Try Something New in the Kitchen! Indian Dhokla from The Lotus and the Artichoke

by Emily Rems

Every once in a while, a cookbook will make its way into BUST HQ that makes me go, Holy Shit! I need to make something in here IMMEDIATELY! This was definitely the case when I got a look at The Lotus and the Artichoke, a gorgeous new recipe compendium by Justin P. Moore.

 An amalgam of Moore’s three main passions: travel, photography, and vegan cooking, Lotus dazzles with over 100 exotic recipes culled from time spent in over 40 countries. And unlike most cookbooks on the market these days, it doesn’t skimp on the visuals. It’s got pictures! Lots and lots and lots of full-color, full-page, mouth-watering pictures snapped by Moore himself—which come in especially handy when you’re deciding if you should make something you’ve never tasted or even heard of before.

Before I opened this book, I was already an Indian food enthusiast, but I had never encountered the steamed chickpea cakes called Dhokla before. The picture of these little golden nuggets of goodness, however, sent me running to the Indian grocer for ingredients. And the results of my cooking experiment were savory, a little sweet, and so comforting I can’t wait to make ‘em again.

Here’s the recipe below. And if you want more from Moore, you can nab The Lotus and the Artichoke right now through his Kickstarter campaign and get some cool incentive gifts to boot. Cook on!



Indian savory steamed chickpea cake
serves 3 to 4 / time 30 min (+ resting time)
Dhokla batter:

1 cup / 120 g chickpea flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper ground
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup / 120 ml warm water
1/2 cup / 120 ml soy yogurt
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 in / 1 cm fresh ginger very finely chopped
1 green chili finely chopped *optional
3/4 tsp baking powder (added later!)

1. Mix all batter ingredients (except baking powder) in a large bowl: Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine. Batter should be mostly smooth, not lumpy.

2. Let batter sit, covered for 6 to 8 hours.

3. Grease a medium-sized metal (or glass) cake form which fits inside a pressure cooker or large pot with lid.

4. Fill pot with 1 in / 2 cm water for steaming. Heat, bring to slow boil.

5. Mix baking powder into rested cake batter. Pour into cake form, put form in large pot. Cover securely.

6. Steam, covered on low, 15-20 min. A toothpick or knife inserted in cake comes out clean when done.

7. Allow to cool, cut into squares and prepare garnish.


1 Tbs oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida (hing) *optional
1 Tbs grated coconut
fresh coriander leaves chopped
lime slices

1. Heat oil in small pan on medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida.
2. After the seeds start to pop (20-30 sec), turn off heat.
3. Spread fried seeds and oil onto dhokla squares, or toss carefully in large bowl. 4. Sprinkle with coconut and chopped coriander. Serve with lime slices. Also goes very well with coconut chutney and sambar soup!

Excerpted from THE LOTUS AND THE ARTICHOKE: Vegan Recipes from World Adventures by Justin P. Moore. Copyright © 2012 by Justin P. Moore. Reprinted by permission of Justin P. Moore. All rights reserved.

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