4.1/5 rating (21 votes)


Spicy Indian Cakes

  • Heat Hot
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info VEGETARIAN
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 15 mins

Light sponge cakes finished with a spiced oil.

Hari says

In Gujarati cooking gram flour is used in many different ways, from a batter to a stuffing, from a paste to a thickener. In the Punjab region where my family is from, gram flour is generally used as a batter to fry with. But in this case the batter is steamed to make light, airy cakes. They come out of the steamer a stunning bright yellow and once you cut into them you'll see these bubbles of air which gives them their springy texture. My cakes are finished by pouring over a tempered spiced oil made of fresh green chillies, mustard and sesame seeds. I have played around with this dish to create the lightest version I can and I think you'll love it.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 350g gram flour
  • 1 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 green chilli
  • 3cm piece ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Oil tempering

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • coriander leaves, chopped


  1. In a bowl add gram flour, yoghurt and water. Mix well to make a smooth thick batter then add salt, cover and set aside for approx. 4 hours.
  2. Place ginger and green chilli into a blender with a splash of water to make a paste.
  3. Add the paste, turmeric powder to the batter and mix well.
  4. Heat the water in the pan so it is ready to steam.
  5. Grease a baking tray so it's ready for the cake mixture.
  6. In a small bowl mix the bicarbonate, oil and lemon juice then pour into the batter and mix well.
  7. Pour this batter into the greased dish and place in the steamer put the lid on and steam for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and take the tray out of the steamer and leave to cool. 
  9. Once cooled cut into chunky cubes - each cube should be light and have small holes throughout.
  10. To finish heat a little oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves once they pop add sesame seeds and the sliced chilli.
  11. Remove and pour it over dhoklas, garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve as a funky snack

Served with

Serve as a snack, equally lovely with a cup of tea or an ice cold beer.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)10
of which saturates (g)3.7
Carbohydrates (g)21
of which sugars (g)3.3
Fibre (g)4.0
Protein (g)10
Salt (mg)1.3
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

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Comments (2)

  • patrick pearce

    patrick pearce

    30 March 2020 at 13:39 |
    Hi folks, thank you for your superb website.. .
    It will be a pleasure to follow you, and I look forward to trying out some of your (highly recommended)! recipes


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      02 April 2020 at 20:59 |
      Welcome to the website - please do download the app too. Chat soon.


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Hari Ghotra