Handvo is a very healthy Gujarati Snack. It is made with a mixture of lentils and rice, which is allowed to ferment overnight and then baked to soft and fluffy savory cake. Here is the recipe for making handvo.
For Soaking Overnight:
1 Cup White Rice (I used basmati)
1/3rd Cup Urad Daal
1/3rd Cup Toor Daal
1/3rd Cup + 1 Tbsp Chana Daal
1 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Seeds)
For the Spicy Batter:
1 Medium Size Bottle Gourd, Grated (Any type of gourd will work, some people use cabbage too)
Salt to taste
1 Cup Frozen Mixed Veggies
3 Teaspoon Chili Ginger Paste
2 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1/4th Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 Teaspoon Oil from any type of Indian Spicy Pickle, Optional (I use oil from Deep Dabla Keiri Pickle)
1 Teaspoon Eno Fruit Salt
4 Tablespoon Oil
2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
2 Whole Dried Red Chilies, broken into 2-3 pieces each
2 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
Clean and wash the lentils and rice, and soak them in 3 cups of water overnight. Make sure that the grains are well covered with water, and there is enough water for them to soak overnight. Add more water if you think that the 3 cups you added are not enough.
The next morning, strain the water, add the fenugreek seeds and grind to a coarse mixture, with the help of some water. The consistency of the mixture should be similar to the pancake batter. Pour this mixture in a deep vessel and make sure there is enough space for the mixture to rise. Cover the container and put this mixture in the oven. Here in Seattle, it is hard to ferment a mixture without the use of some “artificial heat“. So, I leave the oven lights on, while the mixture is in the oven. This provides warm temperature to the mixture and it ferments well. It takes about 16-18 hours to ferment the mixture this way. If you add sour curds to the mixture, it might take a little less time.
The next day, when the batter has fermented, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add the grated gourd, salt, veggies, sugar, hot oil, turmeric, chili ginger paste, red chili powder and pickle oil to the lentil mixture. Mix well. Add some water if you feel the batter is too thick. The consistency should be like a pancake batter.
Heat 4 tablespoon of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and dried red chilies. Once the mustard seeds stop spluttering, lower the flame, and add the cumin seeds and sesame seeds. Turn off the stove once the sesame seeds turn pink. Pour half of the tempering into the batter. Save the other half for garnishing.
Prepare a deep oven safe pan by spraying some non stick spray on the bottom and the sides. Now add Eno fruit salt to the batter, mix well, and immediately pour the batter the pan. Place it on the middle rack of the oven, and bake it for 25-30 minutes or until a knife when inserted in the center of the batter, comes out clean. Now transfer the pan to the top rack and broil no low for 2-3 minutes to get a golden brown crust.
Remove from the oven spread the remaining tempering mixture on the top crust of the handvo. Let it cool completely before cutting to pieces.
Serve with Green Chutney and Sev on side. Some people enjoy it with ketchup. It can also be had with Chai (Indian tea). No matter what you serve it with, it always tastes great!!!
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