Clean-out-the-fridge handvo (a savoury lentil and rice cake)

Make this handvo, a Gujarati traditional snack with whatever few vegetables you can find in the fridge. No special flour needed either!

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A traditional authentic handva is made from handvo or dhokla flour comprising of rice and lentils like toor dal/chana dal/urad dal. The proportion of rice to dal or the types of dal used in the flour varies in each Gujarati household.

However, the method of preparation remains the same. The flour is mixed with sour yogurt and left overnight for fermentation. Vegetables like bottle gourd and fenugreek leaves are then mixed with spices and cooked over a low flame to get a super crispy outer edges and soft interior.

My version clean-out-the-fridge handvo is as it suggests. Simply put any little bit of vegetable you have lying around into the batter and turn it into a delicious handvo. I had some yellow zucchini and carrot lying around which went perfectly well with my batter.

And this recipe needs no special flour either. Handvo tastes great with the handva flour but it’s not always easy to find so the best substitute would be using the idli or dosa batter which is much easier to find and equally delicious. This is my quick go to recipe when I have excess idli or dosa batter but if you are looking for that authentic handvo flour recipe, look up the notes at the end of the recipe card.

Let’s get to the few pointers on getting that super crispy edges and soft interior:

  1. The batter should be thick like a cake batter and not runny.
  2. Use any vegetable of your liking barring few like okra, pumpkin, cauliflower and bitter gourd amongst other few. Some suggestions that go really well with the batter:
    • Finely chopped cabbage
    • Finely chopped onion
    • Grated carrots
    • Peas or corn or edamame or similar vegetable
    • Grated zucchini
    • Finely chopped beans
    • Finely chopped spinach or any other green leafy vegetable
  3. Use either grated or finely chopped vegetables to combine with the batter.
  4. Cook on a low flame throughout the cooking process to get that crispy exterior.
  5. Put fruit salt like plain Eno just before the ready batter goes in the pan. Mix it well until the batter is frothy and immediately pour in the pan so that the air is not lost.
  6. Besides the low heat, handvo also gets it texture due to the generous amount of oil used. In case you are looking for a lesser oil option, I would suggest using a non-stick pan and reducing the quantity to half. Anything lesser than that would yield a dry handvo.

Some other Gujarati recipes that may interest you:

  1. Fada ni khichdi 
  2. Bharela marcha
  3. Satpadi rotli 

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Let me know how this recipe turned out for you by writing to me in the comments below. And if you take a picture, please tag me on my instagram handle @acookwithin to share your creation😊 It would make my day!

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