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.Jump to Recipe
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.
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 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 – Rice and Lentil Cake with Vegetables
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
- 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
- Plan Ahead – Rinse and soak the rice and all the lentils together in enough water for 4-6 hours.
- Drain rice and lentils and grind into a slightly coarse batter using the ½ cup yogurt.
- Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. Grease and line a circular cake pan with parchment paper.
- Add all the other ingredients of handvo batter into the blended mixture, except Eno. Do not add Eno yet!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spoon this tempering over the handvo batter. Transfer the cake pan to the middle rack of your oven.
- 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.
- 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!
- Serve with chutney/ketchup of your choice.
Hope you will give this nutritious snack a try. Our family loves it!!