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Desi~licious Easy Handvo Recipe | Healthy Indian Food


Medically reviewed by Shahzadi Devje, Registered Dietitian (RD) & Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

Moist, veggie-packed and easy to pull off. Learn how to make handvo at home. My version of this traditional Gujarati savoury cake is made with a blend of semolina and chickpea flour and loaded with cabbage, peas, onions and cilantro. An all-time favourite, it’s one healthy Indian recipe that we devour — and make on-repeat!

An orange coloured cake on a cake stand placed on a tray with a traditional Indian shawl - topped with 2 lemon slices

I’ve made three Indian savoury snacks this past week: chaat salad with cornkala chaat salad and this Handvo, and gobbled them down like nobody’s business. 

Handvo recipe is undoubtedly a classic Indian treat that everyone knows and loves. And that’s why I took this tried-and-true flavour combination and worked it into this Desi~licious veggie-packed healthy Indian snack! This soft and tender recipe is infused with the earthy tones of curry leaves, mustard and sesame seeds and baked to perfection. It’s deliciously dense, perfectly-spiced, and oh so heavenly.

Once you make this, it’s the sort of recipe you can pull off in a jiffy, and it makes the perfect lunchbox filler. It’s nutritionally dense with an array of fibre-rich vegetables and protein-rich chickpea flour.

How To Make Handvo From Scratch

I love this recipe because it’s easy to make, healthy, and most of the preparation is in one mixing bowl. Your hands mix the ingredients, so no special equipment is required. Here’s how to make handvo in the oven:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add semolina, chickpea flour, yogurt, cabbage, peas, onion, scallions, coriander leaves, chillies, salt, garlic, turmeric, and lemon juice and mix well (Images 1-2).
  2. Next, temper the whole spices and sesame seeds in hot oil until golden – Image 3.
  3. Pour the oil and add it to the semolina-vegetables batter, along with half of the tempered curry leaves and seeds. Mix well. Save the remaining leaves and seeds for the topping (Image 4).
  4. Add the baking soda and ENO (fruit salt). Mix to combine.
  5. Pour batter into a cake pan, using a flat spatula to spread evenly (Image 5).
  6. Top with the remaining curry leaves and seeds and send them to bake for 50-60 minutes (Image 6).

An orange coloured cake on a cake stand placed on a tray with a traditional Indian shawl

What is Handvo Flour Made of?

There are different versions of this recipe out there; it can be made using a blend of rice and various lentils. You can even buy ready-made handvo flour from specialist Indian grocery stores. I’m keeping things simple by using chickpea flour and semolina. I find this blend gives a beautiful texture to my vegetarian Indian savoury cake.

Desi~licious Top Tips

  • The batter – The best part about handvo is that perfect golden crust accompanied by a moist interior. That’s why I use the specific ratio of semolina to chickpea flour. Like with any baking project, exact measurements are vital to assuring success.
  • The vegetables – Dice the onions and scallions into very small chunks. If they’re too tiny, you’ll lose the texture. If too large, they’ll be crunchy, and you’ll end up with big chunks in your mouth. The same goes with the cabbage; slice thinly. 
  • The cilantro: Choose as fresh as possible. This makes all the difference and exudes heaps of flavour.
  • Tempering leaves and seeds in oil – Make sure the oil is nice and hot before adding the whole spices. Keep an eye not to burn these; otherwise, the recipe will end up tasting bitter. You want them to be golden.
  • Mixing the ingredients: Ensure all the ingredients are nicely mixed before baking in the oven.
  • The cake pan: Use a high-quality non-stick pan and always line with parchment paper. I use the oil residue from the pan to oil the sides of my cake pan. 
  • Baking time: This will vary depending on your oven and can be from 50-60 minutes. Always check with a fork and make sure it comes out clean to indicate that your handvo is cooked.
  • Cool it down: Although it’s tempting to dive in and enjoy your creation, let it cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.

An orange coloured cake on a cake stand placed on a tray with a traditional Indian shawl

How to Serve

Put the kettle on and make a nice cup of masala chai while the handvo is cooling. Chai and handvo is a stellar combo! We also cherish sipping this Golden Milk Coffee Latte while biting into a big slice.

