Gujarati Khaman (ખમણ)
Updated: May 27
Khaman is one of my all time favorite Gujarati foods. Its basically a spiced steamed lentil cake. This dish definitely reminds me of my child hood. Perfect for Sunday morning breakfast!
1 Cup of Split Bengal Gram (Chana Daal)
1/2 Cup of Yogurt
1/4 Cup of Water (Use as needed)
1-2 Tbs of Ginger Paste
1-2 Tbs of Green Chili Paste
2 Tbs of Chickpea Flour (Chana noh Loat/ Besan)
1-2 Tsp of Eno Fruit Salt
4 Tbs of Vegetable Oil
A pinch of Turmeric
Cilantro to Garnish
Salt To Taste
6-8 Tbs of Vegetable Oil
2-3 Tbs of Mustard Seeds
8-10 Curry Leaves
For Fried Chillies
6-8 Serrano Chillies
1 cup of Vegetable Oil
Special Tools Needed:
You will need a Khaman steamer for this recipe. If you do not have a Khaman steamer, you can always make your own by using a shallow cake pan, steamer rack, and a large pot. Click here if you are looking to purchase a Khaman Steamer.
This recipe will require you to allow your Khaman batter to ferment. I advise you to make your batter a day before you want to eat it.
Start off by soaking your bengal gram in hot water for 8-10 hours. I like to soak mine one day in advance, typically in the morning.
Once 8-10 hours have passed, you want to transfer your bengal gram into a blender with a bit of water (not too much, as we want the batter to be semi thick). Add in 1/4 cup of your yogurt (we will use the rest later) and (2 Tbs of your oil). Blend your lentils into a course batter. You want you batter to have some texture to it. Once your batter has been combined, let this sit overnight to ferment. I like to just leave mine on the counter top as I typically steam them in the morning. If you dont plan on making your Khaman right away, you can just transfer your batter into the fridge, after it has fermented at room temperature for 8-10 hours or overnight. Your batter can last in the fridge for one week.
When you are ready to steam your Khaman, add in your salt, turmeric, ginger, chili paste, your remaining yogurt, chickpea flour, and remaining oil. If you feel that the batter is too thick, add some water. The consistency of your batter should be that of grits. Then prepare your steamer. Greace the pan that you are steaming your Khaman in, so they come out of the pan easily.
Once you are ready to steam your Khaman, add in your eno and stir vigorously. Your batter will become light and airy. You have to work fast here as you dont want your batter to deflate. Quickly add your batter to your pan and close the steamer. One thing to note, only add eno to the amount of batter you are planning on steaming. Once you add the eno, you will not be able to save your batter for later.
Once in the steamer, steam your Khaman for 20-30 min. You can check if they are done by lifting the lid of your steamer and inserting a knife in your Khaman. If the knife comes out clean, they are done and you can take out the pan on a heat proof surface.
After the they have cooled for 5-10 min, you are ready to pour your vaghar over your Khaman. Vaghar is just spices that have been tempered in oil. To make your vaghar, heat your oil on medium-high heat in the smallest pan you have. Try to find one with a lid so you avoid burning your self when you add your spices to your oil. Once your oil is heated, add your mustard seed and stir them in the oil by moving the pan in a circular motion. Do this with the lid on, as the mustard seed tends to pop. After about a minute, add in your curry leaves and continue cooking for about 30 seconds. Then go ahead and pour your vaghar over your Khaman. Distribute your vaghar as even as you can.
Once your vaghar has been poured over your Khaman, you can cut them in squares and garnish them with chopped cilantro.
Your Khaman is ready to eat! You can eat them as is, or you can eat them with fried chillies. To fry your chillies, heat your oil on medium-high heat. Then wash and thoroughly dry your chillies. Taking a knife, slit the chilli down the middle. Leave the stem on as you can use the stem as a little handle when you eat them. The slit in the chili is just so the steam can escape when you fry your chillies. Once your chilies are ready, fry them in the oil for about 4-5 mintures or until they are cooked, Make sure to not burn them. I also advise you to turn your stove fan on as the fumes from the chilies will have you coughing up a storm.
Once your chilies are done, let them cool down a bit. Then it is as simple as serving yourself a plate of Khaman with a few chilies!