Dhokla: Fermented Savory Rice Cake

Dhokla: Fermented Savory Rice Cake

Chef Palak Patel shares a vegetarian Indian recipe with rice and chickpeas.

Chef Palak shares her Indian rice cake recipe from our IG Live on quick ferments. Stay tuned for more cooking with ICE chefs at home @iceculinary.

She recommends rice that's thicker than basmati for this technique and Eno rather than baking soda for the cake batter, which is fermented overnight and then prepared in a steamer. Her chutney topping brings spiciness and yogurt adds tang to the warm rice cake.


Dhokla: Fermented Savory Rice Cake

Yields 3 cakes


  • 1 cup of thick rice
  • 1 cup chana dal or chickpea flour
  • 1 ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1-2 Thai bird chilies
  • 2 garlic, zested
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda or fruit salt (separated)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 jalapeno


  1. Soak rice and dal in water overnight or minimum 5-6 hours. If using chickpea flour add it once the rice has soaked.
  2. Puree the mixture coarsely and add yogurt. Add mixture to a pot with a fitted lid and leave in the oven overnight, until the batter is frothy and doubled in size.
  3. To prepare the cakes, heat water in a large steamer with a ring. The steamer should be thin material (note heavy dutch oven will not work).
  4. Take metal plates and grease heat inside the steamer until warm.
  5. Portion the batter into thirds and season with salt, turmeric, ginger, garlic and chili. Working in batches, add 1/2 tablespoon baking soda or fruit salt right before steaming, adjust batter consistency with additional water. Should resemble thick pancake batter.
  6. Place inside the steamer and close the lid with a heavy pot on top to trap the steam. Steam for 25 minutes.
  7. Heat oil on medium-high, add cumin and mustard seeds to infuse oil and hing. Gently add curry leaves and jalapeno pieces. Remove off the heat and pour directly over the cake.
  8. Serve immediately.
Mint and Cilantro Chutney

Yields approx. 1 cup


  • 1 large bunch cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted toasted peanuts or almonds
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 green Thai bird chili or small serano, roughly chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 2 tablespoons water (if needed)


  1. Combine ingredients in a blender with ice and grind to a smooth paste. Adjust consistency with water as needed.
  2. Season with salt.

See more fermentation experimentation.

Submitted by Shweta on April 8, 2020 11:46am

Hi Palak,

This is an excellent recipe with awesome and colourful pictures.

My request is to make more of Indian tasty and colourful recipes and share as this is only Indian recipe in your collection.

Shweta Pandey,

Flavours on plate

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