Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables ~ T is for Dhoklas OOPS Tomato

t is for tomato
t is for tomato…

It’s Saturday again. Not only is it time for dearest Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables, but it’s time for celebration!

Congratulations, Nupur, on your convocation! May you reap the fruits of your labor to the fullest and realise all your dreams 🙂

Now down to serious business – T is for tomato 😉

Every time someone blogs about dhokla, I wish I could traverse the ether.
I want to reach out across the miles, to the plate proffered on the screen.
I crave a piece of that light-as-a-feather, savory yet not-too-spicy bit of heaven.
So close, and yet so far.

“I should make some”, I think to myself.

Let me get some citric acid crystals from the health-food store.
Let me get some Eno.
Let me find a free afternoon to play. I don’t just want to cook dhokla, I want to *create* dhokla. Just like that — light and spicy. I aspire to that dhokla which I drool over in a dreamlike state, when I see those pics.

dhokla experiment
ingredients for dhokla ~ besan, dhokla flour, eno fruit salt, assorted vegetables including fresh tomato!

Dhokla. Although there are mixes available, somehow I can’t bring myself to resort to that convenience until I have at least *tried* to make the dish myself. Besides, it’s so easy right? Just mix up the besan or the sooji and some yogurt, or water, seasonings, little Eno… make the tadka… poof! You’re a dhokla-master, right!?!

As I tell the kids, sometimes fear of the unknown is the most paralyzing fear there is. Well I know what besan is and I know how to steam-cook food but somehow the light and fluffy dhokla of my dreams is out of reach due to my irrational fear.
What am I afraid of?

Dull, heavy, it’ll-never-rise sort of hockey-puck dhokla.

Practice makes perfect, and I have to try.
“Let me begin at the beginning” I think. I wish I knew how to steam it…

I found the dhokla-maker weeks ago, in an international (but mostly Asian, and mostly Indian at that) shop. I washed it well and scalded it. Who knows how long it was on the shelf before I got it for $9! Finally I got a free afternoon.

dhokla ready to cook
dhokla batter in the pan, ready to cook

I rounded up all my ingredients. I had in mind a dhokla sandwich, not with green chile chutney, but with roasted eggplant and tomato. When I found a vine-ripe tomato in the store today, I knew what I had to do.

dhokla in stand
the batter, in my $9 dhokla stand!

I will not list the ingredients for this universally loved dish. Instead I will say I was inspired by and may have adapted from many bloggers’ recipes I’ve come across. I thank you all!


Tomato and Brinjal Sandwich Dhokla

Thinly slice and pan-roast some sweet young brinjal. Salt it lightly and set it aside.
Chop half a very ripe tomato. Slice the other half thin. Set these aside.

For batter: besan, chiles and the chopped tomatoes with cilantro and few green chiles.

Tadka: mustard seed, chopped green chiles, and garlic if you like.

Make a tomato sandwich easily by placing thin slices of ripe tomato between two thin dhokla cakes. Add slices of pan-roasted brinjal too.
Top with tadka and don’t try to take pics before it’s eaten.
Even on the first try, it’s dhokla. Saving it is a lost cause 🙂




Dhokla Inspirations

Hema’s Khaman

Trupti’s Gujarati Series: Infused Khatta-Meetha Khaman Dhokla

Jugalbandi’s Khaman Dhokla

TV Star Nandita’s Instant Khaman Dhokla

And of course, our dear hostess!

Nupur’s Instant Dhokla


Special thanks to GC for listening to me go on and on (and on) about the finer points of dhokla without even knowing what it was 🙂

And I would like to express a great big thank you to Manjula of Manjula’s Kitchen, my very own fairy godmother (unbenounced to her) who magically appeared, just when my confidence was lacking.

I watched her how-to video on dhokla, and you can too. Find it at YouTube by searching on “manjula dhokla”. She has many other lovely recipes as well, and Manjula, I hope you are not offended by my mention here — I am most grateful! 🙂


  1. Shammi said

    Linda, I LOVE your dhokla stand!!! and what a steal for just $9!!! NICE dhokla pic, too 🙂 I admire the fact that you did it all the hard way – it’s so easy to go “instant” if you’re lazy.

    Thanks Shammi — I do like the lazy way lots of times, but really wanted to make this myself 🙂

  2. sra said

    That tomato has got to be the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen! And I’m curious about the innovative touch of brinjal and tomato – I’ve seen a paneer version here!

