Climate and culture play a big role in a region’s cuisine. Gujarat has hot and dry climate and its people are largely vegetarian. Dry red chilies, oil and sugar are used generously as they act as good food preservatives. Dishes like bhakhris, theplas, Handvo, oondhiyu and sweet pickles laden with oil sum up the region of Gujarat well. Made from a variety of dals, spices and generous amount of oil, handvo is a unique and nutritious dish from Gujarat.
This handvo recipe is pretty much straight from a cookbook by Tarla Dalal, a famous cookery author from India. This is by no means a quick handvo recipe. It takes a decent amount of work and time to make but it’s a very good recipe and the handvo comes out perfect every time.
Handvo goes particularly well with sweet mango pickle and buttermilk.
2 cups rice
1 cup toor dal
¼ cup each of moong, urad, and chana dal
1/8 cup crushed wheat (Optional)
1 cup sour yogurt (low-fat or regular)
1 tea spoon Eno (available at Indian grocery stores)
4 table spoon oil for the batter
4 table spoon oil for the tadka/vaghar
Wash rice and dals together and soak in plenty of water for about 8 hours.
Drain all water from the rice and dal mixture. Grind it by adding no more than 1/4 cup water until you get a batter that’s almost fine. (i.e. leave it just a little bit coarse) Food processor works well for this. The consistency should be that of fine sooji. Add 1 cup of sour yogurt and let the batter ferment for at least 8-10 hours or overnight.
When ready to make Handvo, grate dudhi/opo and keep aside.
To the batter, add:
2 tea spoon salt
¼ tea spoon turmeric
1 tea spoon red chili powder
2 tea spoon sugar
juice from 1 lime/lemon
2 cups grated dudhi/opo (squeeze all the water out before adding it to the batter)
1 tea spoon grated ginger
5-6 chopped green chilies (more if you want it very spicy)
4 table spoon oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Just before baking, add 1 tea spoon of Eno to the batter and mix very well. Quickly sppread the batter on the baking pan, and bake for 35 minutes at 425 degrees.
After it is baked, let it cool for a few minutes. Add vaghar of oil, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, fresh curry leaves and 2-3 small cinnamon sticks.