• Jaz Bushell

Handvo- A fermented Gujarati snack

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

This is a baked, savoury lentil cake made with a fermented rice and lentils base mixed with vegetables and spices. Handvo is crisp on the outside and soft inside.

My mum has always made this much to the delight of family and friends so I decided to give it a try and since I put it on Instagram I have had many requests for this recipe.

Do experiment with the added vegetable, replacing courgettes with grated carrots, cabbage, chopped spinach or anything you have in your fridge.

My mum also adds 1 finely sliced and browned onion which I forgot to add but it didn't spoil the taste but I shall add it in the next time I make it.


1 cup rice

1 cup chana dal

1 teaspoon turmeric

About 1 inch piece grated ginger

1-2 green chilli adjust to taste

1-3/4 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)

1/2 cup yogurt

2 tablespoon oil

1 cup grated courgette or any other vegetable

1 cup of frozen peas (or replace with any other vegetable)

1 sliced onion sautéed till golden brown if using

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Eno fruit salt (or bicarbonate of soda)


1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/8 teaspoon asafoetida

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoon oil to grease the baking pan or use parchment paper

8 × 8" baking pan


1. Rinse the rice and dal, then in a large bowl leave to soak in about four cups of water for at least four hours.

2. Drain all the water and in a food processor add the soaked rice, lentils, ginger, green chilli, and grind to a coarse texture, (try not to use any water).

3. Add the yogurt, turmeric, salt, and asafoetida, blend it again for few more seconds.

4. Transfer the dal mix into a bowl, cover and let the batter ferment for about 10 to 12 hours.

5. Add the courgettes and any other vegetables (inc cooked onion if using), 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice and the ENO or bicarbonate of soda to the fermented dal mix and mix it well.

6. Grease the 8×8 baking pan generously or line with parchment paper and pour the handvo mix into the greased pan.

7. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the handvo batter.

8. Heat the oil for seasoning in a small pan over a medium heat, after oil is hot add the mustard seeds and asafoetida as the mustard seeds crack, turn off the heat.

9. Drizzle the seasoning over the top of the sesame seeds and mix.

10. Cover the pan with parchment paper and place in the middle of the oven and bake at 180 C in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.

11. Remove the parchment paper and bake for another 20 minutes until the top of the handvo is golden brown or until a knife inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.

12. Let the handvo cool off for about 15 minutes.

Cut into sixteen pieces and serve with chutney as a healthy snack or eat with a side salad for lunch.

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