Of experimenting in the kitchen and handvo that turned out just right

Every once in a while, I get struck by this irresistible urge to try out some food item I have had somewhere, in my own kitchen. This week, the craving was for home-made handvo – the sweet and sour and spicy, Gujarati cousin of the South Indian adai.

Now, I have always believed that handvo is a very difficult dish to make and, hence, I never tried making it at home. I had always been content to grab it off the shelves of stores selling it ready-made in Ahmedabad. This time around, some teensy-weensy voice inside me told me to at least try, to give it a shot and see what would happen later. So, I resorted to looking for recipes on the internet and found this one that looked good and easy (relatively).Β  I tried out this recipe with a few, minor changes and was amazed at the result. This:

It tasted scrumptious, and was gone before it could even cool off fully. The OH loved it, too, which is a BIIIIIIG thing for me, because he usually does not like the sweet-sour-salty taste associated with most Gujarati foods. Thanks to Sayali, whose food blog I referred the recipe from, I am still glowing with all the compliments the handvo received. Looks like this going to be a staple in our kitchen now onwards. πŸ™‚

This is the recipe I used:

Ingredients (for 2 people):

For soaking:

1 small glass of rice

1/4 small glass toor dal

1/4 small glass chana dal

1 tablespoon urad dal

Other ingredients:

1/2 cup of thick curd (preferably sour)

Salt to taste

Sugar to taste

3 green chillies (or according to taste)

A 1-inch long piece of ginger (peeled and chopped)

Turmeric powder to taste

Asafoetida powder (hing) to taste

6-7 fresh curry leaves

5-6 cloves of garlic (peeled)

2 cups of lauki (bottlegourd) – peeled and grated

2 teaspoons of til (sesame seeds)

1 teaspoon of ajwain

Red chilli powder to taste (if required)

1 tablespoon of oil

1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

For the baking:

1-1/2 teaspoons of Eno Fruit Salt (plain)


1. Soak the rice, toor dal, chana dal and urad dal for about 4 hours. Drain out all the water after 4 hours, add the sour curd, green chillies, garlic and ginger. Grind to a coarse paste in a mixer.

2. To the dal-rice paste, add the salt, sugar and turmeric powder to taste, ajwain, asafoetida, grated lauki, til, curry leaves, and the red chilli powder to taste (if using).

3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Add this to the batter.

4. Mix the batter well, and let it ferment for about 10 hours or overnight.

5. When you are ready to make the handvo, preheat the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. When the oven is heating up, grease a cake tin with a little bit of oil and keep it ready. Add the Eno Fruit Salt to the batter and mix it well.

6. Once the oven is nice and hot, pour the foaming batter into the cake tin. Bake for about 30 minutes at 250 degrees, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

7. Change the setting to ‘broil’ and reduce the temperature to about 180 degrees. Let the handvo broil for about 7-8 minutes. Keep a watch over the oven at this stage to ensure that the crust doesn’t get over-broiled, which will make it hard and bitter.

8. Remove the tin from the oven when done, and let it cool off. Cut into pieces when cool.

This tastes yummy both hot and cold.

Have you ever eaten handvo? How do you make it at your place?

20 thoughts on “Of experimenting in the kitchen and handvo that turned out just right

  1. Handvo brings back lovely memories, TGND. When we were staying at Vallabh Vidyanagar, our landlady used to make handvo in a wood fired oven. Once, it was cooked all of us used to gather around and eat huge slices that she would dish out. Have tasted handvo made by many people, but hers remains the best.


  2. Initially I was thinking that I will make it this sunday but two things made me rething.

    1- Lauki !!!
    2- Too long a process!! *shame faced*

    May be one day πŸ™‚


  3. I am hearing the name for the first time and seeing it for the first time too! It looks tempting and reminds me of a spl dish we make in Andhra called – Dibbu Rotta. Its a cross between idli and dosa. It is not spicy as yours would be.. but the texture is similar. I have been thinking of updating it in my blog too. Will do soon.

    I will surely give this a try. Sounds like I have got a good new breakfast recipe πŸ™‚


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