Stovetop pan handvo is a spicy vegetable mixed lentils rice cake. Handvo is a nutritious dense cake eaten for breakfast, as a snack or as a light meal. It is a popular dish from Indian State of Gujarat.
Conventionally, handvo is prepared in a pan, on a coal stove using a handvo pan. Nowadays stovetop pan handvo is more common in many kitchens and so is oven baked handvo, as it is quick, convenient and easy to make. As the new gadgets and appliance such as Instant Pot are invented, the conventional methods are gradually disappearing.
Though today’s stovetop pan handvo is the not the traditional way of preparing handvo but is very convenient in modern kitchens. I used a nonstick pan here but next time would like to make it in a cast iron pan.
The recipe for stovetop pan handvo is same as baked handvo and Instant Pot handvo but for method of cooking. I made it the same day I made instant pot handvo, half the batter in IP and other half on stovetop. In the pan version, I added some coriander powder to batter and also added hing to batter instead of tempering. Recipe below is scaled down and those are quantities required to make a small 8-8½" stovetop pan handvo.
Of the three versions, I liked the baked and the stovetop pan method of cooking the most. Instant Pot method was also good but lacked the crunchy top. But if using instant pot, I highly recommend putting it in the oven, in broil mode for brown, crispy crunchy top.
Stovetop Pan Handvo ~ Spicy Mixed Lentils Rice cake
Preparation: 10 minutes + soaking lentils & rice + fermenting time
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 8 - 8 ½" handvo
- ¼ cup Rice (I used basmati rice)
- ¼ cup Lentils (I used equal parts of chana dal, moong dal and urad dal)
- ¼ cup Water to grind rice + lentils
- ¼ cup Yogurt, preferably sour (I used regular store bought yogurt)
- 2 Green Chilies
- ½” Ginger piece
- ¾ cups grated Bottle Gourd
- ½ medium-sized Carrot or about ⅓ cup grated Carrot
- ½ cup loosely packed chopped Spinach
- 1 - 2 tablespoon chopped Cilantro ~ Kothmir
- ½ teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Lime Juice (opt)
- Turmeric Powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Hing ~ Asafetida
- ¼ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Fruit Salt (ENO, available in any Indian store)
- 1 ½ - 2 tablespoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin
- 3 - 4 Curry Leaves
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
Making the batter
- Wash and soak rice mixed lentils for at least 5-6 hours.
- Before grinding, discard water leave the rice lentils mix in a strainer for 4-5 minutes to drain.
- Grind rice and lentils to a coarse paste in a blender or a mixer using about ¼ cup of water.
- In a bowl mix together ground paste and yogurt.
- Ferment the batter for 6-8 hours or overnight. Batter did not ferment well when I made baked handvo. This time I fermented it overnight in my instant pot. I used low yogurt mode for 3 hours to keep the batter and pot warm. I let it ferment for few more hours in IP even after the IP shut off. In total, fermented it for about 12 - 14 hours and keeping it in yogurt for 3 hours helped a bit in fermentation.
- When ready to make hando make a paste of green chili and ginger, and add to batter.
- Peel, grate and chop all the vegetables mentioned in ingredient list and add to batter.
- Mix the batter and season it with salt, chili powder, lime juice, turmeric, hing and coriander powder. Mix everything, taste and adjust seasoning.
- In a nonstick pan, heat oil about 1 ½ tablespoon of oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
- Once seeds splutter, reduce the flame to low, add sesame seeds and hing.
- Add fruit salt to batter and mix immediately. Do not over mix. It is crucial to do this step just before pouring the batter on to pan.
- Pour the batter in the frying pan, gently move the pan to spread the batter evenly.
- Cover and cook on low to medium low flame for 15 minutes or until sides come off the rim of the pan.
- With a spatula gently flip the handvo.
- Cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until the bottom of handvo is cooked. If unsure, do test by inserting a toothpick or knife into handvo. It should come clean.
- Turn off the heat, slide the handvo to a plate. Let cool, cut and serve with green chutney; coriander chutney or coriander mint chutney.
- Zucchini is a good substitute for bottle gourd. Cabbage, fenugreek leaves, onion are also a good addition to hondvo.
- Dhokla flour and handvo flour are good alternatives to make instant batter, though I have not tried them yet. This still requites fermentation.
- Flipping Handvo - When using a wider pan, either cut the handvo to few pieces and flip or turn the pan on a to flat plate and then slide the handvo back to the pan.