7 Simple And Steamed Delicacies Of India For Summer
Image Credit: Dhokla | Image Credit: Freepik.com

Steamed dishes are prepared using steam from a steamer vessel. It is a gentle cooking method that holds a special place in Indian cuisine, offering a healthy and flavourful alternative to fried and heavily spiced dishes. Steaming helps in the preservation of the natural flavours and nutrients of the ingredients, thus, creating dishes that are light, aromatic, and easy to digest.  

Steamed dishes are widely known for their health benefits, as they include little or no fat or oils. Steamed dishes are often lower in calories and help in the management of weight for those who are on a weight loss journey. They retain more vitamins and minerals compared to foods with higher heat or excess fat. Steam dishes can encompass a wide range of foods, including vegetables, seafood, poultry, dumplings, and even desserts. India boasts a wide array of steamed delicacies that cater to diverse tastes and preferences.    

This article will show you some of the delectable, steamed dishes hailing from different regions of India. Take a look:   

  • Bhapa Chingri  

This is a quintessential Bengali delicacy that focuses on the exquisite flavours of fresh prawns, marinated in a blend of mustard paste, coconut, green chillies, and spices. The marinated prawns are then steamed to perfection. This steaming process allows the aromatic spices to infuse into the tender flesh of the prawns. The dish talks about the delicate balance of flavours found in Bengali cuisine, with mustard paste adding a subtle heat that complements the sweetness of the prawns. 

  • Idli  

Most common in the households of South India, this dish has exemplified its grandeur throughout the country and abroad. These fluffy, pillowy rice cakes are crafted from a fermented batter made from rice and urad dal, which is then poured into designed moulds and steamed until soft and airy. Idlis are generally accompanied by vegetable sambhar and coconut chutney. They are popularly consumed at breakfast.   

  • Dhokla   

Hailing from the western state of Gujarat, dhokla is a popular savoury steamed cake made from fermented rice and chickpea flour. Here, the batter is spiced up with turmeric, ginger, and green chillies before they are steamed to perfection. After they are steamed, dhoklas are tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and hing, imparting a boost of flavour. This is a light and tangy snack that is often served with green chutney and sweet tamarind chutney and is a popular breakfast or tea-time option.   

  • Patra  

Also known as ‘alu vadi,’ this is another Gujarati delicacy that highlights colocasia leaves (arbi leaves), which are stuffed with a spicy, tangy mixture of besan, tamarind, jaggery, and spices. The stuffed leaves are then rolled and steamed, after which they are cut into bite-sized pieces. Patra is often tempered with mustard seeds and sesame seeds, which add a crunchy texture to every bite. This is often enjoyed as a snack or side dish.   

  • Puttu  

Hailing from Kerala, puttu is steamed cylinders of ground rice that are layered with grated coconut. To make this, rice flour is mixed with water and salt to form a crumbly mixture, which is then layered with coconut in a cylindrical vessel called puttu kutti and steamed until it is fluffy and aromatic. This breakfast dish is often served with ripe bananas, chickpea curry, or sweetened coconut milk.    

  • Modak  

Hailing from the western state of Maharashtra, Modak holds special significance, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi. The sweet dumplings are made of rice flour dough, which is filled with a mixture of grated coconut, jaggery, cardamom, and nuts. They are then given the shape of dumplings and are steamed until soft. Modak is believed to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite treat, symbolising sweetness and prosperity.   

  • Bhapa Doi   

This dessert is synonymous with West Bengal and is renowned for its creamy texture and indulgent taste. It is made with thick yoghurt, condensed milk, sugar, and flavours like cardamom and is steamed until set in earthen pots. The gentle steaming process transforms the ingredients into a velvety concoction that lends a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess. It is often garnished with nuts and saffron and is the perfect way to end a lavish meal.