Handvho

Country of origin: India

If you ever crave something savoury with afternoon tea that isn’t a sandwich or a quiche, well this is it, handvo does the job nicely. A slightly spiced vegetable “cake”, made of flours (you can use all sorts, e.g semolina, gram flour, pigeon pea flour and rice flour) yoghurt, spices and vegetables like cabbage, bottle gourd, onions, carrots and peas. It can be served alone as a delicious snack, or with yoghurt, chutney or hot sauce.

This recipe has been adapted from, Cooking with my Indian Mother-in-law, by Simon Daley and Roshan Hirani. I halved their recipe, and got one 9-inch cake; I haven’t yet experimented with mini handvos or handvo scones but there’s a great recipe here.

You first mix yoghurt, oil and the flours together then add the vegetables and the flavouring (garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin seeds, salt, coriander, lemon juice and sugar). A vagar/temper is then made of oil, mustard seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves; once their lovely aromas are released, pour it over the batter and mix. Finally add the raising agents, baking powder and Eno ( a fruit salt) and then pour the mixture into a baking tin. It’s cooked for about an hour until golden brown.

Nothing beats it sliced and warm from the oven, with a cup of tea.

Tips:

– I found that my handvo was golden and crisp enough after about 40 minutes in the oven, so I placed a piece of lightly oiled foil on top to stop it browning further.

– I only had red peppers, squash, carrots and frozen peas and sweetcorn available, so that’s what I used, but I’d recommend cabbage and courgette instead of the red pepper and squash.

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