Fluffy Khaman or Sev Khamani !!

Gujaratis are known for their love of food, and I'm proud to say that a lot of tasty recipes have been born in the hearts of the state of Gujarat. One such popular dish is Khaman, or Khaman Dhokla, as some people call it, though Khaman and Dhokla are really two separate entities. But hey, what's in a name, as long as your tongue is happy and your stomach is full, we don't care much about the name:) I'm sure many of you must have tried your hand at Khaman, but besides sharing my recipe, I also wanted to draw your attention to another variation of this dish that few of you might have heard of, and it is called the Sev Khamani. It is basically khaman, broken down into powder rather than the chunks you are used to seeing, topped with sev (thin indian noodles made of chick-pea flour), pomegrenate, and spices.

1 cup besan (Chickpea flour)
1 tbsp rava (Sooji)
1 cup water
1 tsp citric acid crystals (Indian store carries it) or use Eno Fruit salt
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp warm oil
1 tbsp ginger and green chilli paste
salt - to taste
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda (or soda-bicarb)

For the garnish
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
a pinch of hing
2-3 green chillies - chopped finely
3 tbsp coriander - chopped
2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
1 cup sev
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

Mix all the ingredients except the baking soda and fruit salt. Add about 3/4 cup of water. The batter should be about the consistancy of dosa batter. Add little more water if required, but not more than 1 cup.

Apply some oil to a deep, flat bottomed stainless steel vessel (like a cake pan) that fits into your pressure cooker. Pour some water into the cooker and let it boil up.
Once the water boils, add the baking soda and fruit salt (Eno/citric acid) to the batter and whip it up. You should see it froth up.
Pour it into the prepared vessel to half the height, leaving ample space for the khaman to rise up and expand. If you are going to do this in batches, add the baking soda to the divided batter each time before steaming rather than adding it to the whole mixture. This ensures that the khaman will become soft and fluffy.
Place it into the cooker and let it steam for about 10 minutes. Do not put the whistle on the cooker (just like idlis)

Now for the good part! You can even do the above process in a microwave, but khaman tends to become too dry and rubbery if you keep it out long (2-3 hrs). So this method should be used only if you want to eat it up as soon as you prepare it. Use a microwave-safe container, grease it with oil, add the baking soda to the batter and half-fill the container. Microwave for 4-5 minutes. Remove and sprinkle some water on the khaman to make it soft.

After steaming or microwaving, insert a knife or toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean. Let the khaman cool down and then transfer it to a plate and cut it into large squares. For the garnish, heat up some oil and add mustard seeds. After they splutter, add hing and chillies and then pour it over the prepared khaman dhokla. Top it with cilantro and grated coconut and serve hot with Green chutney.

To make Sev Khamani, break the khaman with your hand to form a "chura" or powder, then top it with all the garnish as above, followed by sev and pomegranate. This variation is a pure delight too! Try it for yourself. (img courtesy of surati farsan)

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FH said...

So it is true that Khaman and Dhoklas! I have heard of it in other blogs. Interesting!:)
Khaman looks perfect in the first photo. Second variation of Sev Khamani is really unique,hadn't heard of it! Thanks for both!:)

Rajitha said...

i love khaman dhokla..but mine never comes out this fluffy! ur dhoklas look so good

Mansi said...

Rajitha, try the measurements in this recipe. they are the chosen ones from Tarla dalal'as recipe and my mother-in-law's...so they r bound to work:) and steaming alwasy works better than a microwave.

Suganya said...

Wow, I shud try this. I love it with mint and tamarind chutney!

Tee said...

I love khaman and the sev khamani is new to me...but i can say one thing, that I LOVE IT! :)

Kribha said...

I've heard of this khaman/dhokla difference too. Yours look perfect and fluffy. The second one is a unique idea. Never heard of this before.

Anonymous said...

mast laage chhe yaar! prfect khaman, and I'm from Anand, we get best sev khamani here!!

your blog is very nice and interesting:)


Lakshmi said...

saaru laage che ben tamari version nu Khaman. We lived in Gandhinagar for 3yrs+ and I adored Khaman and Dhoklas. Only after staying there I came to know that Khaman and Dhokla are two separate dishes and both are fantastic. Would like to see your version Dhokla's too..

Mansi said...

tame maangyu ne ame aapyu:) Here's my rava dhokla recipe

Welcome to Fun and Food, and hope you find it interesting enough:) and all new-comers are supposed to make something with peaches and send it to me for AFAM-Peach event!:)

Prajusha said...

khaman and dhokla r diff. A new info to me:)
sev khamani and khaman looks nice.

Retno Prihadana said...

Interesting dish. I haven´t had this, looks delish.

