Handwo – Spiced Vegetable and  Lentil Bake

…………….This is another very popular Gujarati dish. As it is made with a mixture of rice, lentils and vegetables, it is a meal on its own. The prominent vegetable used is the bottle gourd that gives the softness. If bottle gourd is not available then grated courgettes or butter nut squash can also give the texture.

Handwo or Honvo can be made and eaten over a few days, for this reason it is also enjoyed on picnics or long journey.

Ingredients:

Ingredients
The handwa ready mix is easily available in the market but if not, it is a mixture of
1/4 cup Toor dal – split pigeon peas
1 tbl spoon urad dal – split black lentils
1 tbl spoon mung dal – split mung lentils
1 tbl spoon Chana dal – split gram lentils
1/2 cup rice
Soak for 3-4 hours, blend them into a fine paste

OR just as I use the ready handwo mix

2 cups ready handwo mix
1 cup plain sour yogurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For the vegetables
1 carrot grated
1 small bottle gourd – (dhudhi, lauki) grated
1 small bunch chopped fresh fenugreek leaves
handful of chopped coriander leaves
1 small onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic minced
2 fresh green chillies minced
1/4 inch fresh ginger minced
(can also use ginger, garlic and chilli paste)

1/4 teaspoon of –
Turmeric powder
Chilli powder
Black pepper powder
Garam masala powder
Sugar
Lemon juice
Baking soda
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

2 tblspoons sesame seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida powder
2 whole cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1 dried red chilli
1 tablespoon oil

Method:

Soak the handwo mix (or rice and lentil paste) with plain yogurt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, cover and leave it to ferment overnight.

Mix all the chopped and grated vegetables to the batter and add turmeric powder, chilli powder, black pepper powder, garam masala powder, sugar, lemon juice, baking soda. oil and salt. At this point, taste to add more spices, sugar or salt to the required taste.

Grease an oven proof tray and pour the mixture in. Sprinkle sesame seeds to cover the entire surface.
In a small pan, kadai, heat 1 tablespoon oil, whole cloves, cinnamon stick and dried red chilli

When the oil is hot and gives out spicy aroma add mustard seeds, whole cumin sees and asafoetida powder.
As soon as it starts crackling, pour it over the sesame seeds covered batter.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200ºc (400ºf) for 35 to 40 minutes OR till the crust is golden brown in colour.

To make the crust crispy, put it under a hot grill or 5 minutes after it is baked.

Handwo eaten whilst still hot is simply mouth-watering and also very delicious when cold, especially with a cup of tea, chutney or plain yoghurt.

For a step by step method with images, visit the link below-

Full recipe: Handwo – Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Bake

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