Nutritional Highlights

For our family, this handvo recipe makes ten servings (slices). One slice provides:

Calories – 237 calories

Fat Daily Value (DV): 15%

Protein Daily Value (DV): 16%

Carbohydrates Daily Value (DV): 10%

This recipe is:

  • Reduced in sodium (salt)
  • Lower in fat
  • A source of fibre
  • A good source of iron

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Easy and Healthy Snack Recipes You May Like:

An orange coloured cake with a big slice cut and missing on a cake stand placed on a tray with a traditional Indian shawl

What’s your go-to snack to beat the afternoon slump? Have you homemade handvo before? Share in the comment section below!

If you try this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,

Shahzadi

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Desi~licious Easy Handvo Recipe | Healthy Indian Food

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Moist, veggie-packed and easy to pull off. Learn how to make handvo at home. My version of this traditional Gujarati savoury cake is made with a blend of semolina and chickpea flour and loaded with cabbage, peas, onions and cilantro. An all-time favourite, it’s one healthy Indian recipe that we devour — and make on-repeat!

Prep Time25 mins

Cook Time1 hr

Total Time1 hr 25 mins

Course: Breakfast, Side, Snack

Servings: 10 people

An orange coloured cake on a cake stand placed on a tray with a traditional Indian shawl

Ingredients

Tempering of seed and curry leaves

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C or gas mark 4)

  • In a large mixing bowl, add semolina, chickpea flour, yogurt, cabbage, peas, onion, scallions, coriander leaves, chillies, salt, garlic, turmeric, and lemon juice and mix well

  • Heat the oil in a small pan and fry the curry leaves, mustard and seasme seeds until golden.

  • Pour the oil and add it to the semolina-vegetables batter, along with half of the tempered curry leaves and seeds. Mix well. Save the remaining leaves and seeds for the topping

  • Add the baking soda and ENO (fruit salt) to the batter. Mix to combine

  • Pour batter into a cake pan, using a flat spatula to spread evenly

  • Top with the remaining curry leaves and seeds on send to bake for 50-60 minutes

  • Bake in the oven for 50-60 mins at 350 F (180 C or gas mark 4). Always check with a fork and make sure it comes out clean — indicating your handvo is cooked through

  • Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and serving

Notes

  • The batter – The best part about handvo is that perfect golden crust accompanied by a moist interior. That’s why I use the specific ratio of semolina to chickpea flour. Like with any baking project, exact measurements are vital to assuring success.
  • The vegetables – Dice the onions and scallions into very small chunks. If they’re too tiny, you’ll lose the texture. If too large, they’ll be crunchy, and you’ll end up with big chunks in your mouth. The same goes with the cabbage; slice thinly. 
  • The cilantro: Choose as fresh as possible. This makes all the difference and exudes heaps of flavour.
  • Tempering leaves and seeds in oil – Make sure the oil is nice and hot before adding the whole spices. Keep an eye not to burn these; otherwise the recipe will end up tasting bitter. You want them to be golden.
  • Mixing the ingredients: Ensure all the ingredients are nicely mixted before baking in the oven.
  • The cake pan: Use a high-quality non-stick pan and always line with parchment paper. I use the oil residue from the pan to oil the sides of my cake pan. 
  • Baking time: This will vary depending on your oven and can be from 50-60 minutes. Always check with a fork and make sure it comes out clean to indicate that your handvo is cooked.
  • Cool it down: Although it’s tempting to dive in and enjoy your creation, let it cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.

Nutrition Facts

Desi~licious Easy Handvo Recipe | Healthy Indian Food

Amount Per Serving

Calories 237
Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value*

Fat 10g15%

Saturated Fat 2g10%

Cholesterol 6mg2%

Sodium 577mg24%

Potassium 285mg8%

Carbohydrates 30g10%

Fiber 3g12%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 8g16%

Vitamin A 311IU6%

Vitamin C 18mg22%

Calcium 92mg9%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please note the nutritional analysis values are estimates and suggestions. This nutrition facts table does not know your life – your body, including your hunger and satiety cues, change daily. It’s okay to eat more or less. Say no to food guilt and instead embrace mindful eating.





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