    Oooh, paneer and dhokla!? That sounds delish! I loved the tomato too — wish I could grow ’em like that! 😉

  3. mm said

    Your pictures are beautiful…..the tomato and brinjal sandwich dhokla is an appetizing combination of color and texture. The composition of all photos is a work of art…The words you put down before you for us to enjoy equally display your gift. Thank You for posting another example of your remarkable (and many) talents…..the mm

    Glad you enjoyed it, mm — thank you 🙂

  4. Nupur said

    The tomato picture is GORGEOUS, it is one of those beautiful heirloom varieties, right?
    Just like you, I was stricken with anxiety before trying out dhokla for the first time 🙂 But Linda, your creation takes dhokla to the next level- with the tomato, and the sandwiched eggplant. You are making me drool! I’m sure you will be using that lovely dhokla stand for all kinds of wonderful steamed delights 🙂

    Thanks Nupur, for your kind words! I am sure that was an heirloom tomato. I wish I could grow something like that, but I settled for buying it yesterday. It’s still a little too early for the local variety — can’t wait for that! 🙂

  5. trupti said

    I LOVE that tomato’s color, LInda… Imagine a sari in that color!

    coming to the dhokla, girl, what an idea! and I do love that dhokla stand of yours, what a great buy! and yes, I agree, Manjula’s videos are wonderful, I just love her, she reminds me of my MIL, she looks just like her, and what a fine cook she is, just like my dear MIL. 🙂
    Just read your email girl….thanks! 😉


    A sari that color would be fabulous indeed! I got absolutely hooked on Manjula’s vids. Was watching them all last night. She has an endearing way about her — not unlike you, dear! 🙂

  6. Asha said

    Beautiful! Two colored Dhoklas! Looks delicous Linda.I have to try your way:)

    Thanks Asha, so glad you liked it 🙂 Have a nice relaxing Sunday!

  7. Richa said

    linda, now you make me want to traverse the ether 🙂
    you have definitely achieved the fluffy consistency in those dhokla!
    that dhokla steamer sure is very handy to make them in large quantity 🙂
    that tomato is something else….

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Richa 🙂 Dhokla steamer sure held alot of snack-food! 😉

  8. indosungod said

    Linda, first of all the Dhokla looks wonderful and you made a sandwich out of it. Have been wanting to prepare for a while now will now with inspiration from you what am I waiting for?. But that dhokla stand for a $9 is defintely a steal and looks great and super useful , now I am going to pay attention when I visit the Indian grocery stores!!

    Thanks ISG! I found this tucked way back on a top shelf among a bunch of rice cookers. The box was opened — maybe that’s why it was a bargain. But it works great — sometimes it’s worth digging huh? 🙂 Have a great rest of the weekend 🙂

  9. priyanka said

    wow the dhoklas look mouthwatering!!! very creative recipe.

    Thank you so much, Priyanka. I just peeked in at your blog — you have some great recipes 🙂

  10. Suganya said

    Those mustard seeds look cute and shiny in the photo. Sandwiching veges instead of chutneys is a different idea. I havent tried making dhokla yet. Am so tempted looking at yrs.

    Suganya, please make some dhokla so I can come drool over the pics you’ll take of them! 🙂

  11. Coffee said

    Now thats what I call a fabulous invention!!!!!! 😀

    Dhokla has forver been synonymous with gujjus and not one place have I eaten this kind of a variation!!!! I am sure to make this in my next try!! 🙂 And that stand just for 9 $ !!!!!! It’s definately a steal! 🙂

    That tomato pic is beautiful!!! I was too much in a hurry to comment 😛

    An email coming you way……………..

    If you try Coffee, I hope you like it — thanks for the kind words 🙂 Did not see your mail yet 😉

  12. sandeepa said

    You have a dhokla maker tooo…wow. And what an innovation, tomato sandwich dhokla..wah wah

    I wanted a dhokla maker for the longest time Sandeepa, finally found one! 🙂

  13. Sheela said

    How creative, Linda! Dhokla Sandwich, wow! I love your dhokla stand… can’t believe it was only 9$… and the tomato picture, simply gorgeous. Came here via Nupur’s round-up again…

    Hi Sheela, happy you came by, and I’m glad you enjoyed! Nupur’s A-Z has me searching out all sorts of new things — much fun. The stand was a bit of a bargain, thankfully! 🙂

  14. Sharmi said

    that tomato looks so pretty. such a pretty creation of dhokla. will make them sometime. looks so nice.

    Thank you so much, Sharmi! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  15. Roopa said

    looks delicious and very innovative wto include tamatoes and brinjals in dhokla.

    Thank you so much, Roopa 🙂

  16. Usha said

    Pics are very nice! very colorful dhoklas!! Yummy ..

    Thank you Usha! I liked the color of them too 🙂

  17. Srivalli said


    What a lovely looking dhoklas!!. I love dhoklas..will surely try your version. Thanks for sharing this with us.


    Thank you for stopping by, Srivalli — if you try them I hope you enjoy 🙂

    • hari said


      Thanks for the recipe, May I know where can we buy the dhokla pan. where did you buy this pan.


  18. fxsunny said

    Hi, I was able to find a similar dhokla pan….but what do you cook/steam it in? I’ve got a 5ltr Indian prestige cooker and this thing won’t fit in. Pls advise.

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