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Handvo – Rice and Lentil Cake with Vegetables

A new week, new achievements, new challenges, new joys, and new worries. Life is such a sweet and sour mix. Today started with a very exciting email. Meatless Monday has TKD recipe of Savory Zucchini Pancakes listed in their collection of Summer time recipes. I am beyond happy and very honored to be included in the list since the topic of seasonal and local inspired cooking is very close to my heart.

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Another thing that makes this whole experience more rewarding is when I get positive feedback. A friend who is much more experienced in the kitchen telling me that my what’s for dinner series (on Facebook) gives her ideas what to cook. A friend trying out roasted Aloo Gobhi recipe (find it here) for the first time and loving it. Or someone very special asking for a recipe of something I cooked (baked in this case) for them. So much love. That is more than enough to make me work harder on this platform.

Hnadvo slice with cake

On our recent trip to California, I made Handvo for my uncle, auntie and my dear cousin (uhmm..we ate it too) and they loved it. So much so, that my cousin asked me to post the recipe. Squeal. My complete pleasure! Handvo is a cake (of sorts) made with rice and lentils with vegetables mixed in, tempered with mustard and sesame seeds, and cooked in a skillet. I had Handvo at a friend’s house many years ago. While the flavor stayed with me, I knew that I had to switch around a few things.

Tarla Dalal is one of the iconic vegetarian chefs of India with numerous cookbooks, cooking shows etc. The first microwave that me and Dr. A owned after our wedding came with a cookbook about microwave cooking by Tarla Dalal. There was a microwavable handvo recipe in that book. I could not bring myself to microwave handvo, so I thought about baking it. I derived inspiration from other leavened foods like idli, dosa, cakes and muffins. Handvo is a vegetarian powerhouse. Lentils for protein, vegetables like bottle gourd (swap zucchini if you cannot find it) and carrots for vitamins and minerals, and spices like ginger, turmeric etc for their medicinal properties. So bake a handvo cake and enjoy it as breakfast or snack. Serve it with coconut chutney, mint and cilantro chutney or simply ketchup.

Handvo cake featured image

Handvo preparation takes planning since there is soak time involved. Rice and lentils have to soak for at least 6 hours so they are soft enough to be blended into a coarse paste with yogurt. Indian grocery stores carry handvo flour but I would not buy a specialty ingredient when you can make it with rice and lentils that you might already have on hand. Handvo stores well wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for a few days. To reheat, toast a slice in the toaster oven or on a skillet. Without further ado:

Here is handy printable:
Handvo cake featured image
4.75 from 12 votes

Handvo – Rice and Lentil Cake with Vegetables

A savory cake made with rice and lentils with vegetables mixed in that is a vegetarian powerhouse. Kids love it and it is great for breakfast or snack.
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Handvo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Soak Time 6 hours
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Author Vaishali


For Handvo batter

  • 1 cup rice
  • ½ cup chana daaal split bengal gram
  • ½ cup toor/arhar daal split pigeon peas
  • 2 tablespoon urad daal split and deskinned black gram
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 cup grated bottle gourd/lauki See Notes
  • ¾ cup grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves Plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 green chili finely chopped optional
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder optional
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric/haldi
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Eno fruit salt See Notes

For tempering:

  • 1.5 tablespoon oil
  • A pinch Asafoetida/heeng
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves about 10-12 leaves


  • Oil to grease the cake pan


  1. Plan Ahead – Rinse and soak the rice and all the lentils together in enough water for 4-6 hours.
  2. Drain rice and lentils and grind into a slightly coarse batter using the ½ cup yogurt.
  3. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. Grease and line a circular cake pan with parchment paper.
  4. Add all the other ingredients of handvo batter into the blended mixture, except Eno. Do not add Eno yet!
  5. Mix completely. At this stage, I like to try the batter – I know it is raw but this is your only chance to adjust seasonings before baking. So go ahead and do it.
  6. Add Eno and give the batter a big mix. It will immediately get light and fluffy. At this point, transfer the handvo batter to prepared cake pan.
  7. Set a flat, heavy bottomed skillet on medium high heat and add the oil for tempering. Once the oil is hot and shiny, add asafoetida (heeng). Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Wait for the mustard seeds to pop and then add the curry leaves and turn the heat off.
  8. Spoon this tempering over the handvo batter. Transfer the cake pan to the middle rack of your oven.
  9. Bake handvo in the oven for 40 minutes. Start checking at 35-minute mark by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake. The cake should turn deep yellow with slightly brown and crisp edges.
  10. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Take the handvo out of the cake pan, cut into wedges and enjoy!
  11. Serve with chutney/ketchup of your choice.

