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BM#85 Week 4 Day 1
What is Handvo?
The Gujarati Cuisine is well known for its huge variety snack dishes. Dhokla, Khandvi, Muthia, Gota, Idra, Kachori, Samosa, Arvi na paan, thepla, dhebra are some of the most popular snacks or farsan as they are called. These snacks are served as a light meal or along with the main meal.
Every Gujarati household will have their version of handvo. Some add only bottle gourd(doodhi) and fresh fenugreek. Some love it extra chili and sweet. Some love it with more oil. Handvo is one snack that is made when one is traveling, going for picnics or as a light meal or snack to be enjoyed any time of the day. Some like their handvo soft but my family loves it when there is a crust at the bottom and top. Everyone fights for the side pieces and the inner soft ones get left till the next day.
masala chai, handvo, drive-in
I remember my mum would make handvo (Indian savoury cake) nearly every Sunday. If we were going to Drive In to watch a movie or having a meal at home, Sunday would be handvo day. She would make it on a jiko (sigri) with more hot coal on top of the pan or sufuria. That handvo always tasted yummy and soft. Modern times and the charcoal stoves are out and in come the ovens. Not the same as the jiko one but I still make handvo as its one of my favourite snack.
As I mentioned everyone has their own recipe for Handvo. My MIL would add onion, carrots, cabbage, doodhi (bottle gourd) and so many other ingredients. My bhabhi adds cooked peas too. Any version and they all taste good. Make a thin layer or a thick layer, the choice is yours. Add whatever vegetable you like. The more the merrier! Ready made handvo flour is available in most shops but I prefer to make it with soaked rice and lentils.The handvo turns out softer. If you’re fighting for time then go ahead and use the ready made handvo flour.
Serve Handvo at Parties
Whenever I prepare handvo for tea parties I like to bake them like muffins. However, please do not use cake paper cups. I prefer using the silicon moulds as the handvo comes out easily. First time when I tried baking them like muffins, I used the normal aluminum moulds and though I had oiled them, it was a struggle to remove the handvo. I left them in the mould and we spooned it out when we had it.
- For a Gluten free handvo avoid adding semolina and replace it with some cornmeal. Also do not use asafetida.
- For a Vegan version replace dairy yogurt with vegan yogurt or add lemon juice or tamarind. Let the batter ferment without the lemon or tamarind. Add just before baking.
- For a Satvik version, don’t add onion.
Serves 6 to 8 or 25-30 pieces
2 cups rice
¾ cup yellow moong (split green gram) or chana (chickpea) lentils
¼ cup tuvar (split pigeon pea) lentil
1 cup sour yogurt
¼ cup warm water
¼ cup semolina (sooji) (omit for gluten free option)
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
2 cups chopped fresh fenugreek (methi)
1 cup grated carrot
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 to 3 cups lightly packed grated doodhi (bottle gourd)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp clove powder
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
2 tsps salt
2 to 3 tsps sugar
2 tsps ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ to 1 tsp red chilli powder
for tempering (vaghar):
1 to 2 whole dry red chillis (optional)
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsps oil for greasing
¼ cup sesame seeds (tal)
- Soak rice and lentils separately for 6 to 8 hours in lukewarm water.
- Drain out the water, wash the rice and lentils.
- Process the rice and then the lentils in a food processor into a grainy and coarse consistency.
- Mix both the pastes.
- Add yogurt, warm water and ¼ tsp methi seeds to the mixture and mix well.
- Cover the mixture and leave it to ferment in a warm place for 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Once it is fermented add the sooji, vegetables, salt, sugar and spices except for the baking soda.
- Mix the batter well.
- Heat oil for tempering in a small pan.
- When it is hot add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, methi, dry chillis, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds and finally hing.
- Pour the tempered oil into the batter and mix it well.
- Finally add soda bicarbonate and mix well.
- Grease a tray about 16X12 inches with the oil.
- Pour the batter into the tray and level it out with a spoon. The batter should be a bit runny.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds over it.
- Put the tray into the hot oven and bake the handvo for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes increase the temperature to 200°C and bake further for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the top to becomes brown or place it under the hot grill or broiler for 5 minutes.
- Remove the handvo from the oven.
- Let it cool down a bit in the tray before you cut it into pieces.
- Serve with nice masala tea or milk.
- Add grated cabbage instead of doodhi or a bit of both.
- Add finely chopped spinach (palak).
- For a more crunchier top, add extra oil on top before baking.
- Adjust the amount of spices according to your taste.
- The size of the tray is just a guidance, use 2 small trays or any you prefer. As I mentioned before, depends on how thick or thin you want the handvo to be.
- Add grated zucchini along with the doodhi.
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