Bake with Kids, Breakfast, chickpea, Eggless, Entree, HEALTHY COOKING, Indian, VEGETARIAN, Yogurt

Instant Savory Vegetable Cake- Handvo

Instant Savory Vegetable Cake- Handvo (gluten free)

It is probably the 5557th time he has asked me, “What time is the flight landing?”  The baby bear of our home is a big fan of his dad.  He calls themselves “the twins.”  To him, his dad can’t do anything wrong or say anything wrong.  His trust and love for him is unparalleled.  When I am cross, it doesn’t take him a moment more to say I was wrong.  He’s around his dad every minute possible.  He’s the biggest fan of his dad, and takes every word his dad says to heart, and those are the final words. Imagine a kid who sounds squeaky and loud going daddy, daddy this, daddy that.  It can get quite annoying, but it’s too cute for us not to smile.

The funniest thing he said a couple of weeks ago after watching Fast and Furious, “Dad, you are so much more muscly and good looking than Vin Diesel.”  I’m laughing now as he is hovering over my shoulder as I type this and thinking about the moment when it actually happened.  He was just not happy that I was talking about how Vin Diesel’s muscles were.  Don’t bash at me for this, I know how people feel about him… Just FYI, both hubby and I are small built, no where near 5 and half feet..that says something about the kiddo.

Hubby has been travelling, and the little one missed him quite a bit. We do too, but he is papa’s little Bruce Lee.  He has been overly clingy with us, which I don’t mind at all.  Who can blame him?  Hubby is so good with the boys, from building robots to teaching them to build tables.  They built a vegetable patch and he promised the kiddo he’ll get him a dog if he grew an apple. Unfortunately, the apple tree is still with two branches.  It’s good for me though :).  Daddy to him is everything other than cricket.

I made Handvo/Vegetable cake a few weeks ago when hubby was not around, and the little one enjoyed it so much that he requested I make it for his dad because he wasn’t there to enjoy it. The repeat happened, and I decided to share this popular Indian snack with you guys.

Instant Savory Vegetable Cake- Handvo (Gluten Free)Instant Savory Vegetable Cake- Handvo (Gluten Free)Instant Savory Vegetable Cake- Handvo (Gluten Free)

This Savory cake comes from the region of Gujarat.  It’s crispy and bursts with spices and vegetables, while it’s soft on the inside. The crispy outer part is to die for.  Traditionally, it’s made by soaking all the grains overnight, grinding it and leaving it to ferment.  It’s nice but requires a bit of time.  I prefer instant gratification (especially if you have kids, you know what I mean).  They crave something and when it’s something like this, it takes a lot of prep.  I fry the lentils and rice separately for few minutes each and grind it to a fine powder and store it.  With this method, in a matter for an 1 or 1.5 hours, you have a traditional Handvo which tastes equally amazing.  The vegetables you add in this are up to your imagination.  The traditional vegetable used is Opa Squash and carrots.  Gluten free, perfect light snack, or a nice lunch with some Apple Chutney.  Made in a bundt pan, it’s perfect to take for parties and entertain with.

Instant Savory Vegetable Cake- Handvo (Gluten Free)

