Handvo (savory rice & lentil cake)

Main Dish
6 servings
10 hours
35 min
A savory fermented cake that is vegan and has the goodness of veggies too. Serve with green chutney (Recipe given)
'One pot meal' would be perhaps a better description. Great to snack or as a meal.


Number of serving: 6
1 cup rice (coarsely ground - similar to coarse semolina)

1 cup mixed lentils, coarsely ground (texture similar to the rice)

{urad (ivory lentils), moong dhuli (split green mung without skin) & chana dal (split bengal gram without skin)}

½ cup sour yogurt

1 cup shredded lauki/ghiya/dhoodhi (ash gourd) - you can even use courgette

½ cup shredded carrots

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tsp fruit salt (I used Eno)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp caster sugar

¼ tsp red chili powder

½ tsp turmeric

2 green chilies, ground to paste (I used 2 large ones)

1 heaped tsp ginger paste

1 heaped tsp garlic paste

Salt to taste (I used 1½ tsp)

For tempering

3 tsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

10 curry leave (I tore them into two-three pieces with hand)

3-4 whole red chiles (I tore them into bite size pieces and removed seeds)

½ tsp black sesame seeds

½ tsp white sesame seeds

A few black and white sesame seeds for sprinkling

For Mint and Cilantro Chutney

1 cup mint leaves

½ cup cilantro (dhaniya patta/ fresh green coriander)

½ tsp amchoor (dry mango powder) or lemon juice

½ tsp salt or to taste

1 shallot (small onion)

1 green chili


  • Soak the coarsely ground rice and lentils overnight using yogurt (curd/ dahi). Add some warm water (i used 1 table spoon at a time) to bring the batter to a very thick consistency.
    Ferment the batter overnight or for 10-12 hours.
    Add shredded veggies in the morning along with chopped onion, lemon juice, sugar, chili powder, turmeric, salt and ginger garlic green chili paste. Mix well.
    Heat oil in a pan and add together the mustard seeds and the red chilies (I fry them till they attain a deep color and a smoky flavor). Next tip in the sesame seeds.
    Add curry leaves and once everything starts crackling, remove from the heat and add to the batter. Mix well.
    Mix fruit salt with 1 tbsp of water and add to the mix. Mix well again.
    Bring the batter to a thick consistency using water gradually; a tablespoon at a time.
  • To make the handvo the traditional way, grease a medium sized non stick pan with a little oil and heat it and pour in the batter.
    Sprinkle the sesame seeds, cover the pain and reduce the heat. Cook for approx 10 minutes.
    When cooked, it will leave sides. Turn it over and cook for another 5 minutes.
    Remove from the pan and slightly cool the handvo.
    Slice and serve with a chutney of your choice.
  • I made the handvo in the oven using a 9 inch square pan.
    Preheat the oven at 180-190 degrees C
    Line the base and sides of the pan with parchment or butter paper.
    Pour the batter in the tin and bake it till it turns slightly golden and when a skewer inserted comes out clean (approximately 30-35 minutes)
    Cool slightly and remove from the pan.
    Using a serrated knife, slice the handvo and serve with chutney.
  • To make the Green Chutney, blitz everything together in a mixer-grinder and the chutney is done!
    I suggest you double or even triple the amount of chutney ingredients to go with this much amount of handvo.
  • Note: While soaking the rice and lentils, don't be tempted to make the batter loose since next morning veggies will be added and they will add their natural water to it
    Note: The consistency of the batter should be approximately that of fritters. (However a thicker one is preferable)
    Note: Feel free to use veggies of your choice - peas, courgettes, cabbage, beans, etc
    Note: Do not be intimidated with the amount of chilies. Both, the whole red ones and fresh green ones add a different flavor to the dish.
    Note: You can keep the lentils and rice ground separately in separate containers and use them at your convenience.
    Note: There are special pans in which handvo is traditionally made, however, you can use a non-stick pan (as suggested in this recipe)




Your comment:I have been looking for the recipe for awhile. Thanks I will make this on the weekend.

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Friendly baked and spicy. One may eat with curd/yoghurt mix with tomato, garlic relish, or milk or tea, coffee.

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Your comment:my favorite dish easy to ccok

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