Handvo or pan-fried lentil cake is a famous Gujarati dish. This is a nutritious protein-packed snack which is savoury in taste and can be served as breakfast or snack with tea. Handvo is a savoury snack prepared from a mix of lentils, rice, and vegetables. Traditionally it is prepared by cooking in an earthen pot over the low flame but in modern fast-paced life, it can be prepared by pan cooking or can be baked in an oven. Pan cooking makes it crispy on edges and is very tasty.
Ayurvedically, handvo is nutritious and a healthy diet as for vegetarians, lentils are an important source of nutrition as they are rich in proteins, fiber, vitamins, and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are tasty as well as versatile and thus are used as vegetables, snacks, salads, side dishes etc. The combination of dal with other grains and vegetables and spices is a perfect meal and quite satisfying. Mung beans, when split and skin removed is moong dal which is tridoshic and balances all the doshas-vata, pita, and kapha. It is easily digestible. Tuar dal is yellow colored nourishing dal which tastes very good with other vegetables. Chana dal is also yellow colored and takes longer to cook and has nice nutty flavor. Urad dal is made from urad beans and with skins on it is black colored and when skin removed it is white in color.
In Ayurveda, rice has a sweet taste and is soft, smooth, light and is a very nourishing food. Rice is also cooling in nature. Rice is good for balancing Vata and Pita. Old rice is beneficial for kapha. Rice strengthens, revitalizes and energizes the body, regulates our blood pressure and prevents premature aging.
Bottle gourd or louki is a highly nutritious vegetable. It is easily digestible, rich in fiber and is great for weight loss. It is cooling, calming, quenches thirst, diuretic and anti-bilious (reduces bile and stops indigestion). Louki has B vitamins which help in increasing metabolic rate and helps in quick digestion of food.
Carrots are rich in fiber and the great source of Vitamin A and also the rich source of antioxidants and thus help in improving our immune system.
Handvo is a mix of rice, lentils, and vegetables and thus it is very nourishing for our body. Each handvo is tempered on both sides with a mix of spices and herbs while pan cooking which renders it a savoury, spicy taste.
- ½ cup rice
- ¼ cup white urad dal
- ¼ cup moong dal (split)
- 1 tbsp. chana dal (bengal gram dal)
- 1 tbsp. tuar dal
- ½ cup dahi
- 1 small sized lauki grated
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp of freshly minced ginger garlic
- 2 green chilies
- ½ tsp or less red chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp eno fruit salt
- 1 tsp amchur powder
- 1 tsp of any sweetener
- 2 cloves
- small cinnamon stick
- a salt according to taste
- 2 tsp of cooking oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 10 curry leaves, broken
- ½ tsp black sesame seeds
- 1 tsp til or sesame seeds
- pinch of asafoetida
- finely chopped fresh coriander
- Soak all the lentils and rice for 4 hours. Drain the water and grind it into the coarse paste.
- Mix dahi or curd to this mixture and let it ferment overnight or 4-5 hours.
- If fermented well, you can see tiny air bubbles when you stir it.
- Add grated louki, carrot, onion, ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, green chili. Mix well.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and prepare tempering by adding mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, til or sesame seeds and coriander. Keep it aside.
- Add Eno powder to small batches of batter with the little amount of water and mix well.
- To prepare handvo, grease the non-stick pan with oil. Heat it and sprinkle little tempering at the base. Quickly pour the batter and cover the pan and reduce to low heat.
- Let it cook for 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, it will leave sides. Sprinkle more of tempering over it and flip it and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove it from the pan when it becomes crispy and golden color on both sides.
- Let it cool down a bit and cut into pieces.
- Serve it warm with tea and coriander chutney.