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Steaming is a favorite type of cooking in India.  In this process, food is cooked in moist heat at particular temperatures to make it very tasty.  Food cooked in this method is healthy because it retains the nutrients even while maintaining the texture and flavor intact.   Steamed Dishes of India are not only quick to prepare, but they are tasty and full of health benefits.  Both Vegetarian and non Vegetarian dishes are prepared in India through Steam cooking process.

Here are a list of few of them

Bengal’s Yummy Bhapa Bhetki 

Bengal is famous for Bhapa Bhetki,  Bhapa Bhetki is a made with Ilisih or Bhetki fish.  It is also called mustard fish.   Mustard paste, coconut and ginger are used to marinate the fish.  Later this marinated fish is steamed to prepare one of the favorite fish dishes of West Bengal.  This dish is eaten as a side dish for Rice. Vegetarians of Bengal have a steamed variety too.  They can savor Bhapa Aloo, where the Tasty vegetable is cooked with Punchphoren to create a mouthwatering Potato dish!

North Eastern Pitha

pitha photoPhoto by Shupty

This a rice cake made in states like Assam, West Bengal, and Bihar.    While the outer covering Khol is made of rice and sometimes wheat the stuffing Pur is a savory mixture of vegetables or sweet mixture of Coconut, jaggery, Cashew, or fruits and enhanced with cardamom and camphor

Pitha is steamed or fried but tastes delicious and heavenly in both cases.

South Indian Healthy Idlis 

One of the most popular Steamed Dishes of India is the Idli.  Idli is a favorite dish of most south Indians.  It is made from a batter of soaked Parboiled rice and Black gram.  This batter is fermented overnight and is ready to make soft and fluffy idlis the next day.    This fermentation improves protein content.  Steaming retains the nutrients and you end up with a breakfast option with just 65 calories.

See Also -   5 Must Have Dishes From A Bengali Kitchen

idli photoPhoto by Aleksandr Zykov

Idlis are eaten with Sambhar or coconut/tomato/onion dips.  Nowadays Idlis are made with different ingredients like Semolina, Oats, Lentils and other millets. Ready to make options have been favored by many working women who are in a hurry to leave for work.

Kerala’s Tasty Puttu

Puttu is a dish from God’s own Country, Kerala.  It is also a favorite among the people of Karnataka and Srilanka as well.  Puttu is made using a coarsely ground rice, salt and coconut.  Both of these ingredients are put one upon another in many layers and steamed in a cylindrical drum.  This Cylindrical drum has water in a lower portion which helps to cook the rice and coconut layers through steaming.

The steamed Puttu is eaten with Banana, Ghee, Chickpea curry called Kadala curry in the local language or palm sugar.  Sometimes it is also served with mutton curry called Paya.

Ila Adda

Ila Ada is a delicious snack made using rice dough filled with coconut, cardamom Jaggery mixture and steamed in a Banana leaf.  The taste of the Sweet dish is enhanced due to steaming done in a Banana leaf.

Delectable Dhokla

The Western Steamed Dishes of India are made mostly with Chickpea flour.  Dhokla is a famous dish of Gujarat.  According to Jain texts, this dish has been made since the 15th century.

Dhokla is made with split chickpeas and rice batter.  This mix is fermented for 4 – 5 hours and later spices like coriander, chili, pepper, salt and ginger are added.  This dish is fermented for few minutes.  The cake-like steamed dhokla is seasoned with mustard to improve the taste

Some of the varieties of Dhokla that are very popular are  Khandvi Dhokla, Rava Dhokla, Metha Dhokla, Sandwich Dhokla and Cheese Dhokla.

See Also -   Tunday Kebabs Of Lucknow


Sanna is a savory rice cake popular in the Konkan belt of India.  The areas include Goa and Mangalore and small parts of Kerala.  Both Hindus and Catholics prepare this dish during religious festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi and Church Feasts respectively.

While Hindus use Black gram, coconut milk and water for fermentation Catholics prefer fermenting Sannas with Toddy of the Palm tree.

Featured Photo by xenocerebral

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