You Jung Kim
Since married into her vegetarian Fijian-Indian family, You Jung – originally from South Korea, has been learning how to cook almost all the dishes that have for generations been a big part of her husband’s family (originally from Gujarat – a state in north west India). One of her favourites is Dhokla (Gujarati traditional dish), a savoury slightly tangy steamed cake that’s made of fermented batter of rice, chana dhal split chickpeas and yellow split peas. This dish can be served as breakfast, side dish or snack.
You Jung inherited this family recipe from her husband’s grandmother and added her own twist of vegetable fillings. To enjoy this delicious Indian dish, you do need at least 3 days to prepare it. However, these initial steps are super easy and can be done alongside other things you are doing in the kitchen that night. You can avoid the first 2 steps by replacing it with the instant gram flour, however this make-from-scratch recipe gives a more authentic and beautiful texture as you bite into every piece of delightful Gujarati dhokla.
Day 1 – Soak rice, chana dhal split chickpeas and yellow split peas overnight.
Day 2 – Blend the soaked rice and peas in a blender separately with a bit of water then add in the turmeric powder and plain yoghurt. Leave overnight to ferment at room temperature. In a warmer day, choose a cooler spot to slow down the fermentation process.
Day 3 – Add some oil, salt and Eno powder into the fermented mixture. Lightly grease the steamer container and ladle 2 cups of fermented mixture for steaming. Here You Jung added her own toppings of sautéed vegetable and steamed potato cubes. The rest of the mixture keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days, a great way to have a daily supply of fresh Dhokla.
Dhokla can be served hot straight from the steamer or lightly pan-fry with curry leaves and black mustard seed. The beautiful smell of these spices infusing into the dhokla will have your taste buds jumping for joy!
Grind some sea salt and cumin seeds to mix in with the greek yoghurt and finely chopped mint leaves. It’s the perfect accompaniment for your dhokla!
- Who: You Jung
- Home is: Sydney and Seoul
- Family origin: South Korea
- I can’t live without: My husband, family and my shih tzu dog Mangchi
- Occupation: Dentist
- Dream Job: Fashion designer
- Currently I am obsessed with: Home made Kimchi
- Childhood taste: My brother and I used to have this spicy Korean rice cake dish, called “Duk-boki” everyday. I often cook it but it doesn’t taste the same as my childhood memories!
- I will always have in my pantry: Rice and garlic
- I learnt to cook from: My Grandmother
- Currently I’m listening to: Michael Buble
- One day I must visit: Switzerland!
- Go to meal: Indigo Cafe in Double Bay
- I am really good at: Improvising recipes and creating fusion dishes
- The unforgettable meal: My husband’s rigatoni arrabiata pasta that he cooked for me on our third date. (But the novelty wore off after he started cooking it every Saturday…)
- My piece of Sydney: Darling Harbour, the place of our first date and the place where we got married
- Guilty Pleasure: Jam and peanut butter sandwich
- Who does the dishes: My husband as I do most of the cooking 🙂
Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves 8
- For dhokla mixture
- 1 cup of split chickpeas ( Chana Dhal)
- 1/4 cup of yellow split peas
- 3 cups of jasmine rice
- 2 tbs plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp of Eno powder
- 2 tsp salt
- For vegetable fillings
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 100g cabbage
- 1 carrot
- For yoghurt dip
- 2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- a few sprigs of mint leaves finely chopped
- 4 tbs greek/plain yoghurt
- Day 1 – Soak the rice and peas in water overnight on separate bowl
- Day 2 – Blend the soaked grains in a blender with a bit of the water from soaking as you want a yoghurt-like consistency. Mix the two blended grains together in a container then add yoghurt and turmeric powder. Ferment the mixture overnight at room temperature. In warmer days, find a cooler spot to leave overnight to slow down the fermentation process.
- Day 3 – Prepare the vegetable fillings: Cut potatoes in small cubes, steam it and set aside. Finely chop the rest of vegetables. Sauté over medium heat until golden brown and set aside.
- Add salt, oil and Eno powder into the fermented Dhokla mixture and mix well.
- Lightly grease the steamer container and place 2 cups of mixture. Sprinkle the sautéed vegetables and steamed potato cubes on the top. Steam it for 15 mins.
- You can serve Dhokla hot straight out of the steamer or lightly pan-fry with curry leaves and black mustard seeds. Highly recommended!
- To make the yoghurt dip, grind some cumin seeds and sea salt using mortar and pestle. Mix in well with the yoghurt and finely chopped mint leaves.
- The rest of the mixture keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days, a great way to have daily supply of fresh Dhokla.