Cook's Hideout: Dhokli nu Shaak (Gujarati dish for ICC)

December 15, 2014

Dhokli nu Shaak (Gujarati dish for ICC)

For this month's 'Indian Food Challenge', Valli gave us a fairly easy dish to make. It is a delicious yogurt based gravy that has besan cakes dunked in it. The minute I saw her announcement, I mentally made a note to make it, but slowly time flew right by and then this morning I saw Valli's email that her ICC post is up. It was only then I realized that I almost forgot about the event.
Dhokli nu Shaak
Thankfully I had all the ingredients on hand and my husband is travelling, so I can have a field day with yogurt based dishes :-) (did you see my Shrikand recipe from two days ago).
Besan cakes used in this dish are very similar to an Andhra dish called Besan chikki. My MIL sautes the besan before adding the water and making the cakes and the gravy is tamarind based and not buttermilk based.
Dhokli nu Shaak
I made the dish with store bought reduced fat buttermilk that I had in the fridge and the whole dish curdled and looks awful. But the good thing about this dish, it is super simple to make with every day ingredients -- so I didn't think twice to dump the whole pot in the sink and start all over again.
The second time I used homemade yogurt (that I make with a combination of 1% & 2% milks) and added a teaspoon of besan (chickpea flour) for added assurance. Finally I had a yummy and comforting dish that I ate for my lunch with roti and some white rice. So moral of the story, make sure you use higher fat yogurt or buttermilk or stabilize the lower fat dairy with some kind of a starch (corn starch) or a flour (all-purpose flour, rice flour or chickpea flour).
Dhokli nu Shaak
For the Besan Cakes: Serves 2~3
Chickpea flour/ Besan - ½cup 
Red Chili powder - ½tsp
Salt - to taste
Water - 1½cups

For the Buttermilk Gravy:
Mustard seeds - ¼tsp 
Cumin seeds - ¼tsp
Red Chili - 1
Garlic - 1 clove, coarsely chopped
Water - 1cup
Full fat Buttermilk - ¼cup (if using lower fat buttermilk add 1tsp chickpea flour)
Turmeric - a pinch
Ground Coriander - ¼tsp
Red Chili powder - ¼tsp
Salt - to taste

  • Make the Dhoklis/ Besan Cakes: In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cakes and whisk until a smooth batter forms. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and pour the batter and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan. It took about 12~25 minutes for me to cook ½cup of besan. Remove on to a greased plate and let cool. Cut into diamonds or squares and set aside.
  • Make the Gravy: Heat 2tsp oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chili and garlic. Cook till the seeds start to splutter. 
  • Pour the water in and add the spices and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 3~4 minutes for the flavors to mingle. 
  • Slowly add the buttermilk and dhoklis and cook for 5~7 minutes. Serve immediately. Alternately cook gravy and dhoklis separately and add the dhoklis to the gravy later.
Dhokli nu Shaak


1 comment:

  1. Pavani, you have got the dish so well done..sad about the first mishap..good that you got it right the second time..I didn't have to use besan in the gravy, maybe our indian curds are different..still good tips..and checked your andhra gravy..I am still so amazed with the similarities out Indian states have with their dishes!..:)


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