Recipe for Handwo: A Steamed Lentil dish
Handwo is a savoury rice and lentil cake that is served as breakfast or a snack. This recipe hails from the state of Gujarat in Western India.
The rice and lentils are soaked, ground and fermented. The batter is then fortified with vegetables, spiced and steamed. The result is a beautiful savory cake, very high in protein and fibre, low in fat and absolutely divine to taste.
For all the plus points, handwo does need a fair bit of preparation-which is best left to the weekends.
Let me run you through the ingredients- and don’t let the long list bog you. I’m sure most of the ingredients can be found in the pantry of an Indian kitchen / or easily available in an Indian store.
More vegetarian recipes from the state of Gujarat
Pudla – Savoury crepes made using chickpea flour
Methi na dhebra – rustic flatbread
Fajeto – Ripe mango and yogurt curry
Recipe for Gujarati Handwo - Steamed lentil dish
- 1 cup rice
- 1/4 cup chana dal
- 1/2 cup moong dal
- 1/2 cup tur dal
- 3 green chillies
- 1 inch ginger piece finely grated
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup yogurt (preferably sour)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup grated carrots
- 3/4 cup grated cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup peas
- 1 - 2 tbsps sesame seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Rinse the rice in water 2-3 times and soak in sufficient quantity of clean water.
- Mix the three lentils together, rinse them with water 2-3 times and soak for 5-6 hours.
- Drain the soaked dal and rice and grind the rice with the green chillies into a smooth paste. Remove into a big bowl. Add the sour yogurt to this mixture, stir well.
- Fermenting: Keep the bowl tightly covered and keep in a warm place overnight. The bowl has to be large enough, because the batter will rise due to fermentation.
- To prepare handwo, take the fermented batter. Add the veggies, salt, turmeric, grated ginger. Give the batter a good stir. You can taste at this stage to check for salt and spices. If you want it spicier, you can add some red chilli powder.
- Grease a microwave safe round pan. Pour the batter into it. Microwave at 80% power for 12 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Alternatively you could use a steamer for 15 minutes or so. I used the microwave and it was very fast and came out clean.
- Once done, remove and cool for 5 min. Keep a plate to cover the pan, invert the pan so that the cake comes out neatly onto the plate. Cut it into 8 large wedges.
- Heat the oil, add the tempering ingredients. Once the sesame seeds turn golden, remove from flame. Garnish the handwo wedges with the tempering. You can even slow roast the handwo slices in this tempered oil until the outer layers turn golden and crispy.
Can’t wait for the recipe..never heard of it before…
I love Handwo. Love to see the recipe 🙂
Cant wait for the recipe.. the pic looks delicious….mmmmmmmmm
posted…this virtual breakfast is dedicated to luv. cooking theory and starry nights!
yesterday when I saw the picture I knew I had to steam it and wasnt very happy because I dont have a steamer and my pressure cooker is too small to put any other vessel in it to steam !!!. But today when I saw your recipe and you said we can do it in microwave, thats amazing and I am going to definitely try this. Do you do other steaming also in microwave?? Like say kozhukkatta and all. Just curious, because I have been avoiding all recipes involving steaming for the above mentioned reasons 🙂
I like this recipe. Am going to try it and keep you informed, Nandita.
Hey Kerala Girl-Thanks for writing in! I don’t use the microwave for steaming stuff like Kozhakattai- but i believe u do get a microwave idli stand in which you could do that- And when i didn’t have a proper steamer- i fashioned one using a nice deep vessel and a deep plate (thali) which you can fit into the vessel’s brim-cover it with a lid that is wrapped in a towel- to absorb the steam so that the batter doesn;t get watery.It sounds complicated, wish I could draw it and show you-This recipe is so microwave friendly-which is obvious because it’s from the microwave cookbook- do give it a try!CheersNThanks Sailaja-would love to hear from you!
Thanks for posting the recipe:). Will definitely give it a try and let you know.
