The Missing Dhokla

Dhokla is my favourite Indian snack, well, now that pani puri is off the menu. At least four nights a week, my husband buys a small box from Haldiram’s on his way home from his office. Some of you may be asking, what on Earth is a dhokla? Well, the best way I can describe a dhokla is as a juicy, spicy, spongy cake, topped with mustard seeds and coriander. This might sound strange but trust me, it’s delicious. Dhokla is native to the northern state of Gujarat, but luckily the juicy snack has found it’s way down to Maharashtra!

One evening my husband brought home a huge amount of dhokla, more than we could eat in one sitting. The prospect of having some for breakfast the next morning was really exciting (yes, extremely exciting, dhokla is exciting). I went to bed that night thinking of how fabulous it will be to have dhokla for breakfast. The next morning, my stash of dhokla crossed my mind before I had even sat up!

Photo credit: dhokla

Photo credit:

I waited until my husband had left for work and our maid had finished her work before delving into the fridge, I didn’t want to have to share it with them. I know, it was selfish and greedy, but I had looked forward to this moment for more than twelve hours. I opened the box and to my dismay, only a very small single piece sat alone in the box. I had built up ten tonnes of anticipation over this lavish dhokla breakfast I had planned, I didn’t even enjoy what I did have because I was feeling deflated. I sent a message to my husband, “why did you eat my breakfast dhokla, I made you a nice breakfast”. He responded with, “I didn’t eat any dhokla“. Then it dawned on me, my cheeky maid had taken it.

I love the lady who comes to clean our floors and wash our clothes, she also works at my in-laws house so I have known her for nearly two years. She speaks enough English so we can have a joke together and she works very hard. She is sassy, funny and loves Alfonso (which is important because he loves her). I first met our maid on my first day in India when she burst into my bedroom and started sweeping, it gave me a huge fright and I was a little scared of her for several months, but now I feel very comfortable around her and enjoy her company.

When it happened a second time, dhokla went missing, I was about to offer her some until I saw she had already helped herself.  A couple weeks later, we went for lunch at my in-laws place and our maid was there helping my mother-in-law. We had brought dhokla as a side dish. My mother-in-law, knowing that the maid couldn’t resist, gave her a big plate of it saying “she loves dhokla.” We all laughed, the dhokla thief included.

I cannot really begrudge our maid some snacks and since she has started taking dhokla, I have offered her food more often. I guess it’s not just me who get’s excited over dhokla!

UPDATE: What happened next…


Check out my Instagram and Facebook pages for daily updates and discussions!


53 thoughts on “The Missing Dhokla

  1. Lauren, I would suggest you speak to her to wait until you offer it and if she loves it so much, offer it! It is important that you are able to keep tabs of everything in the house and it won’t help to have her ‘helping herself’ without even informing you. The least she can do is inform you. It’s not a big deal but it’s a situation that is easily avoidable with a friendly chat. 🙂


    • Hey dear,
      Yes I offer it now and I gave her a look as if to say that I knew. I also think my mother-in-law has spoken to her about it! She has had opportunity to steal valuable things so I do trust her, dhokla is hard to resist though no? 🙂

      Take care xx


      • Absolutely hard to resist! I don’t mean to say that she will pick up anything valuable but she might end up doing small things like using your creams and/or perfumes. Has really happened! Then it gets awkward to say anything 🙂


  2. I have to laugh. I love our maid, no English but lots of spunk and laughing at my horrible Gujarati. My husband had brought me chocolates for Mother’s Day and I shared with our driver and maid. She ate it as if it was manna from the Gods. She will definitely get more today. Enjoyed your post as always and love the way you’ve bounced back after the awful dog napping.


  3. Hi Alice, how are you,Dokhala is also one of my faveorate snack. Have you asked your maid did she take it. In our family maid is part of the family . When my. Grandmother was there , she used to ask us to eat lunch very fast so she could give her , my grandmother is no more now. When my aunt had Spain the maid used to give her massage and it seem every Indian maid is to give that and they say it is good for the women in the house, why don’t you tr it one day. Hope that your fine, have nice day


    • Hey Gopal,
      It’s a really great snack!! Your grandmother sounds like such a sweet soul, my grandmother-in-law also eats with her maids. Very nice as I have witnessed several people mistreat their maids, which is very sad.

      I hope you are well.

