Instant Pot Rava Dhokla (Steamed Semolina Cake)
Note: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Looking for a quick Gujarati White Dhokla recipe? Use this easy recipe to make Instant Rava Dhokla in your Instant Pot. It is a crowd-pleaser for sure!
The hardest recipes to recreate are the ones from childhood. Because while you remember how the dish tasted and looked you have no idea what went into it. Dhokla was one such dish for me.
I was introduced to white dhokla by my Gujarati friends from school who used to get this delicious dish for lunch along with green chutney. Soft, spongy and delicious – it reminded me so much of the idlis my mom used to make.
After cracking the code for khaman (steamed gram flour cake), another childhood favorite, I decided it was time to make dhokla too. I reached out to my friends once again and after a few messages back and forth on Whatsapp, I was able to nail down the recipe down for rava dhokla.
If you are new to this dish make sure to check out the next few paragraphs where I share a brief introduction to dhokla.
What is dhokla?
Dhokla is a quintessential Gujarati dish just like nylon khaman. Originally made from fermented rice and lentil batter, this soft and spongy snack when steamed resembles a cake. The texture when cooked right should be similar to idli – soft and spongy.
This dish traveled with the Gujarati diaspora and has become a popular dish with vegetarians and vegans across the globe.
What makes sooji dhokla a good breakfast/snack?
Instant semolina dhokla is an excellent between meals snack or even a breakfast dish as it is easy to make and doesn’t take much time or effort. Here are the top reasons why most moms love this dish.
- Easy and quick to make – No overnight fermentation required.
- A great make-ahead snack. Freezes well too!
- Tastes great at room temperature as well which makes for a great school or work lunch option.
How to make Suji dhokla
Call it suji dhokla, semolina dhokla or rava dhokla it is all one and the same. The name comes from the main ingredient used for this instant dhokla, which is, semolina. Semolina is called suji or rava in India.
Ingredients in dhokla
A key ingredient in any instant Indian dhokla recipe would be the fruit salt. This ingredient has changed the way dhokla is traditionally made. Instead of the time-consuming method of soaking the ingredients, grinding them and fermenting it overnight before it could be steamed, the inclusion of fruit salt and semolina has turned this dish into an instant one.
While fruit salt was originally sold as a remedy for various ailments including acidity, it is now used to replicate the effect of fermentation i.e to make batters light and fluffy instantly.
What exactly is fruit salt?
Fruit salt is an antacid that is used to combat acidity, heartburn, etc. The most common ingredients used are baking soda and citric acid or tartaric acid along with flavoring agents and in some cases, sugar to enhance the taste. The ingredients may vary from brand to brand, but the essential qualities do not change.
Here’s how to make suji dhokla using an Instant Pot
Traditionally, the batter is poured in a steel plate and steamed using a dhokla cooker but in this recipe, I have used an Instant Pot.
- Mix all the ingredients for the batter (except fruit salt) together to make a smooth pourable batter. Set aside to let the semolina soak for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease a springform cake pan well with a little oil or ghee.
- After 15 – 20 minutes, whisk the batter and add more water if needed so the batter is the same consistency as the idli batter.
- Prepare your Instant Pot for steaming the dhokla. Add in 2.5 cups of water and set it on saute function with “more” mode. Once the water starts to boil press warm/cancel. The instant pot is ready for steaming.
Add the Eno fruit salt to the batter and mix it in till it gets incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix. The batter will look foamy at this point.
Place the trivet in the steel inner pot along with the springform pan.
Transfer the batter into the springform pan. Sprinkle the dhokla batter evenly with Kashmiri chili powder and freshly ground pepper.
Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and set the valve to the venting position.
Select the ‘Steam’ function and adjust the pressure to high. Set an EXTERNAL timer for 15 minutes. [Note: When the steam valve is in the venting position, the Instant Pot timer will not work].
Once the external timer indicates the time is up, hit the cancel button in the Instant Pot.
Wait for 5 minutes and then open the lid. Insert a toothpick right in the center of the dhokla. If it doesn’t come out clean, steam the dhokla for an additional 3-4 minutes till it is thoroughly cooked.
Remove the pan carefully using tongs.
If using a springform pan, unhinge the clasp and remove the sides.
If you are not using a springform pan, run over the edges of the pan with a sharp knife and invert the dhokla over a plate. Lift the pan off the dhokla.
If you prefer the smoother surface to be on top, invert the dhokla one more time by keeping a plate on top of the dhokla. Carefully hold both plates together and flip the bottom plate to the top.
Remove the plate and cut the dhokla into diamond or square shapes.
- Serve it with green chutney and/or tamarind chutney.
