Perfect Gujarati Handvo: A Savory Cake with a Crunchy Twist

Gujarati Handvo is a savory cake made from a combination of lentils and rice, traditionally prepared with a variety of vegetables and spices. This delicious dish is not only a popular snack but also a nutritious meal that can be enjoyed any time of the year. In this blog, we will explore the rich history of Handvo, the best season to enjoy it, and some interesting stories that make this dish a beloved staple in Gujarati households, especially in the Saudi Arabian region.

The Rich History of Handvo

Handvo has its roots deeply embedded in Gujarati cuisine. Traditionally, it was a dish that brought families together, as it requires time and patience to prepare. Passed down through generations, the recipe for Handvo varies from household to household, with each family adding their unique touch.

The Best Season to Enjoy Handvo

While Handvo can be enjoyed all year round, it is especially popular during the monsoon season. The combination of the savory cake with a hot cup of chai is a match made in heaven, providing warmth and comfort on a rainy day.

The Ingredients

For the Batter:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup chana dal
  • 1/2 cup urad dal
  • 1/4 cup toor dal
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1 cup grated bottle gourd (lauki)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking

For Tempering:

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • Curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil

The Recipe

Soaking and Grinding:

  • Soak rice and all the dals together for at least 4-5 hours.
  • Drain the water and grind them into a coarse paste using minimal water.


  • In a large bowl, mix the ground batter with yogurt. Cover and let it ferment overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Mixing the Batter:

  • After fermentation, add grated bottle gourd, green chilies, ginger, turmeric powder, red chili powder, baking soda, and salt to the batter. Mix well.


  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Pour this tempering into the batter and mix well.


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a baking dish with oil and pour the batter into it.
  • Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for extra crunch.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


  • Let it cool slightly, then cut into pieces and serve with green chutney or ketchup.

Interesting Stories Around Handvo

One funny story about Handvo in Gujarat is how it was once mistaken for a cake by a foreigner visiting a local household. The surprise on their face when they took a bite expecting something sweet but tasted the spicy and savory flavors instead was priceless!

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