If you’ve ever been to Gujarat, chances are you might have tasted their popular dishes like fafda, dhokla etc. If you happen to be a foodie who is not content with these dishes, then you would have gone ahead and tasted few other dishes and I am sure one of them would be Handvo.
Now, handva can’t be classified as the breakfast dish, lunch or even dinner. Gujaratis love them and they can eat it any time of day. It depends on your preference for when you would like to have it. Coming to Handvo, in the language of the chef of an expensive restaurant, it is a savory steamed vegetable cornmeal cake.
To cook handvo, you will need to soak rice and each type of dal combined and soaked together in the bowl of water. Now, grind rice and add the appropriate amount of water to make a thick batter and leave it for 4-5 hours after adding soda to it. Next, heat oil, add your favorite masala like red chili, asafoetida, mustard seed etc as per your wish and saute it until the seeds start spluttering. Next, sprinkle the remaining soda over the batter and pour the lemon juice into it. Immediately pour the hot spices into the batter and whisk briskly.
Now, you need to get a ring mold and pour the batter into that mold half filled and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Moving ahead, you will need to fill sand in a pressure cooker and then put the mold and then press it against sand so that it is half covered with sand and cover it without the whistle. Cook it at high temperature and then lower heat to medium and cook the handvo till a skewer inserted into it comes out clean. It may take forty to forty-five minutes. Let is let little cool slightly and unmould the handvo. Cut into thick slices and serve hot with green chutney.
Handvo has less number of calories as it contains a different kind of pulses. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which acts as an antioxidant to cell damage. The niacin in peas helps reduce the production of cholesterol. This all makes it somewhat healthy to be consumed by an average person.
So, next time you go to Gujrat or for that matter a Gujarati restaurant, do taste handvo. Who knows, you might start taking it every day.