Relish Delish :: Handvo

Handvo (zuchini squash cakes)

Handvo is a type of savoury cake made traditionally with a mix of rice & different types of lentils such as moong dal, tuvar dal,chana dal, urad dal & masoor dal. It is a very popular dish originated in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The rice & dals (lentils) are coarsely ground & mixed with vegetables, spices, oil & yogurt. They are then either steamed or baked. Handvo is soft on the inside with a crusty outer top. It is usually served for breakfast or as tea time snacks. Nowadays we get instant handvo mix in most Southeast Asian groceries. Here is an instant handvo recipe using semolina & chickpea flour. Bottle gourd (dudhi) is a common vegetable used for making handvo. Here, instead I have made it with zucchini which is found in abundance here in North America. I have shown here two different methods for making this wonderful recipe. In the first method, I baked the handvo in muffin trays & in the second I made it using a regular non stick frying pan.

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  • 2 cups Semolina flour (sooni)
  • 1/2 Cup Chickpea flour (besan)
  • 1 Tsp. Salt (or as needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar (or as needed)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 2 Green chillies, chopped
  • 2 Tsp. Chopped ginger
  • 1/4 Tsp. Chilli pd.
  • 1 Cup Plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Eno fruit salt
  • 3 to 4 Cups Zucchini squash grated
  • 1/2 Cup Water (or less as needed)
  • - - For topping :
  • 3 + 2 Tbsp. Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Mustard seeds
  • 1 Tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 2 Tsp. Sesame seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp. Asafoetida (hing)


  1. Grate zucchini & make a paste out of the green chillies & ginger.
  2. Mix semolina, chickpea flour, salt, turmeric, red chilli in a bowl. Add grated zucchini, ginger green chilli paste, yogurt, 3 tbsp. oil, sugar, & just enough water to make into a thick batter. Add eno fruit salt or baking pd. & mix well.
  3. Method 1:
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F
  5. Lightly grease muffin tins. Spoon batter into the muffin tins.
  6. Heat remaining oil in a small pan. Then add mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering, add cumin. Put off the heat & then add sesame seeds & asafoetida, covering the pan immediately.
  7. Spoon a little of this seasoned oil on top of the handvo mix in the muffin tray.
  8. Bake the savoury cupcakes for about 15 to 16 minutes. Then if needed, turn the oven on to broil settings & broil for about 3 to 4 minute or so until the tops turn crispy brown.
  9. Take the handvo out of the oven & let it rest for 10 minutes before serving with chutney/condiment of your choice.
  10. Method 2:
  11. Heat oil in a nonstick frying pan. Once the oil is hot, lower flame & add mustard, cumin, sesame seeds & asafoetida.
  12. Pour the handvo batter into the frying pan on top of the seasonings. Flatten it a bit & cover the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, covered with a lid on the pan.
  13. After 15 minutes, remove the lid, take a plate and turn the handvo onto the plate fried side on top. Then gently slide the handvo back onto the pan.
  14. Cover & cook again for 3 to 4 minutes. Take out of the pan & slice into triangle pieces like cutting a cake. Serve warm.

Further Information

Preparation Time is approximately 20 minutes.

Cooking Time is approximately 20 minutes.