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Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Meals ~ Handvo (Baked Version)

Handvo happens to be a traditional snack item from the state of Gujarat from Western part of India. This savory cake is made from fermented rice-lentil batter using a special handvo pan. However  handvo can be baked in an oven or cooked in a wide, deep nonstick pan on stove-top as well. Choose whatever method works for you. Handvo is quite filling and so can be suitable for dinner as well. I prepare it as a lunch / dinner as I find it hard to bake it in the morning rush, when breakfast is expected to be on the table around 6.30 am. They freeze well too and so can be prepared in advance for impromptu meals.
I must admit that I was quite surprised when I came across for the first time, a baked handvo version since it happens to be a traditional dish. Traditional home cooking in India hardly involves oven based recipes and for that reason alone, handvo caught my attention. However I didn't get a chance to try it until a couple of years ago. This recipe comes from a Sanjeev Kapoor's cookbook and I didn't make any changes except the vegetables used in the recipe. It is not very spicy and so even kids can enjoy this without the spicy chutneys. And don't get intimidated by the long list of ingredients mentioned below. Most of them just go into the ground batter. If you are used to making dosas / idlis, the process comes across as a breeze.
1 cup rice
1/4 cup urad dal / skinned black gram
1/4 cup chana dal / split chickpeas
1/4 cup moong dal
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp g.chili paste
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. grated bottle gourd 
2 tbsp. grated cabbage
1 tbsp. grated carrot
(I used about 1/2 cup grated zucchini and carrot instead of the above vegetables listed.)
1/4 tsp baking soda (I used Eno's salt) 
1 tbsp. + 3/4 tbsp. oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
10 - 12 curry leaves
2 tsp sesame seeds
A small pinch of asafoetida 
The grinding part:
* Soak the rice and dals together in water such that the ingredients are immersed in water, for about 3 to 4 hours.
* Drain and grind the soaked ingredients adding sour yogurt as needed. (I used about 3/4 cup yogurt.)
* Add a tbsp. oil to the batter and allow to ferment it overnight or 7 to 8 hours.

The handvo making:
* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F / 175 degree C. Grease a baking tin and keep it aside.
* Add ginger, chili paste, chili powder, turmeric, vegetables and salt to the batter. Stir well.
* Heat about 3/4 tbsp. oil. in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida and sesame seeds. When mustard seeds start spluttering, turn off the stove and add this tempering to the batter and mix well. (Instead of mixing the tempering into the batter, I poured it over the top). Add baking soda and again give it a stir.
* Pour the batter into a greased baking tin and place it in the preheated oven.
* Bake until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean and the top starts to turn golden brown, about 30 - 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and cut into squares or the desired shape. 
* If using stove-top method, place a large non stick saute pan on the stove and add 1/4 tbsp. oil. Lower the heat, add batter and let it spread evenly. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Flip it over and cook covered for 15 min or until both sides turn brown.
* Cut into wedges and serve with green and sweet chutneys. Leftovers can be refrigerated for a day or two.


Varada's Kitchen said...

Beautifully baked. Looks so good !

Harini R said...

Wow! this baked version sounds so very interesting. Shall try it out soon.

Usha said...

Love the color of the handvo Beautifully baked

Padmajha said...

This has been in my list for a long long time. Yours has turned out so well Suma...

Unknown said...

oh the color is soo perfect... very well baked handvo...

Srividhya said...

Baked handvo is great. love the crust and texture

Priya Suresh said...

Am yet to do Handvo at home and this baked version sounds too prefect to give a try soon..

Srivalli said...

Looks so perfectly baked Suma. I have been wanting to make this for such a long time, never came around it. Now you have a baked version as well..

Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen said...

I have tried baking them long time back, the sesame topping is very inviting!! Such a healthy bake!!

Gayathri Kumar said...

Looks fabulous Suma. I haven't tried this version yet. But I can imagine the taste.

Kalyani said...

Bookmarking this ! Classic handvo baked version .. Wow :))

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Its in my to list since long time,yours turned out so good and looks yummy...

Pavani said...

Handvo was initially on my list for the marathon, but couldn't get onto the final list :-)
Your pics are tempting me to try it sometime.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Very tempting Handvo. My friend used to bake trays of these for me back in NY. I am bookmarking this recipe to make soon :)

vaishali sabnani said...

Perfectly baked handvo, from Gujrat! It looks fantastic , awesome job!

veena said...

what a lovely colour!!!!Loved the clicks. awesome. bookmarked