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Instant Pan Handvo (Spicy Lentil Pancake)

Languages and cultures are so similar across the world, specially if we compare how mother and father is pronounced in various languages. In quite a few languages, the word mother mostly starts with syllablle “m” and father with syllablle “p”.  I would like to extend this further and say that even cuisines share a lot of common aspects too! And in this context I would like to present “Handvo” – in my view, the traditional Indian Spicy Cake from Gujarat. The first Sweet cake my mother baked at home, was in a Handvo cooker, originally used for making Handvo. The traditional look and feel of the Handvo is similar to a cake without the cream, and of course it is not sweet but spicy.

The version I am presenting over here  is in a pancake form(my mother’s recommendation) and with the use of an instant mix , which is easy to make without the trouble of fermenting the dough. Dough fermentation is difficult in cold countries. Another advantage is that you can serve a warm, fresh handvo pancake, that is crispy to eat,  every time someone is ready for a meal!  Or you have the option of making something quick to eat on an evening that you are too tired to cook a lengthy meal.

Using a double sided pancake maker, as shown in the pics, makes flipping the handva pancake a breeze!

An accompaniment of plain buttermilk, or  tomato soup goes well with  this lentil and rice based spicy pancake.

Recipe :  2  Pancakes (Personal Pansize  or 6″ diameter)

Preparation time 10 min

Cooking time 15 min

  • 1/2 packet of  Gits Instant Handvo Mix ( packet size : 500gm)
  • 1/2 cup grated bottle gourd/dudhi/lauki without the skin)
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp oil for handvo
  • 1 cup water

For tempering of one handvo pancake

  • 2 tsp oil per pancake
  • 1 inch  piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1/8 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp  sesame seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • pinch of turmeric
  • couple of curry leaves
  • pinch of salt
  • In a bowl, mix water, oil and yogurt.
  • In a medium sized prep bowl, pour the instant handvo mix
  • Slowly add the water/oil/yogurt mix to the handvo.
  • Constantly stir at heavy speed, the handvo mix.
  • You should see the dough rising with foam.
  • Leave it to rest for 10 minutes once the dough rises.
  • Add grated bottle gourd /dudhi to the mix.

Tempering/Making of Handvo Pancake

  • Use a small 6″-7″ round pan.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil on a medium flame.
  • Once the oil heats, put mustard seeds to crackle.
  • Add cinnamon stick and wait for it to double its size.
  • Add cumin seeds- wait for it to become golden brown.
  • Add sesame seeds .
  • Add  crushed curry leaves.
  • Add turmeric, salt and asafoetida.
  • When sesame sees are light gold in color, Reduce the flame to lowest,
  • Gently layer 1 cup of bottlegourd/handva mix onto the temperimg.
  • Increase the flame to low medium.
  • Grease the top of the pancake, with a few drops of oil.
  • If you have the double sided pancake maker, close the top. If it is open, you can cover it with a lid.
  • Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Flip the pancake,with a flat cooking tool. To do this release the pancake from the edges first, then flip it. If you are using a double sided pancake maker, just flip and put the other side to cook.
  • Cook for further 4 min.
  • Close the flame and leave it covered for 2 minutes.
  • Serve the pancake as a whole, or cut pizza like slices, accompanied by tomato ketchup, soup or buttermilk.

IMG_1842Instant Pan Handvo

  • You can spice it even further by adding 1/2 tsp of ginger/chilly mix.
  • You can variate it by adding grated cabbage, instead of bottle gourd.
  • If you want it more crispier, increase the oil by 1tsp and do not cover it while cooking.
Instinct Factor

The art of flipping is instinct based, but when you get it right you feel like a pro!

Feel Factor

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, loaded with protein and vegetables and topped with yogurt. Cannot complain, for it is an easy dinner meal and has an added appeal to young kids, when presented in  the shape of pizza slices!


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