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Instant Savory Vegetable Cake-Handvo
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Savory Spicy Cake which is eaten during breakfast or for evening tea. It's flavorful and healthy.
Recipe type: Breakfast, Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-6
For making the instant Handvo flour mix: (You can use all the daals or leave few. Rice and channa are important)
  • 2 cup rice par boiled
  • 1 cup channa daal
  • 2 cup urad daal
  • ½ cup green moong daal
  • ½ cup tuvar daal
  • ½ cup yellow split daal
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • For the vegetable stuffing and the additions:
  • 2 cups of the handvo mix
  • 1 cup grated Zucchini or Opa Squash
  • 1 cup carrot shredded
  • ½ cup peas(optional)
  • ½ cup sour yogurt(no fat free)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ⅓ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic paste
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tsp fresh green chilly grated
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or accordingly
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For tempering:
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • few curry leaves
  • green chillies thinly sliced(optional)
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
For Handvo flour Mixture:
  1. Toast each daal and rice separately on a flat bottomed large non stick pan for few minutes. It takes anywhere from 5-7 minutes. Fry on very low heat- simmer. You do not want any color on the rice and lentils.Then cool it and grind it to a coarse powder. Cool and store in airtight container. You can use 1 cup of this mix anytime you are making handvo or savory cake.
  2. To make the Handvo-Savory cake:
  3. In a large bowl, add the handvo flour mix we've already made, add the vegetable, the flour mixture, yogurt, lemon juice, chili powder, garlic, green chilli and ginger paste, sugar and mix well. The mixture should be thick. Do NOT make it watery.
  4. Lastly add the baking soda and baking powder and fold into the batter. Do not over mix.
  5. Keep a pan, add the oil and let it get medium hot. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chilies and asafoetida and let is splutter. Turn off the heat and add the sesame seeds.
  6. At this point Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Slowly add the tempered oil to the flour and vegetable mix. Lightly fold it in. Keep 2 tsp of the tempered oil to top the cake.
  8. Pour the mixture in a pan which is liberally coated with oil. Top with the reserved oil and some more sesame seeds.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees.
  10. It depends on what size of pan you use. For muffins, it might take 15-20 minutes. Larger muffins might take 30 minutes. For a large cake mold, it might take 50min-1 hour.
  11. If you find the tops are getting too brown, cover it with some aluminium foil and bake. Insert a toothpick to see if it is thoroughly cooked.
  12. Take it out and rest for 15 minutes, turn it out on a serving tray and serve with some Apple Green chutney(I have recipe for it on the archive)
You can make the mix and store in airtight container and use it whenever.
You can make this handvo or cake on a thick bottomed pan. Cast iron works perfectly.
You can use any vegetable, fenugreek leaves works well, opa squash is traditional. Handvo freezes well too. Take it out and de freeze and toss with some onion and fresh herbs.

Instant Savory Vegetable Cake- Handvo (Gluten Free)

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  • Reply Shashi at RunninSrilankan July 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Asha your pictures are fantastic!!!!
    I ‘ve never had a Savory cake ever and this sounds wonderful! Also wonderful is how mush your little bear adores his dad – awww – so sweet he insisted you remake this so dad can enjoy it too.

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 29, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks so so much hun. He is mushy kid.
      Hope you are doing well.

  • Reply Vinita July 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Looks beautiful ! Love your photos !

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 29, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Hello Vinita,
      Thanks so so much for visiting the blog. Hope you are well.

  • Reply Manali @ CookWithManali July 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    gorgeous photography Ash!! And I have heard so much about handvo but it’s funny that I have never tried one! Dhokla, Khandavi are all so popular and everywhere, I wonder why handvo isn’t that commonly available!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      I always wonder about that too. So many Indian dishes and all we see is paneer, dosa or some common stuff.
      Thanks so much dear.

  • Reply Coffee and Crumpets July 29, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Beautiful cake! I haven’t tried handvo, or at least i don’t rememeber. Looks wonderful! I have a little boy too, and I know dad’s do no wrong. Though mine is defintely a mama’s boy first. The girls are all daddy’s girls howver 🙂

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Oh, I’m sure the girls are dad’s little babies. I am one, love my pops, I complain so much about mom to dad;-). I’m sure you would have had it at some point, so popular among Gujarathis.
      Have a good one my dear.

  • Reply Little Cooking Tips July 29, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    We never heard of Handvo before, thank you for another culinary insight into the traditional Indian foods. It looks super delicious and your pictures are amazing Ash! They make you wanna run to the kitchen and start mixing the flour:)
    We enjoyed so much the story with your son and his daddy!:) Sounds like a super cute situation:)
    Have a great day dear!
    Panos and Mirella

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks so so much for your sweetest comment. There’s so much to Indian food and I’m so happy to share what I know. Hope you get to try it, it’s simple.
      You have a wonderful day.

  • Reply Lakshmi July 30, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Now that’s some really healthy stuff you’ve got going there. Looks yum and deli. The tempering looks so attractive.
    Please tell me, can the Handvo be steamed too, just as we would the Dhokla?

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Oh yes, my dear it can be steamed and it is traditionally steamed and is so healthy and delish. You goto try it.

  • Reply Joanne July 30, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Aww well I’m sure the two boys will be happy to be reunited! I am so loving this “cake”. I feel like i would snack on it all day long!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Joanne. It is an easy bake. You’ll love it because it’s vegetarian.

