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Friday, August 12, 2016

Savory Vegetable Cake/ Handvo Recipe

Well! This is a customary cake altogether filled with different types of lentils and vegetables skipping flour and cream as this cake is not the ordinary type of sweet and creamy gateau!. This is the healthiest and hearty version of savory cake and it is well-known as handvo in major parts of India. The outer crispy texture and softness from inside makes me eat them as a treat. It's a warm savory cake that is most often served in dinners at my house and we also prefer to eat the leftover cake on the very next day in the morning with a hot cuppa tea. Nothing goes to waste! This cake itself had a thin crust on the top with a touch of slightly roasted sesame seeds. It's the kind of the cake that makes you want to smile when all you want to do is be grumpy because you had to clean up so much after it. It's a kind of a savory cake that I'd want to make again and again, but without all the hassle it entailed in the first place, so here is what I'd do! Soak lentils and rice and blitz it into thick batter, add some grated veggies and little spice to balance its taste and baking in using a special handvo cooker or on a normal frying pan.

Vegetable cake or hando is one of my favorite recipe's, its a gujarati equivalent of comfort and nourishment. Handvo or vegetable cake can be plain, but its popular renditions include flavoring from different vegetables and spices. It's often eaten with green coconut chutney or sauce, pickle and tea. I prefer eating them in all ways as they just taste marvelous!

Savory Vegetable Cake/ Handvo Recipe

Vegetable Cake Handvo Food Recipe

Preparation Time: 12 hours
Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours, 35 minutes
Serves: 2 persons

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup rice
1/2 cup chana dal
1/4 cup urad dal
1/2 cup, whisk yogurt
1/2 cup, bottle gourd or lauki
1 carrot, grated
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
2 green chilies, finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon green chili paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder or haldi
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida or hing, optional
Salt to taste

Let's start with the rice and lentils soaking process!
  • In a bowl, wash and soak 1 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of chana dal and 1/4 cup of urad dal. Soak it overnight or you can also soak them for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove all the extra water from rice and lentils and transfer them into the jar of a blender. Add 1/2 yogurt and salt to taste. Blend it into a smooth and thick consistency, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water while grinding. I prefer to avoid using more water otherwise the batter may turn thin in texture.
  • Now remove the batter into a container and cover it with a lid and allow it to ferment for about 8-10 hours. Due to a fermentation process, I always make them for dinners by soaking the rice and lentils overnight and letting it ferment the whole day. You can also try soaking them in the morning and grinding into a thick batter after 4-6 hours. Froth the mixture overnight and make vegetable cakes in breakfast or pack them in your lunch boxes. They certainly taste great!
  • Now once you see bubbles after a fermentation process, you can add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies  or green chili paste, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, a few drops of cooking oil and salt to taste. Mix everything properly.
  • Now add grated bottle gourd or lauki by squeezing all its water, grated carrots and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. You can also add chopped fenu-greek leaves or methi, green peas and grated beet-root too. Since, I only had a bottle gourd and carrots handy in my pantry so I have added only two of them!
  • Mix well, the batter should always have a thick consistency for a perfect vegetable cake or handvo.
Let's start with baking!

Savory Veg Cake Food Recipe

  • In a frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, add mustard seeds and let them pop for a few seconds. Now add a few curry leaves, a pinch of Asafoetida or hing and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds.
  • Now gently pour two big spoons of batter into the frying pan and spread it evenly with the help of a spatula. Handvo or vegetable cake should be 1 inch thick and round in shape.
  • Cover the pan and lower down the flame and allow it to cook until the top layer seems cooked and the base turns crisp and golden brown in color. The more the thickness of the handvo or cake the more time it will demand in cooking.
  • Flip it to the other side once you have achieved the golden brown and crisp base. Let the other side cook covered for about 5-8 minutes.
Follow the same step for the remaining batter. Transfer the yummy savory vegetable cake into the plate, slice the cake like you cut a pizza pie and serve warm with tea, ketchup or any tangy and spicy sauce as a breakfast, evening snack or dinner! This can also be a great treat on parties or large get together.

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