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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Spinach and Bottle Gourd Handvo

Life is hectic and tiring these days with my 4-month old. The time passes by very fast, which leaves me hardly any time for the blog :((. But when he smiles, all the tiredness, all the fatigue goes away in an instant. Every morning I wake up thinking that today I am going to post at least a new recipe. I even make drafts but cannot fine tune them. Anyways enough with time problems, finally, I have one easy and quick recipe if you plan a little ahead.

Handvo is very popular Gujarati snack. It looks beautiful and tastes great, but basically it is lentil flour cake, which also smells very nice. It is perfect with tea, coffee, or cold drink. It is easy recipe for picnics or long trips. It stays in fridge for around a week. It is usually made with bottle gourd but could be substituted with squash. I used spinach and pigeon peas for a little more flavor. Traditionally, Handva flour is prepared with many types of lentils which are grounded and mixed, but in modern times, it is flour is readily available in Indian stores.


  • 3 cups Handvo Flour, store bought
  • 1 Medium Bottle Gourd, grated
  • 2-1/2 cups Chopped Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Pigeon Peas, boiled
  • 3 cups Yogurt
  • 3 tbsp Penuts
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Dhania-Jeera Powder
  • 3 tbsp Green Chili-Ginger paste
  • 2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1-1/3 tsp Eno Fruit Salt
  • 1-1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Salt to taste

-- For Tadka

6 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves


1. In large bowl, mix handvo flour, yogurt, grated bottle gourd and water. Leave overnight to ferment.

2. Add green chili-ginger paste, turmeric, salt, sugar, dhania-jeera powder, penuts, pigeon peas, spinach, red chili powder and 1/4 cup water leave for 2-3 hours.

3. Preheat oven on 375 F.

4. In the mixture, add Eno and then add lemon juice so that it covers the Eno. Let it bubble and mix well lightly clockwise (in one direction).

5. Grease deep baking dish and pour handvo mix. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

6. Heat oil in small pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves.

7. Give tadka on top. And bake for 40-45 minutes.

8. Serve with tea, coffee, cold drinks, pickle or with any meal as a side dish.


Tip: Please keep in mind if you have extra water, it will be okay but less water would be bad since handvo will end up dry.