Swaruchy said...

I love Khamans...and this one looks yummm dear...recipe bookmarked :-)

Padma said...

I love khaman dhoklas, Manasi...
that platter is making me drool over n over!

Swaroopa said...

wow wanna grab a dhokla and munch on it. wanna try it soon.

Cris said...

Oh I wish I could find besan here... and all indian ingredients you mentioned...

Shella said...

Wow Mansi the dhokla looks awesome. I always thought dhoklas can be had only from Haldirams. However, much I love them, I never thought we can make such perfect ones at home. Will try.

Shweta said...

Wow! Khaman bau fine lage che! I also discovered that Khaman and Dhokla are different only after marrying a gujarati :) Now I proudly distribute my gyaan on the difference every chance I get hee hee! In M.P. they would serve khaman topped with diluted yogurt and meethi and teekhi chutneys and a sprinkle of jheeni sev. I love it in all forms!

Anonymous said...

Oh God!! things like these make me love Indian food even more!!!

Absolutely Heavenly! and looks so light! I bet it's not too rich in calories either:) perfect for me!:D


Anonymous said...

Came here from the kind comment left on my blog :).

I make Khaman's in microwave when i am pressed for time, my trick is i cover the container with a saran wrap. I believe this will create a steam like environment like in pressure cooker - so Khaman doest turn rubber on me :). This said the traditional pressure steamed ones rock !

KayKat said...

That looks delicious!

Adding the pomegranate seeds to the garnish is a fabulous idea :)

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I just got back from India and I spent 5 days in Gujarat at my friend's grandmother's house...we had this every day for breakfast! I'm so excited to see it and I hope to try the recipe soon!

Pooja said...

I am so glad to read it hear, I hate when people call khaman dhokla together, I feel like explaining them what the difference between these two is. well, good that u bring it up here. picture looks awesome.
thansk for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Hi Mansi,
You have a wonderful blog. I have tried the savoury muffins, it came out excellent.

I attempted the khaman this evening, it came out nice, but it was very fluffy and didn't hold the shape well. Could you let me know what I did wrong? Should I be adding less of baking soda (I have used about 2 tsp)? Also, I used 1 whole lemon juice instead of eno salt or citric acid crystals.

Thank you so much.

Mansi said...

Hey Swati - I think the lemon juice was the culprit...it made it more liquid as well as acidic, thereby fermenting it more than required. That's why using fruit salt is important...the 2 tsp baking soda should be fine, but you can try decreasing it to 1 tsp next time, though using Eno may be sufficient

Hope this helps! and thanks so much for trying this:) and I'm glad you liked the savoury muffins, they are my recent favorites:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mansi, next time I will try eno salt instead of lemon juice.

Basbousa is my favorite, I am going to try it sometime this week, am planning on using my newly bought 'egg substitute' in this recipe, hope it comes out nice. Will let you know how it goes.

Have a nice time...

Anonymous said...

mansi,i am new to this site.i tried ur recipe of khaman as i was in search of this n tried so many but never got the desired results.ur picture of khaman is just like as of haldirams .this gave me the inspiration to make the khaman.but again i got the problem.can u plz solve it.i tried this recipe with half of ingredients n even baking soda also i used 1 tsp as i took all other ingredients half.but it was not spongy.plz solve my problem and also tell is baking soda is mitha soda?can baking powder be used?and also using eno salt instead of citric acid and also baking soda together is ok?.plz reply. thanx

Mansi said...

Hi Anon - for your benefit, I have re-edited the recipe, reducing the baking soda a little and instead adding more lemon juice and oil. I've tried this a lot of times and it has always worked:)

a couple things that could've gone wrong with yours are: for one, try using these exact measurements, because if you use very little batter and try steaming it in a large vessel, it may not rise well. Using Eno soda is the best thing to use, and you should really try to get this; but you can use "eating soda" instead, but DO NOT use baking powder, as it will make the khaman more rubbery rather than spongy.

Also, the fruit salt or soda needs to be fresh, if its too old it becomes flat and again, the khaman will not rise. YOu can use Eno and baking soda together, or using only Eno is also fine; they solve the same purpose.

another key thing; add the Eno and baking soda ONLY immediately before steaming. Whip it to make it frothy and steam the dhoklas.

Also, pls try to use the exact recipe ingredients, unless you use a smaller pan; it should be at least half to 3/4th full.

I hope this helps you in making delicious Khaman! do give it one more shot! good luck:)

Anonymous said...

hi mansi,thanx a lot for the quick reply.u r so nice .u explain things so clearly n minutly.thanx once again.i have full faith in ur strong advice n def will try thisrecipe with same ingredients.n sure will let u know.n one more thing i want to say in ur edited recipe u hv changed the amt of suzi also from 2 tbsp to 1.it is deliberately or by mistake....one more thing apart from khaman .i hv yahoo account n i hv subscribe for ur blog and i got the reply also but even after activation i am not able to join ur blog by my name.plz help.thanx once again

Mansi said...

yes, the 1 tbsp sooji is deliberate, not a mistake:)

as for subscription, you entered your email address in the Subscribe option, right? in that case, you should receive emails from Fun and Food very timeI post a new recipe or article. sometimes mail servers are slow, so it may take some time before it's delivered to your inbox. Email me again if you don't see a post come in by tonight:)

Anonymous said...

hi mansi
me manju,earlier i discussed with u this khaman recipe .u know me as anonymous.mansi i made this recipe but again something went wrong.plz help me.i made according to ur edited recipe n as soon as i added baking soda froth came immediately n i put it in vessel .wen i saw after 10 min it saunk down totally.why this happen.plz tell if u r able to make out where i went wrong

Mansi said...

manju - did you use Eno too, or only baking soda? perhaps 10 mins was not enough for it to cook, and when you opened it, you released out all the steam from the cooker, hence the batter sunk down....generally, it should cook within 20 mins at the max! are you sure you are not using very old baking soda???

OK, try this:

Mix all ingredients including Eno & soda bicarb, then let the mixture stand for 15 mins; I think your mixture is not getting fermented enough, so this extra step should help.

next, try using a deep container for steamin, more like a "dibba" rather than a cake pan. This way you'll have a thicker layer instead of flat, which will help in making it rise.

Steam it for 20 mins, then turn off the heat, and let the cooker sit for another 10 mins; do not open it immediately else all steam will escape!

When you open it, sprinkle some water (about 2 tbsp) immediately on the khaman; let it soak up the water for 5 more mins; this should help make it soft.

After this, you can remove the khaman fromthe container and cut into pieces.

I really hope it works out good for you this time Manju! 'coz i think I have shared all my tips with you now:) good luck again! and thanks for being so patient in trying this out!:)

Anonymous said...

Go east or west, Khaman is the best. In Surat near Ramnagar a shop is selling these items like Khaman, Patewali na bhajya and Idla etc. If you go at 10:00 am. in the morning then you are too late. He makes such a mouth watering khaman. I used to eat kheema and paya in breakfast but now the breakfast with sev khaman is perfect. I have tried in some shops in Mumbai but no way it is not any close to our Gujarati khaman. One of our neighbors makes Silk Khaman as well.

Roda said...

I am a parsi from Banglore but have eaten the khamans from mumbai and surat as well. I also make it at home and in the microwave too.
I find your recipe very true to the original and gives a good result. I too run a recipe site http://rodas-kitchen.blogspot.com
and another http://feelgoodmessages.blogspot.com. Do visit them and give me your feedback.

Anonymous said...

Thanks So much, I love your Recipes.A sincer thanks....

Unknown said...

i love khaman and have been on a mission to find the perfect recipe.your khaman looks perfect, and going through the recipe makes me wonder,won't 1 tsp of citric acid make it too sour and also is 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate soda enough to make the khaman rise?

Mansi said...

Sadiya - unfortunately, there's nothing like a "perfect khaman recipe"...even with this recipe, I've had my khaman sag a little after its out of the steamer, or become too soft or a bit hard at times.

but this is the closest to perfect recipe that I've tried, and I'd recommend Steaming over baking, as that holds in more moisture. please see my comments to other people''s queries on this post too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Manasi,

Good job! I visited your blog for aandhvo recipe and from there I came to see Khaman and sev khamani recipe. Looks like you have all gujarati recipes gathered. Thanks dear for having this wonderful blog. Your sev khamani picture brought so many memories of my childhood. I never liked khaman but loved sev khamani very much may be because of sev ;)

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that after coming to USA, I really felt like learning the seceret of making fluffy khaman dhoklas because everybody asks for the khaman recipe or treat as soon as they come to know that I am gujarati, and I am like "I buy instant khaman mix and make it ;)"Now I know how to make khamans using besan. Thanks once again.

Unknown said...

Hi Mansi,
Khaman Dhokla looks perfect and yummy..
wish I culd have one right now..
I had one question?
Can I try this recipe without baking soda with same mesurements?
Wat culd be the subsitute for baking soda?
I have heard that many people use buttermilk to make the batter..does it help ?

Mansi said...

Bhavika, sure, you could use buttermilk instead of water, it'll give it a bit more sour taste, and also make it ferment better:) as for substitute for baking soda, try adding more Eno, but don't use baking powder...