That sound of the footsteps, of her getting out of her room and hastily approaching the living room, where I usually sit in the morning sipping my chai, is just the perfect start to a day. She knows that she would find me there because even while rubbing her sleepy eyes with both her hands, she knows exactly which way to go. Then a gentle whine at the first sight of me, she’d lift those arms to be picked and hugged. A hug, the warmth of which even a hot cup of ginger chai in the morning couldn’t deliver.
Then after next 10 minutes of just careless lazing and yawning, the little monkey and I walk back to her room again where her sister is still hiding under the comforter. Some regular complains of how they never get enough sleep, to how far the bathroom is from her bed and cold the whole house is, we finally get the morning moving.
You never think of this, when you are in the thick of those whining and complains, that a few hours later when you would be sitting on your work table trying to write a few things of substance, all you wanna do is go back to the morning cuddles and lazy hugs. Today is one such day. After a rather busy day when I finally get a chance to sit and work, all I wanna do is wrap this up and pick them up from school and just go back to those delicious and intoxicating cuddles and hugs.
Maybe I’ll do that! As soon as I am done telling you about this delicious and intoxicating Spinach Dhokla I made. Light as feather, a touch sweet and a touch tangy, this spinach and chickpea flour steamed cake will just melt in your mouth and only leave you craving for more. And you can and should eat more because these are healthy and simple to make. I personally like the addition of water in the tadka, that makes these savory cakes extra moist and its just an added perk to an already tasty dish. Serve these an an appetizer, finger food, breakfast or lunchbox food.
1 cup Besan, chickpea flour (ladoo besan or coarse chickpea flour works best)
2 cups Spinach (washed, with stalks)
1/2 cup yogurt (whisked)
1 teaspoon ginger paste (fresh)
2 green chili
2 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
Water as required
1 teaspoon Fruit Salt (I used Eno brand)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 pinch asefetida
1 tablespoon curry leaves (chopped)
1 green chili (chopped)
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 teaspoon sesame seeds
2-3 tablespoon water
Blanch spinach- Boil water in a small put or a saucepan. Drop spinach in boiling water. And in a minute transfer it to an ice cold water.
Strain the water and blend blanched spinach in a blender. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl bring all the ingredients of dhokla together, including the spinach puree. Hold on to the fruit salt for now. Using a whisk, mix all the ingredients together, leaving no lumps. Add water to thin out the batter. Batter should be flowing like pancake batter, not to thick or thin. Set aside.
Get the dhokla steamer ready if you have it. If you do not have a dhokla steamer you can use a make shift dhokla steamer with a spring foam pan and a pot large enough to accommodate the cheesecake pan.
Grease an 8″spring foam pan. And warm about 1 1/2 cups on water in a large pot. Place a small bowls in the pot, facedown. These bowls will elevate the spring foam pan from the water and will create a steamer for the dhokla to cook.
Stir in fruit salt to the dhokla batter. Transfer the batter to the spring foam pan. Carefully drop the spring foam pan so that it rests on the back of the inverted bowls. Cover the pot. Cook on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes until a the tester knife comes out clean.
Once cooked, carefully pull the dhokla pan out of the steamer. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes. Once cool, run a knife around the edges of the pan and flip the dhokla out of the pan into a plate or serving dish. Set aside.
For the tempering:
Heat oil in a tempering pan or a small saute pan. Add asefetida. Once it sizzles drop rest of the ingredients in the order written in the list. Hold on to the water. We do not add water yet.
When all the spices and seeds start sputter, turn the heat off. Now add water, one tablespoon at a time. be careful while adding water as it might sputter.
Now spoon the prepared tempering on top of the steamed dhokla, making sure you cover the surface of the dhokla.
Cut dhokla into squares. Serve warm with a cup of chai.