Last Updated on September 4, 2020 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
A person with diabetes has to give up on previously savored snacks and dishes usually. This can be challenging for sure, but there are alternatives that one can switch to, or only stick to the low GI items.
The Dhokla is one such savored snack, native to the western Indian region, but famous in the entire subcontinent and even abroad. This is a light, soft, and spongy delight served with a dip to enhance the flavors.
Well, can the Dhokla be enjoyed by diabetic patients?
The Dhokla is a vegetarian snack that is not only tasty but also safe for blood sugar levels. It can be easily enjoyed by diabetic patients, without any worry of harming their blood glucose levels.
The ingredients used for making it creates a wonderful snack, which is benefiting the health as well as satisfying to the tongue.
With a diabetic life, one must be careful about the frequency of consuming a snack like this and the portions they consume. Once in a while, occasionally, the Dhokla can be good for the health without any harmful effects, but regular or over-consumption must be avoided.
Let us talk about what the Glycemic Index suggests.
Glycemic Index is the measure of the healthiness of a food item that one can consume. Especially for diabetic patients, knowing about the GI of various food items can help them watch their diet and fit in food accordingly.
Low Glycemic Index ranges from 0 to 55. These foods are the safest for consumption by diabetics, pre-diabetics, and health-conscious individuals. More low Glycemic Index foods must be included in one’s diabetic diet plan.
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Medium or moderate Glycemic Index in foods can be around 56 to 69. These foods can be taken in safe quantities to avoid any mishaps in health.
High Glycemic Index in foods is said to be in those which range over 70. The consumption of these items can result in extreme spikes in your blood sugars and have harmful effects on the body. They are best avoided or upon being taken very rarely.
Well, based on this, let us see how healthy and safe the Dhokla for being consumed by people with diabetes are.
This fluffy, light, yet filling Indian snack is made from all healthy ingredients and prepared by steaming. Steaming is an excellent method as it does not heighten the calories of foods too much compared to other methods like deep-frying.
The GI of Besan, the main ingredient in the making of Dhokla, is very low. It is only 10.
This makes a great base ingredient, and even on adding the other necessary items for the Dhokla, the Glycemic Index remains within a healthy range.
The Glycemic Index of Dhokla is recorded to be 35, usually or falls somewhere around 31 to 39. This is a low measure, and thus, proves that the Dhokla can be a safe option for diabetics.
The Glycemic Load, which is another important measure for classifying foods as safe for diabetics, states that Dhokla is safe. The Glycemic Load of Dhokla is equal to none.
Tips to make Dhokla Diabetes-Friendly:
Dhokla, in itself, is a very healthy snack option, and it can be included in your diabetic diet every once in a while. You can also make it in your way to make it even safer for diabetics and suit your preferences.
One great way to make it calorie efficient is to bake the Dhokla. Preparing it in the microwave is an excellent way to eliminate unnecessary calories, and this way is also more straightforward and efficient.
The Besan present in Dhokla is a good source of useful nutrients and is also rich in iron, which is very helpful for the body.
Let us have a look at how to prepare Low-calorie Dhokla in the Microwave.
(For the Dhokla Batter)
– Besan/ Gram Flour/ Bengal Gram flour (1 cup)
– Fine Suji/ Semolina (1 teaspoon)
– Ginger paste with added green chilies (1 teaspoon)
– Salt (1 teaspoon)
– The juice of half a lemon
– A pinch of Asafetida/ Hing
– Turmeric Powder (1 teaspoon)
– Curd/ Low-fat Greek yogurt (2 tablespoons)
– Water (1 cup)
– Fruit salt or Eno (1 teaspoon) (or you can use the same amount of baking soda)
(For the Tadka of the Dhokla):
– Oil (2 teaspoons)
– Mustard seeds (1 teaspoon)
– Urad Dal 91 teaspoon)
– Chana Dal (1 teaspoon0
– Curry leaves, around 15 to 20
– 2 green chilies slit from the center
– Sesame seeds (1 teaspoon)
– A pinch of Asafetida/ Hing
– Water (1 cup)
– Sugar (1 teaspoon) (You can either choose Jaggery or your diabetic sugar-free sugar instead or even opt not to add any sweetener)
– Coconut grated for garnishing
– Coriander leaves chopped, for garnishing
Now let us dive into this very simple and step by step recipe of making Dhokla:
– First of all, you will have to sieve the Besan and the Suji to avoid any impurities or coarse grains. Take a sieve and pour the cup of Besan in it. Next, add the teaspoon of Suji over the Besan and sieve them well. This will form the base ingredients for your Dhokla batter.
