Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 286

Swad Brand Khaman Dhokla: I desperately needed a appetizer to hold me over until dinner was ready tonight, so I got this "Khaman Dhokla" frozen dish out of the freezer. I had purchased this one during my trip to Patel Brothers a few days ago, and judging by the amount of these in stock at the time, it was a popular dish. I've enjoyed discovering Indian/Pakistani dishes, even in pre-prepared versions. They usually offer a lot of flavor, despite the absence of meat. This one almost looked like a dessert, but the packaging promised it to be an "all-time favorite savory of Gujarat, made with chickpea flour."
The contents were packaged in a plastic microwavable tray, but since I didn't want to cook the whole thing at once, I popped the frozen square out of the tray and cut off a small piece to microwave. The ingredients consisted of water, chickpea flour, palm oil, and quite a few herbs/spices (cilantro, coconut, green chili, mustard seed, curry leaves, chili powder, turmeric). Based on the appearance, I really had no idea what this one was going to taste like.
After about a minute, it was ready. Much to my surprise, it looked just like yellow cake after it was heated. The texture was strangely just like sponge cake, with a hint of sweetness that was almost dessert-like. It melted in my mouth after a few chews, but I was left with a spicy, peppery aftertaste that I wasn't expecting. I should expect heat with Indian cuisine by now, but the texture of this one made me think I might encounter something else. Even though it was a surprise on several levels, I definitely enjoyed it. I'm glad I did, since I ended up taking home 2 of them (they were buy one, get one free).
I might end up using the rest of this as a side for dinner this week, but for now, I'll probably eat the rest on its own. Good stuff.

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