      I do have a cousin called Alice 🙂


  4. Dhokla sounds so delicious! Have to try it when I am in India! I just asked my boyfriend if he likes dhokla and his answer was “yeeeeesss! So yummy!” Hahaha you all convinced me. I will buy dhokla & luckily I haven’t to wait for too long! 🙂


  5. These have never been my favourite 🙂 I love Kachore though.

    On the maid thing. I would not let it go unnoticed. There is nothing wrong with her wanting to sample snacks, but taking them from the fridge without asking is a big time NO NO. It encourage her to help herself of whatever she wants. As sweet and hard working as she is, she is your employee and you need to set boundaries.
    Trust me, I have had all kind of maids over the years, some plain old dishonest and nasty, some very sweet and hard working. You need to lay the rules of the house for them. And that include rules about tea and snacks. It might seem petty and innocent to have taken dhoklas like this, but she had no right to claim them as her own like this.


    • Hey Cyn,

      I loooove kachore too, especially with tamarind sauce!
      I think my mother-in-law has had a word with her, nothing has gone wrong since, but we’ll see. I don’t want it escalating!

      I hope you guys are well!! xx


  6. I tried tried dhokla for the first time in Gujarat this year and I agree, it’s absolutely delicious!


  7. Oh yummy yummy.
    DN introduced me to dhokla a few months back. It was very tasty! I couldn’t eat too much at once, though. I guess I have a saturation level.
    Your maid sure is cheeky!


  8. Lovely story! Im glad you are back to blogging, your posts are so unique, entertaining and often informative. This was a delightful read. I can totally understand your feelings as I love food. I’ve never tried dhokla though!


    • Awww thank you so so much for that lovely comment, Mani!!
      That means so much to me!
      I hope that you can find some dhokla there, it’s really tasty and different! xx


  9. I have tried so hard to make dhokla even from mix but am terrible at steaming things 😦 the husband hates mustard seeds so I don’t have much of a chance to make it after marriage 😦


    • Ohh that is a shame!
      I wanted to try and make it but I think it would be a disaster, and Haldiram’s is so juicey hehe!

      I hope you are well and enjoyed your crepes (so cute!) xx


  10. haha ! Rofl … Your maid seems to be Dhokla lover , I don’t blame her (Dhokla is such thing that Dhokla fans just can’t resist , I know many people). Obviously no need to doubt her honesty for that .

    Another benefit you get such awesome posts !!!! you can write a maid series .


  11. It is lovely to read that your husband so thoughtfully brings you your favourite snack – yummy dhoklas. Most guys would expect the opposite.

    about the maid – sometimes it is best to clarify your rules of your way of managing your home. Also then there would be no confusion over your friendly attitude as being mistaken as an invitation to ‘making themselves at home’ in your home. Household workers are generally honest and nice and it is good to treat them with respect, but boundaries are usually good for a smooth operations.

    My family always served tea and food to the cook, maids, driver and any other helpers before they started work – which was same food that we ate too. That way they were not hungry and knew they could not just open the fridge/pantry/cupboards and help themselves to the food or whatever.


    • Hey Shobha,

      I hope you are well! Yes, I think my mother-in-law had a word with her because she has been acting a little differently. I love the way your family treated your helpers, so lovely. I always try and give what I can, she loved jam on toast a couple of days ago 😀

      Take care, lots of love xx


  12. Dhokla is my favorite snack for summers. It’s Yummy!!!

    I had some yesterday & some of it is kept in my fridge as “today’s Quota”. Eagerly looking forward to having it in the evening; as it is hot in Delhi right now.


  13. Hiya Lauren

    You got to love dhokla its so delicious and fluffy melts in your mouth. Its not spicy at all just savory indian snack which is healthy too. Lauren when you back home next you need to find a veggie gujarati restuarant serving authentic indian meal with delicious dhokla off course ;-). I am from Yorkshire and you can find quite a few gujarati restuarants here. You will love it! . You got good palate indeed hun! 🙂


    • Hey Rupal,

      Yess, so fluffy, I wish I had some in the fridge right now!!
      Dhokla is spicy to my tongue, but then again most things are. I will have to look for some near my place when I visit England, we have a lot of Indian restaurants nearby but they are ran but Bangladeshi families, very delicious food there.. but no dhokla!

      You’ve made me miss Yorkshire puddings!!

      I hope you are well, take care xx


  14. hi Lauren,
    Nice to see your posts again..I am sorry , I was perhaps presumptuous in my comment on your earlier blog . I really hope it was not in poor taste but I was really upset about that experience you had. Take care.


  15. Lauren,
    You have really become a typical Indian wife. I really laughed when you told about your maid. Such a small incident, but your writing made it like visually seeing it.


  16. Pingback: How I Learnt to Make Perfect Roti - English Wife Indian Life

  17. Pingback: Lola's Visit! - English Wife Indian Life

Comments are closed.