- Nylon khaman dhokla – Spongy, savory and with a hint of sweetness, Gujarati nylon khaman dhokla is a light and healthy anytime snack. Get this failproof recipe to make it in the Instant Pot.
- Lemon vermicelli – This delicious and tangy Semiya Upma (Lemon Vermicelli) is just what you need to start your day. It is filling and comes together in 15 minutes from start to finish.
- Upma – a semolina based breakfast dish that takes less than 30 minutes.
- Idli – You’ll love this post if you have been struggling to get soft and spongy idlis. Learn all my tips and tricks to get perfect fermented batter even in winters!
- Buttermilk dosa – Buttermilk dosa – Delicious and soft, this dosa is perfect for breakfast, snack, and even lunch. Learn how to make it in a few easy steps.
- Instant Rava idli – Here is a quick recipe to enjoy those lovely soft fluffy instant rava idlis whenever the mood strikes. Serve with coconut or peanut chutney for a delicious and healthy meal.
Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -
- Read this article on 10 things to know before using your Instant Pot
- An in-depth guide on how to use your Instant Pot
- 10 Most Useful Instant Pot Accessories
- A massive collection of Instant Pot Recipes
- A list of best Instant Pot Cookbooks for every kind of diet
Instant Pot Dhokla Recipe
- 1 cup fine semolina rawa
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 inch piece ginger grated
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons oil
- ½ cup water
- 1.5 teaspoons Eno/fruit salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper optional
- ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder optional
- 2.5 cups water for steaming
For the tempering
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- 7-8 curry leaves
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
Preparing the batter
- Grease a 7-inch springform pan or a steel bowl either using oil or cooking spray. Use a pastry brush if needed to make sure the bowl is thoroughly greased.
- Add semolina, yogurt, sugar, green chili, ginger, oil, salt and water in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk to combine them into a lump-free batter.
- Set it aside for about 15-20 minutes to allow the semolina to soak up the liquid.
- After about 15 minutes, whisk the mixture. The consistency of the batter should be thick and flowy like idli batter. Add more water as needed starting with one tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency.
- Add 2.5 cups of water in the Instant Pot and click on the Saute function and set it to the ‘More’ mode. Once the water comes to a boil, hit warm/cancel.
- Add the Eno fruit salt to the batter and mix it in till it gets incorporated into the batter making. Do not over mix.
- Place the trivet in the steel inner pot along with the springform pan.
- Transfer the batter into the springform pan. Sprinkle the dhokla batter evenly with freshly ground pepper and Kashmiri chili powder.
- Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and set the valve to the venting position.
- Select the ‘Steam’ function and adjust the pressure to high. Set ten EXTERNAL timer to 15 minutes. [Note: When the steam valve is in the venting position, the Instant Pot timer will not work]. Once the external timer indicates the time is up, hit the cancel button in the Instant Pot.
- Wait for 5 minutes and then open the lid. Insert a toothpick right in the center of the dhokla. If it doesn't come out clean, steam the dhokla for an additional 3-4 minutes till it is thoroughly cooked.
- Remove the pan carefully using tongs.
- If using a springform pan, unhinge the clasp and remove the sides.
- If you are not using a springform pan, run over the edges of the pan with a sharp knife and invert the dhokla over a plate. Lift the pan off the dhokla.
- If you prefer the smoother surface to be on top, invert the dhokla one more time by keeping a plate on top of the dhokla. Carefully hold both plates together and flip the bottom plate to the top.
- Remove the plate and cut the dhokla into diamond shapes.
- Add oil to a small pan and set it on medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and when they start to crackle, add asafoetida, green chilies, and sesame seeds.
- When the sesame starts to brown in about 10-15 seconds, take the pan off heat.
- Pour this tempering mixture evenly over the dhokla using a spoon.
- Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
- Serve warm with green chutney or tamarind chutney.
- I use a springform pan because it makes removing the khaman from the pan a breeze.
- Variation - if you do not have Eno fruit salt, replace it with 1/2 teaspoon citric acid + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. I do not like the taste of baking soda in this dish, so I always use Eno.
- Always make sure to immediately steam after adding Eno or else your batter will end up being flat.
- Check for doneness - Insert a toothpick right in the center of the dhokla. If it doesn't come out clean, steam the dhokla for an additional 3-4 minutes till it is thoroughly cooked.
- The steam valve kept at venting vs sealing - The steam valve needs to be at venting to replicate the steaming function involved in traditionally making dhokla. If you set the valve to sealing, the dhokla ends up a tad bit denser.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.
Looks good! I’m curious as to whether you’ve tried to make this or the khaman in the standard stacked, three-tiered thali stands from the Indian grocery store. If so, does this require adjusting quantities/cook time? Thanks!
Ankita – I have not used a 3 tier thali but if I were you I would definitely reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes.