Dhokla and Fine Art

Once again, it’s been a manic couple of weeks yet I’ve been making so much food! But I haven’t had time to take many images or to write and share recipes for them…!

The busy-ness was all around Greg being selected to take part in The Other Art Fair at Arnolfini gallery in Bristol, where he was amongst 70 of UKs emerging artists. It was an incredible opportunity. Not only did he get to showcase his body of work, he also got to share his knowledge with the public, as well as sell his work to art buyers and gain interest for commissions. It’s amazing what the art world can bring you when you emerge yourself into it…

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_DSC0050I was with him throughout the whole background work as well as at the gallery all weekend. This involved helping to pack and transport the work, curating his space to grabbing everything he needed as well doing the photography and marketing for him. It takes a team to truly make the most of this kind of experience and I was thrilled to be by his side throughout. He expressed that it wouldn’t have been as great an experience without my help, which was lovely to hear, especially as I was just as worn out by the end of it as he was! That’s what being in a couple is about, having your own projects/passions but being there for each other to support and go through the ups and downs with.

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I took advantage on the weekend to show off my home made dhokla cakes – which is a beautiful Gujarati savoury cake with a bit of spice and a bit of sweetness – as so much of Gujarati food is! The recipe itself is by Maunika Gowardhan, who is my favourite Indian cook at the moment and has come out with a new book called Indian Kitchen. She also appears on Jamie’s Food Tube time to time and has made a great name for herself. Her dhokla recipe alone stands out to me because she’s made it incredibly easy without having to use the traditional method of soaking lentils overnight but instead, uses chickpea flour and a random addition of eno to make it rise.

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Give this a go, and eat with a couple of chutneys and trust me, you’ll be making it every week!

Ingredients

130gms gram flour

2 tbsp semolina

Pinch of turmeric powder

2 green chillies

6gms ginger

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp sugar

Salt to taste

150mls water

2 tsp fruit salt/ Eno

1 tbsp vegetable oil

For tadka;

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 heaped tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp sesame seeds

7-10 curry leaves

80mls warm water

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp fresh grated coconut

1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

Line a sandwich/ cake tin with baking parchment and grease the sides with the vegetable oil. Pound the chillies and ginger to a coarse paste in a mortar & pestle.

In a bowl sift the gram flour and add to it the semolina, turmeric powder, ginger chilli paste, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Now add the water a little at a time and form a thick runny batter. Leave the batter to rest for 5 mins or so.

Now add the Eno and stir well. As it starts to form bubbles tip the batter into the greased cake tin. Steam in a sauce pan or steamer for 18-20 minutes on a medium heat with a lid on. Press the dhokla lightly to check if it’s ready. It should feel light and fluffy. Prick it with a toothpick all over to form little gaps for the tempered oil to seep through which will keep it moist.

For the tadka/ tempering; heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds. Now add the sesame seeds stir to make sure they colour lightly followed by the curry leaves. Add water and sugar. Add the mix all over the dhokla letting it soak for a few minutes.

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 (Picture from Maunika’s website)

Take it out of the cake tin serve warm garnished with fresh coconut & coriander.