain,
  • 1 teaspoon refined oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder
  • Salt to taste

For gravy

  • 1 cup cluster beans/gwarfali finely chopped
  • 1 cup bottle guard/lauki chopped,
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped,
  • Some juliennes of ginger

Method

Mix the above ‘dough’ ingredients together and make a soft dough. Cover it in a muslin cloth and set aside for 15 minutes. Now divide the dough in ten balls and make dhoklas and set them aside.

For gravy

  1. Take a cooker and add 2 tablespoon oil.
  2. Put 1 bay leaf and a teaspoon of mustard seeds.
  3. Once the seeds start crackling, add one teaspoon red chilly powder, half teaspoon turmeric powder, salt to taste and three cups of water.
  4. One the water starts boiling up, add all the cut vegetables and let the mixture boils once again.
  5. Now add the dhoklas to the mixture.
  6. Cover the cooker lid and pressure cook it for three whistles. Let the pressure get released on its own. Be careful not to open the cooker before all the pressure is released.
  7. Once the pressure is released, remove the lid and add one teaspoon of dry Mango powder/amchur and squeeze half a lemon into it.
  8. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.

Do try it at home and let me know what you think. You can sprinkle some wheat flour into the gravy if it gets too watery.

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