Dokla – Steamed dal and yogurt

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Practically any type of vegetable can be made into pakoras. Whatever vegetable you use, cut the pieces about the same size, so that they cook at the same speed. Eggplants, zucchini, potatoes, squash, and carrots can be sliced or cut into small chunks, cauliflower and broccoli into flowerets, and bell peppers into rings or strips. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and folded spinach leaves can be put in whole. A welcome addition to any meal or feast, pakoras are an easy-to-make snack that goes well with a chutney.

Soaking time: Dal, at least 4 hrs
Resting time: Batter, at least 6 hrs
Preparation and cooking time: 25 min


  • 2 cups (350 g) channa dal, cleaned
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) yogurt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 3 or 4 fresh chillies
  • 2 tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 3 tbs melted ghee
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs ghee
  • 1 tbs black mustard seeds
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • 5 tbs grated fresh coconut
  • 4 tbs chopped fresh coriander leaves


1Wash the dal and soak it for at least 4 hours. Drain it. Put it in a blender or food processor with the yogurt and water. Blend until smooth and let it stand at least 6 hours in a warm place, covered.

2Find a pot into which you can fit an 8-inch (20 cm) round cakepan. You will need some sort of ring to keep the cakepan off the bottom. Its center should have an opening wide enough to allow steam to reach the bottom of the pan. Put about 2 inches (5 cm) of water in the pot and bring to a boil.

3Grind the fresh chillies into a paste with a little water and add to the batter. Then add the ginger, turmeric, salt, lemon juice, melted ghee, and baking powder. Mix well. Grease the cakepan with a little butter or ghee and pour in the batter. Cover the pot tightly and steam the dokla for 20 to 25 minutes or until springy to the touch.

4To prepare a topping, heat the 2 tablespoons of ghee in a small pan and fry the mustard seeds, the sesame seeds, and a pinch of asafetida. When the mustard seeds finish popping, spread these seasonings over the top of the dokla and then sprinkle over it the grated coconut and coriander leaves.

5When cool, cut into 3-inch (7.5 cm) rectangles or diamonds and carefully remove them from the pan. Serve with coconut chutney.

Do not forget to offer everything to Kṛṣṇa through His bonafide representative – His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda



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