Hey nanditaIt should be in my bog yaar….Healthy eating ka section mera hai 😉 ust kidding…..but it is 100% what i would like ppl to definitely try and i m making it tommorow 🙂 Today i made lasanachi amti by vaishali . We got a new grill yesterday so we r going to have BBQ today…will post on my blog soon wht we did 🙂
Thanks Nandita for the tip. I think I understood what you said so from now on never no to any steamer recipes :-)I do have an idli stand with me which is too big to fit in my cooker 🙂 So I am gonna try that in a big vessel with the towel tip you gave.
It looks absolutely fantastic. I will try it and let you know :).
Well done!Most recipe tells only baking powder or baking soda.Buy your recipe is well balanced in everything.Congrats!Nandita!!!!!!! Count me in + 5 or -5 of your age is my age.which would be right ??
Cooking theory (gals you should have some nick names if not your real ones- it feels crazy calling people by such names )- sure do let me know how it turned out.Neelu-to kya? even i focus on healthy eating- have you seen any deep fried recipes in my blog so far LOL ! We are in the same herd of health freaks, so by all means try it and post it in your blog too…shall wait for the grilling recipes.Keralagirl- That idli stand not fitting int he cooker is such a common problem, due to which i had to come up with this idea, u may even try making idlis in the big vessel-towel thingie !Shilpa- thanks !And Ramya- girl- your profile is disabled, so I can’t tell you if I am in +5 or -5, all i can say is I’m sure we are all in pretty much the same age group 🙂
Nandita, I saw this post two days back, but could not leave a comment as I was busy writing my own post. A nice coincidence that both of us have posted microwave recipes around the same time. Handwo looks nice. ‘Blog Patrol’ will let you know how it turned out. :)Btw, did you buy that MW oven of yours because they were offering a free cookbook? I am asking because I often happen to take decisions based on these grounds. Silly? Yes. But very, very me.
Hey Nandita:WOW. Never ate handwo before. So definitely gonna try this. One question: Can I take the easy route and subsitute rice flour, since I cannot imagine ginding rice in my blender/grinder/food processor? I don’t have a desi grinder like Sumeet or Preeti. May be I should try it huh?
No, actually i lost the cookbook, I got it from my mom;s MW cookbook – Do let me know how it turns out!Luv- I guess u can try substituing rice flour, but let it pass thru the fermentation stage as is, i recommend you use half the quantities written down- that way, if it doesn’t turn out good, you don;t lose too much
I say briefly: Best! Useful information. Good job guys.»
Hallo I absolutely adore your site. You have beautiful graphics I have ever seen.»
Thanks anonymous- your words of encouragement mean a lot!
Can I do the grinding in my cusinart or will that be too mushy?
Racheal- You can by all means grind in cuisinart, I ground it in a similar mixer, just be careful not to add too much water while grinding. When you remove soaked lentils from water, they are already soft enough, plus some water comes along too- you can add like half cup water for each grinding session.Later when you mix in vegetables, the consistency solidifies. It should be somewhat like cake batter.Hope that helps!
Thanks Nandita for your kind words for my post on Mahanandi! Your handvo looks very tempting and I will give it a whirl sometime.
Hi Nandita,I totallyy love this recipe an am amidst trying this out. I love to cook and am new to the cooking scene. I was just trying to grind the soaked rice in my mixy with half cup of water as mentioned by you. I was wondering if its fine if the batter is not as fine and smooth as dosa maavu….do let me know. As i dont think i can achieve that in a mixy with very little water
Hi ,I just wanted to know when did you add the baking soda and baking powder..the previous night or the next morning before microwaving.Sorry but I am a novice.Thanks.Maenka
I don’t have a microwave at home. Can I pour a ladel of this batter on a non stick tava and make an adai sort of a thing with this? My husband prefers adai and dosai rather than the steaming process, so wanted to check. Also, you have made a modification to this recipe by using red rice and masoor dal, which one did you like better, taste wise ?? and did the rice and lentil quantities still remain the same with this modification ?