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The most correct description for handvo is the one given to me by a Gujarati good friend, again once we have been each children: khaatto cake or tangy/savoury cake. This private favorite preparation does seem like cake – and, historically, it’s made in vessels that look quite a bit like bundt pans. But it may also be made in a wok or a frying pan and plenty of households do precisely that.

It appears to be like like cake however, after all, handvo is nothing like cake. It’s made from a batter of various dals and rice, which is fermented and, after the addition of some greens and spices, cooked till it will get the golden, crunchy crust that it’s most liked for. I’ve heard my Gujarati mates joke concerning the fights that escape on the desk at any time when handvo is on the menu, as a result of everybody thinks that everybody else however them has bought a whole lot of the crust. It’s that good.

The hottest model of handvo makes use of grated bottlegourd (which, actually, is the perfect use of this depressing vegetable). But be happy to experiment with different greens: carrots, peas and cabbage are the most secure decisions to start with, however you too can experiment with beetroot, spinach and candy corn and, for those who’re feeling actually adventurous, radish and bitter gourd (however NOT collectively). Just bear in mind to stability the flavours.

The good handvo has a lightweight, ethereal crumb and a thick, crisp crust. (Photo credit score: Pooja Pillai)

Since it’s winter and my favorite leafy inexperienced veggie – recent fenugreek aka methi – is abundantly out there, I made a decision to make use of it, together with candy, pink winter carrots to offset any bitterness from the leaves.

Apart from being scrumptious, handvo can also be very filling. It will be eaten as a breakfast or snack and, for those who make sufficient of it, may also be eaten for lunch or dinner.


Rice (ideally, damaged) – 1 cup
Chana dal – ½ cup
Toor dal – ¼ cup
Urad dal – ¼ cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tbsp
Dahi – 2 tbsp
Fresh fenugreek leaves, chopped – 1 cup
Carrots, grated – 1 cup
Garlic-ginger-green chilli paste – 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 1-2 tsp (as desired)
Fresh coriander leaves (non-compulsory) – ¼ cup
Eno fruit salt – a pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 2 tsp
Oil – three tbsp
Salt, to style


*Soak rice, chana dal, toor dal, urad dal and fenugreek seeds for 5-6 hours or in a single day.

*Grind, with the dahi, to a thick, barely coarse batter. You need it to be barely thicker than idli batter, but when it’s runny, don’t fear. Add slightly rava to get the fitting consistency.

*Allow the batter to ferment for 5-6 hours or in a single day.

*When it has fermented, add the fenugreek leaves and carrot, together with the coriander leaves (if utilizing), garlic-ginger-green chilli paste, turmeric powder, asafoetida and pink chilli powder.

*Pour the oil right into a karahi or frying pan and swirl it round to make sure that the insides of the vessel are evenly coated. You common metal karahi will work for this, as will a non-stick, however the perfect, in my expertise, is a cast-iron karahi which, is seasoned effectively, has a really non-stick floor and provides a gorgeous crust to the handvo.

*Heat on medium flame and add mustard seeds.

*When the mustard seeds begin to pop, flip the flame to low and add the curry leaves, cumin seeds and the sesame seeds.

*Add the fruit salt to the batter, stir in totally and rapidly pour into the wok.

*Cover and prepare dinner till the perimeters of the handvo flip golden-brown and the highest is nearly dry. This ought to take 15 minutes.

Gujarati recipes, handvo recipe, methi carrot handvo, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes, breakfast recipes, snack recipes, the back burner Cover and prepare dinner the handvo batter, until the perimeters and the underside are golden-brown.

*Insert a spatula down the facet of the handvo and gently prise it away from the vessel. If it’s cooked, it ought to come free with little or no bother.

*Now comes the troublesome half: flipping over the handvo. Do this as is handy for you. I exploit two spatulas to ensure the handvo doesn’t break, however you too can use a plate after which slide the handvo right-side-down into the vessel.

*Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until the underside can also be crisp and golden.

*Cut into slices and serve with mint-coriander chutney.

Gujarati recipes, handvo recipe, methi carrot handvo, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes, breakfast recipes, snack recipes, the back burner Cut the handvo into slices and serve with mint-coriander chutney. (Photo credit score: Pooja Pillai)


If you don’t wish to ferment the batter, you possibly can add slightly cooking soda and lime juice. However, I like to recommend fermenting the batter at any time when you’ve got the choice, as a result of not solely does it have extra depth of flavour, but it surely’s additionally nice for intestine well being.

If you’re apprehensive that the handvo received’t prepare dinner right through otherwise you’re apprehensive about the way you’ll flip it, then you possibly can divide the batter into manageable parts and mood and prepare dinner each individually. Just bear in mind so as to add the fruit salt solely to the portion of batter that you just’ll be cooking instantly. Also, modify the portions of oil and the tempering elements.

Be cautious for those who’re including rava. Too a lot, and also you threat making the handvo dense

Skip the dahi if you wish to make this vegan

You can add a teaspoonful of sugar, if the batter turns into too bitter due to fermentation

[The Back Burner is a blog that will talk about all things food (with recipes, of course)]

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