Handvo is a savoury lentil cake which is a wholesome and nutritious Gujrati snack. It can be served as a meal too.
Gujarat is very popular for its healthy snacks. The steamed Dhoklas, Muthiyas, Patras are all very popular and healthy snacks. Handvo is yet another nutritious snack and made very often in Gujju homes.
The traditional Handvo is always made on coal, but slowly it is being replaced by the oven. We also have a special Handvo cooker, where we put some clay in a small tray and place the cooker over it. These cookers too are vanishing with nuclear families. The latest way to make the Handvo is in a pan.
The pan version is quick and gets done very quickly. You can make these pan ones as per your choice, thick or thin. These cakes are quite dense and rather filling. Bottle gourd is always used in a traditional Handvo, but with so many innovative recipes we see carrots, beans, peas and almost all veggies. For today I have added spinach and carrots along with the gourd.
Here in Gujrat, we get ready-made Handvo Flour and Handvo batter. The batter is really easy to work with, but I got the flour and soaked it for nearly 8 hours. While soaking I added a couple of spoons of curd and warm water. It can be soaked in water too, but this too helps in fermentation. A ladle can be used for mixing, but eventually, I use my hands as the heat from your hands too helps in fermentation, besides you can work on lumps if there are any.
If you do not get the flour or batter you can soak 1/2 cup rice, 1/4 cup each of chana dal, moong daal and urad daal. Soak them for 5-6 hours and grind to a paste. Rest of the ingredients are the same.
I made this dish after nearly 7-8 years, previously it was a regular feature at home. This time I did not add any oil to the batter, instead of added a little bit of ENO. Adding a few spoons of oil makes it much softer, but since these pan ones, I decided to avoid it.
If the batter is well fermented, the Handvo will be soft. This time my neighbour who is a Gujju came in to teach me the pan method. Thanks, Darshana! So let’s check the recipe, but before we do that I must tell you that Handvo is served in various ways.
Handvo – Oil, where you dip into oil and eat
Handvo – Chutney / Methi Masala
Handvo – Dahi
Handvo – Milk, where they crush the Handvo and add milk
Handvo – Tea
Recipe Source: Darshana, my neighbour
Handvo, savoury lentil cake
250 gms handvo flour
2-3 tbsp curd
1 cup bottle gourd, peeled and grated
1/4 cup carrot, grated
1/4 cup spinach
1:4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 tbsp chilly, ginger garlic, roughly pounded
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp ENO
Using a mixing bowl mix flour and curd.
Add in warm water and mix well so that there are no lumps.
Cover and keep aside for 7-8 hours, till well fermented.
Once the batter is fermented, add the veggies, turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger garlic chilli paste and salt. Finally, add the Eno and give a nice stir.
Heat a non-stick pan.
Add oil, as soon as it heats up add mustard seeds.
Immediately add 3-4 ladle fulls of the batter.
Sprinkle sesame seeds.
Simmer the flame to the lowest and cover the pan.
After 8-10 minutes, check the handvo , as you lift the side, it should be nice and brown.
Flip the handvo very carefully.
Cover again and let cook for another 8-10 minutes.
Check it should be crisp.
Here is another version of Handvo, called Vegetable Corn Handvo.
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