  • Reply Monica July 30, 2015 at 6:05 am

    What a sweet relationship your baby bear has with his dad. I can relate because my little guy loves his dad and the two hang out and play together like besties. It’s very sweet and I hope it continues for years and years to come. And I loved learning about this savory vegetable cake. Never heard of it and it looks wonderful. It makes me think of taro or turnip “cakes” that we eat for dim sum. They’re not shaped like cakes but it’s sort of a savory cake. I would love to try this!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Oh, I really hope our boys stay that way for ever. Isn’t it a nice feeling to see the relationship like that?.
      I have tried the taro cakes long ago, loved it. This one is a bit different, if you’ve had idli, imagine that, a bit denser and full of veggies and spices mixed into it.
      I hope you get to try it. You can just make a cup and see if you like it.
      Hugs to little cute boy. xx

  • Reply Pang {circahappy} July 30, 2015 at 6:24 am

    This savoury cake makes my jaws dropped, Ash!!!! I don’t care it takes time to prep, it’s going to be on my ‘to make’ list; in fact, it’s going to the top of the list!!! I <3 <3 <3 it SO MUCH.

    By the way, I'm rooting for the daddy's little boy; he was so thoughtful to want his dad to have it, too 🙂

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Pang, this is one we make so often. So easy. I really hope you get to try it.
      Oh yea, the little one is a mushy lovey dovey kiddo.

  • Reply Yasmin July 30, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Gorgeous photos as usual! I’ve never tried a savory cake like that before. So unexpected. I do love hearing about new and unique Indian recipes (aside from the typical curries and rices you see at restaurants). And of course you always make it look so pretty, almost too pretty to eat (but not quite haha)!

    xx Yasmin

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar July 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      I agree, almost.:-). That’s the thing about Indian food, so many things. It’s almost shameful just to see the typical stuff. So much hidden gems and so many ways to use the typical recipes. Glad for your comment. Thanks hun.xx

  • Reply annie@ciaochowbambina July 30, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Such a sweet sweet story! Thanks for sharing! And this cake – I can imagine the crispy outside and the soft inside….phenomenal!

  • Reply Hadia July 30, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    This sounds absolutely delicious. I love the flavors and glad to have found your blog!

  • Reply July 30, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    If I had to decided between sweet and savory I would pick savory. This cake looks like a perfect blend of both. As you know I am a HUGE fan of your blog and talent. I am really trying to up my cooking skills and your blog is so very helpful. Thank you.


  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes July 31, 2015 at 7:42 am

    This sounds and looks heavenly, Asha. I love to bake with veggies and this fits the bill perfectly.

  • Reply Shibi@FlavzCorner July 31, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Loved reading about your little bear and the comparison to Vin 🙂 Dads are always the heroes of the boys, no matter what the Mom does. The savory cake cooks simply amazing. Loved the pictures!!

  • Reply Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl July 31, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Being a vegetable girl with a garden full of harvest I love that you baked a savory cake instead of the sweet route. This is such a unique loving way to use up veggies, perfect for home or a gift to a friend. Lovely all around!

  • Reply Kelly - Life Made Sweeter August 1, 2015 at 4:54 am

    This looks beautiful, Ash! I have never tried Handvo before but I love the savory ingredients and flavors in here! So sweet that your little bear adores his dad so much. My son is the same, in their eyes, dads can no wrong 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar August 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Boys and their dads, we’ll never understand. How old is your little one? Have a beautiful day hun.

  • Reply Khadija August 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Whats handvo?

    • Reply Asha Shivakumar August 1, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      It’s an Indian style Vegetable cake, popular among Gujrathis. It can be steamed or baked. You can read the description in my write up.

      • Reply Khadija August 3, 2015 at 8:24 pm

        I got that. But whats handvo mix that u call to add 2 cups of?

        • Reply Asha Shivakumar August 3, 2015 at 10:20 pm

          The Handvo flour mix that we made frying all the daals, thats the one.

  • Reply Sippitysup August 2, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Savory cake. Love the whole idea. I also love thinking about your son following his dad around. What a great way for a kid to grow up. GREG

  • Reply Sugar et al. August 5, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Wonderful texture filled cake, just the way I like it. I wonder how I’ve never come across this beauty before. Fortunately for us, we have a Mama’s boy and a Dad’s boy. So all are happy! Love the photos Ash!

  • Reply nocrumbsleft August 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Asha, I’ve never heard of anything like this. Wow, seems delicious. Although I’m a little overwhelmed about cooking all the different dahl and the flour mix. You are dedicated ! I love the pics and it seems like a magic dish

  • Reply Saloni June 11, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    What’s corn flour substitute?
    Can I use normal rice instead of par boiled?

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