Recipe Notes

This is traditional Gujarati dish made with bottle gourd, aka doodhi or lauki. If you cannot find it, feel free to use grated zucchini. You might want to squeeze out a little moisture from zucchini by wringing it using a clean kitchen towel. Eno helps in instant fermentation of Handvo batter. If you do not have Eno or do not want to use fruit salt, let the ground handvo batter ferment 4-6 hours at draft free spot in your house (for eg. Oven).

Hope you will give this nutritious snack a try. Our family loves it!!

Love- Vaishali.

Tools used:


Knives: Chopping Board: Box Grater:
Measuring cups: Measuring Spoons:

Cake pan: Parchment paper: Small skillet:


  1. Juli

    June 26, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Thank you for this, I think I will def try this.

  2. Luna S

    June 26, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    This looks good, I like that it doesn’t look dry like some breads can het.

  3. Backpacking Series

    June 26, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    5 stars
    Handvo – Rice and Lentil Cake with Vegetables looks very tempting. Am hearing about this dish for the first time and would love to try it soon!

  4. Namrata Sinha

    June 27, 2018 at 2:38 am

    5 stars
    Came across this dish for the first time and it looks so delicious and healthy. I’ll try this recipe soon.

  5. Shanab

    June 27, 2018 at 4:07 am

    5 stars
    I’d never heard about handvo before although I do enjoy similar “savoury cakes”. It looks delicious and healthy too. Will give it a try.

  6. Sarbjit Singh

    June 27, 2018 at 8:21 am

    5 stars
    Never heard about lentil cake !! You make awesome dishes !!! Great going !!

  7. Marcel Joshua kannampuzha

    June 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    5 stars
    wow. this is totally new to me. i would love to try this out. i have never seen this in my life. u really made me curious. thank you for sharing and i love you blogs.

  8. aiai

    June 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    looks so yummy, I’m salivating lol. Nice recipe.

  9. Heather

    June 27, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    This is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. I am definitely going to try it! It sounds delicious.

  10. Neil Alvin Nicerio

    June 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    4 stars
    Handvo looks very appetizing. I hope I could cook it the way you do. Hahaha.

  11. Aleese Hughes

    June 27, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    4 stars
    This motivates me to cook some more! Such a yummy-looking dish!

  12. Mag

    June 28, 2018 at 7:56 am

    You’re recipies always look so delicious! Thanks for sharing another winner. I’d like to try this someday!

  13. Adaezeboltbethel

    June 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

    5 stars
    You are indeed a Kitchen Doctor, reading your posts makes me want to turn on my oven, get my pan, incorporate my ingredients and eat something good.

  14. Julie

    June 28, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    This looks so yummy! What camera are you using???

  15. Kate Andrews

    June 28, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    I’ve just recently discovered how yummy lentils are and now I can’t stop eating them. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Blair villanueva

    June 29, 2018 at 8:33 am

    5 stars
    Wow a veggie cake?! I am sold! This looks delectable.

  17. Yaswanth Jayakumar

    June 29, 2018 at 9:08 am

    5 stars
    I used to have these as a kid, loved the taste. Only after seeing the recipe do I realise that it is called Handvo. Good to know, now that we have the recipe, we could make this too. 🙂

  18. Angela Hoyos

    June 29, 2018 at 10:32 am

    This sounds so tasty and savoury! I love lentils so much, I consume a serving of lentils at least 3 times a week. Your recipe sounds yummy! As someone who can’t have any gluten or dairy, I will have to substitute a few things but I am very curious to try it.

  19. Dinky Amorist

    June 29, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    4 stars
    Woow. The way you’ve written this article is so amazing. Well described and all them are so easy to understand. and you made me feel so hungry after reading this…
    Well done…
    Thanx for sharing…

  20. Simerbir Singh

    July 1, 2018 at 11:03 am

    5 stars
    Again a great recipe. My wife has started following your blog.

  21. rpow3ll

    July 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    How does this compare to like a cornbread? It looks really moist and flavorful. I’m wondering if it would be good as a side dish for chicken or something like that.

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