Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baked Handvo / Spicy Lentil Pancake / Indian Vegetable Loaf

The activity-filled long days of the summer season can make one very hungry during the early evenings. Instead of opting for the oily and spicy farsans (which everyone loves to eat !) Handvo can be a tasty snack . It can be also stored for a day or two in the refrigerator. So this has been a summer treat at my home during many good summer days. Also it is a great accomplice with Chai on cold rainy and winter days.

When I think about Handvo, I fondly remember my college friend R's mother who used to prepare this dish very often and give it to my friend in her tiffin. I loved Handvo as much as she relished my mom's dosas and idlis.My Handvo recipe includes a variety of lentils and a variety of seasonal vegetables can be added to this dish. Apart from the lentils I have also tried adding a handful of whole wheat while soaking the lentils and it has turned out very tasty. Because it is baked and not steamed it has a crispy and crunchy texture from outside and a soft flavorful texture on the inside. I am sending this recipe to the event "My Love affair with Legumes-Fifteenth Helping" hosted by Sia and Susan.


For soaking and fermentation:

1/2 cup urad dal or split and husked black gram
1/2 cup toor dal split pigeon pea
3/4 cup chana dal or split Bengal gram
1/2 cup moong dal or split and husked green gram
3 cups rice
1/2 cup ragi or black millet flour (optional)
1 teaspoon methi or fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 cup curd or 1 cup sour butter milk

3 green chilies or as per taste
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon haldi or turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste

2-3 cups of grated vegetables (mostly bottle gourd is used, but one can be as creative as possible ..I use which ever vegetables are on hand- cabbage, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, pumpkin, peas, spinach and fenugreek leaves. If you are using fenugreek leaves, then omit the fenugreek seeds)
1/4 cup grated or chopped coconut (optional)
1/2 bunch coriander leaves

salt for taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoon lemon juice

For seasoning:

pinch of asafoetida or heeng
2 tablespoon white til or
white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
10-12 curry leaves or kadipatta
3 tablespoon oil

Soak the dals and rice (and wheat if using it) and methi seeds for 6-8 hours. Grind it together into a coarse paste. The batter is much coarser than the regular dosa or idli batter. Add curd or buttermilk and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well. Keep the batter aside to ferment for 6-8 hours or overnight. The batter should be kept in a warmer place to ferment. In winters, I warm the oven to around 100 degrees and keep it overnight in the warm oven.

After fermentation, mix in the vegetables, coconut, chopped coriander leaves, sugar and salt for taste. Mix in all the spices and adjust the chili and salt as per taste. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter add the asafoetida, cumin seeds. Then add the sesame seeds and curry leaves. Add the seasoning to the batter and mix well. Add the lemon juice to the baking soda and stir immediately into the batter.

Grease a baking tray and pour the batter evenly into it. Bake the handvo for 50 min to 1 hour at 350 degrees. I like a crisper version, so I bake the handvo till it is all brown on the bottom. Serve hot with coriander-mint chutney.


Vani said...

Hanvo looks great! Loved the addition of so many veggies.

Supriya said...

Thanks Vani, glad you liked it.