Unique Upvas Recipe -2 : Samo Millet Dhokla (Savoury Steamed Millet Cake)

Samo Millets Dhokla

The Dhokla With a Twist

Dhokla is a vegetarian recipe from the Indian state of Gujarat. Famous for its versatility as a snack, breakfast or a side dish, dhokla is a healthy dish using steaming as a method of cooking. Typically a dhokla is made from Bengal gram dal flour; but here, Mealtango chef Pankaja brings to you a unique recipe using the healthier samo millet (varai/bhagar/saamai/indian barnyard millet). The usage of samo millet flour makes this recipe upvas or vrat friendly.

Millets Make it Magical

Millets are some of the oldest grains known to mankind and in India have been consumed since eternity. With the advent of ‘wheat intensive diets’, we seem to have forgotten this nutrient packed ‘pearls’ which are a great alternative to rice or wheat. Millets are calcium and iron rich and also have good amounts of magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. All of these nutrients are vital for a healthy body. Being low in glycaemic index, millets are also diabetic friendly. Such is the beauty of millets that despite being so rich in nutrition, they do not need much water or maintenance to grow and can be easily harvested from dry, arid regions of our country too.

Why wait for only upvas days? Make millets a part of your routine diet I say. Just remember, that millets are much more nutrient rich than wheat or rice, so do not replace it gram to gram in your diet. You need to eat less millets to derive the same amount of nutrition, compared to other common grains.

You will need:

For the dhokla batter

  • 1 cup- Samo millet flour
  • 2 tablespoon- sabudana (sago palm pearls)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (dahi)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 inch ginger, finely grated
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon eno (fruit salts)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt to taste

For the tempering

  • 2 tablespoon-oil
  • 1 teaspoon -jeera
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped


  • In a bowl, mix the samo flour, sabudana, dahi, water. Cover the bowl and keep aside for 6 hours. Then add the chopped green chillies, grated ginger and salt to taste.
  • Heat dhokla/idli steamer with about 1&1/2 inch water in it. Bring the water to a boil.
  • Grease the dhokla tray or plates with oil and keep them aside.
  • Once the water in the steamer comes to a boil; add Eno (fruit salt) into the dhokla batter, add oil and mix well. You will need to be quick in this mixing otherwise the leavening (raising) effect of the Eno will go waste and the dhokla will not become light and spongy.
  • Pour the batter into greased tray till ¾ full.
  • Steam the dhokla trays in the steamer for 20 min, keeping the lid covered.
  • Once the dhokla is ready, remove the tray from the steamer.
  • In another small tempering kadhai, heat the oil and add jeera and chillies to it. Spread this tadka oil on the dhokla. Cut the dhokla into small squares (about 1 inch by 1 inch), garnish with chopped coriander, remove the dhokla pieces from the tray and serve.

Chef Pankaja is famous for her Maharashtrian coastal cuisine. You can check her menu offerings here.

Do try this recipe and tell us how you liked it!

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