– After sieving the two, put in the ginger and green chili paste into the Besan and Suji mix.
– Mix the batter well and then add the measured amount of salt and the juice from the lemon.
– Mix the ingredients, add the turmeric powder, a pinch of asafetida, and curd into it. Keep it mixed well as you proceed.
– When you are done adding all these ingredients, then it is time to add in the water to make the mix paste-like. Pour in the measured amount of water and whisk continuously for five minutes.
– Whisk in one direction only and make a smooth paste, try to avoid any lumps in the batter. If needed, add more water to bring the paste to a nice and creamy consistency. Try not to make it too runny.
– Let this Dhokla batter sit for around 20 minutes and once rested, put in the fruit salt/ Eno, or use baking powder instead. Mix again for five more minutes. You will notice that the batter will turn frothy and light. This makes the Dhokla fluffy and spongy.
– Now that the batter is prepared and ready prep your microwave setup. Take a microwave-safe tray or pan, and grease it. Once done, grease, pour in the Dhokla batter into the tray or pan, and thump it lightly to remove any air bubbles from the batter.
– Microwaving the Dhokla is an excellent idea as it takes lesser time than the traditional steaming method. In a microwave, you can place your pan or tray with the Dhokla mix, and set it on high for around 6 to 8 minutes.
– When the beep notifies you about the completion of the microwaving process, Take a toothpick and poke into the Dhokla to determine its fluffiness and check whether it is cooked well. If still raw, continue microwaving for two more minutes.
– Take out the pan or tray from the microwave, let it settle and cool down. Then, gently run a knife at the edges of the Dhokla from the pan to loosen it. Flip the pan or tray on a plate and pat lightly to allow the Dhokla to separate from it and come out on the plate.
– Cut it into cubical pieces.
Alternate for Microwave: If you do not have a microwave, or do not wish to make the Dhokla in a microwave, then you can opt for the traditional steaming method instead. Here is what you will have to do:
To set up your steamer – take a big pot; add in some water to it. Let the water come to a boil. Place a low stand into the pot with boiling water and place your container with the Dhokla batter on the stand.
Close the lid of the pot and let it steam for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes is over, check the batter is it cooked or not by inserting a toothpick or a skewer. If it comes out clean and without any batter stuck onto it, then it is time for you to turn off the steamer. If it is still uncooked, let it steam for some more minutes.
Once steamed, take the Dhokla container out and cool it followed by cutting and plating.
Now let us see how to prepare the Tadka for our Dhokla:
– You can either pour all the ingredients as per their measurements in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for a minute, or fry it in a pan.
– To Fry in a pan, first, add in the oil to the hot pan. Slowly add the Urad dal, Chana dal, sesame seeds, asafetida, and mustard. Fry these for a minute or so while continuously stirring.
– Add in the curry leaves, and two centrally slit green chilies, and fry them a bit, until they leave their aroma.
– Pour in some water and then add the sugar, or you may choose not to add any sweetener at all.
– Boil for one more minute and take it off the stove.
– Pour this sizzling Tadka over your pieces of Dhokla.
You can top the Dhokla with grated coconut and some freshly chopped leaves of coriander for the garnishing.
And there you have your Microwave prepared, low-calorie Dhokla, hot, and ready.
You can also serve this with healthy green chutney. To make the chutney safer for diabetic patients, avoid adding in sugar or any sweetener to it.
Tips to make it more efficient for people with diabetes:
– One way is to not add in sugar in the process, be it in the batter, or the Tadka for the Dhokla.
– You can even avoid topping the Dhokla with the Tadka> It cuts on the oil and spices, making it more calorie-efficient and safe.
– As we mentioned earlier, you can skip sweetening the dip or the green chutney that you make for the Dhokla. You can even avoid having any chutney in the first place.
– You can even add some oats powdered into the Besan and Suji mix. It is an excellent way to induce fiber into this snack and keep it healthy.
CONCLUSION: Dhokla is a safe and healthy snack for Diabetics, and it can also be easily made at home. It does not cause any high spikes in a diabetic patient’s blood sugar and has a low GI.
It is advised to make it healthily and avoid regular or frequent snacking on Dhokla to maintain a healthy diabetic diet and lifestyle.