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June 21, 2011

Hello … I know it’s been a while since I posted but just been busy.   As you may know, I have been following Dr’ Fuhrman’s diet and this week marks six weeks since I have been on the program. So the total weight loss equals to (drum roll….) 14 Lbs.  I did cheat here and there as I was traveling on and off but it’s an achievement.   Still following the diet and exercise plan and will post as many healthy recipes as I can.   However, everyone else in my family needs to eat normal non-diet food, so made handva/handvo, which, is a savory cake made from coarse flour of rich and a few lintels.  

Handvo had always been a popular lunch item on weekends in our household because this is one of my dad’s favorite. It has always been a tasty and filling companion on road trips during summers.    I love it because it is a one dish meal and is very flavorful.  Every time we introduced our friends to handvo they instantly fall in love with it and ask for recipe.  Speaking of which, I had once taken left over Handvo for lunch and was warming it up in microwave.  Everyone kept on asking what smells so good and long story short, about 5 people ended up trying it, and I had to buy my lunch that dayJ.  Following week I made a tray of it just to take it to work.   A slice of Handvo is spectacularly savory and sesame seeds sprinkled on the top crust add a nutty crunchiness to this soft and savory cake.

Ingredients for Batter

2 Cups Handva Flour (Can be bought from any Indian Grocery Store but do not confused this with instant Handvo mix)

2 Cups Shredded Dudhi/Loki (Bottle Gourd)

2/3 Cup Fenugreek Leaves (Frozen or Fresh)

1 Medium Onion Shredded

½ Cup Yogurt

1/8 Cup Shredded Gud

2 Green Chilies and 1 ½ Piece Ginger (Crushed to Paste)

2 Tbsp Oil (I used Light Olive Oil but Corn, Vegetable, or Canola Oil is fine)

1 Tsp Turmeric

½ Tsp Red Chili Powder

¼ Tsp of Soda Bi-Carb or Baking Soda

1 Tbsp Flax Seed meal (optional)

2 Tsp Salt (I used Sea Salt so adjust accordingly.  If you are using regular salt, start with 1 ½ Tsp and adjust as necessary)  

For Tempering

3 TBsp Oil

½ Tsp Mustard Seeds

½ Tsp Cumin Seeds

2-3 Whole Red Chilies

Pinch of Asafetida

1 ½ Tsp Sesame Seeds


  1.  You do want batter to be slightly salty because when baked it will adjust.
  2. Over all, all flavors should come through in the batter (Sweetness, Sourness, Spiciness, and Saltiness).   Otherwise after baking, it will not taste well seasoned.
  3. Other veggies that work well are Spinach, cabbage, Zucchini, and Corn-Onion.
  4. For Brunch, Bake Handvo in muffin trays, which also works well for traveling. 
  5. Use mini muffin tray for appetizer Handva Bites.


  1.  In a mixing bowl mix all ingredients for batter EXCEPT Soda Bi-Carb or Baking Soda and mix well.
  2. Add Water as necessary to make pasty batter (medium consistency).
  3. Let it sit for at least an hour.   I let it sit over night.
  4. At this point you may have to add more water as it gets soaked.
  5. Do a taste test and adjust if necessary.
  6. Add Soda Bi-Carb or Baking Soda and mix well.
  7. Spray/oil/ butter and flout a baking tray and set it aside.  I used Pyrex 8×8, however you can also use 9×11 in which case the thickness of Handva will be less.   I actually prefer that because you get nice balance of crust and soft core.  
  8. Pre heat over at 450 F.
  9. Heat oil for tempering.
  10. Once hot, add Mustard seeds, Cumin Seeds, Asafetida, Sesame Seeds and Whole Red Chilies let all the seed pop.
  11. Pour it over batter and mix well.
  12. Pour Batter into the baking tray and sprinkle sesame seeds generously on top.
  13. Place in oven on middle rack and lit is bake of 40 -50 minutes.  Keep a close eye on it half an hour in to the cooking time as all ovens are different.  If you are using 9×11 tray, the cooking time will be little less.
  14. Bake until edges are reddish brown and top is pinkish red.
  15. Do a fork/toothpick test to check if it is done. 
  16. If it is baked, set oven temp to Broil and bake for another 5 minutes to form a nice crust on top.  Watch it closely so you don’t burn it.
  17. Take the tray our and let it sit for 10-20 minutes before digging in.

Handva is a one dish meal and tastes delicious by itself, but can be served with Green Chutney, Tamarind Chutney, Pickle, or Chundo.   Also makes great tea time snack!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Sravya permalink
    February 18, 2016 3:01 pm

    Lovely recipe and pictures. Thanks much for posting. I have a question though. My oven has a broil option low and high. Did you broil on low setting?
    And a big thumbs up on your weight loss. Please email me the details.

  2. March 8, 2013 9:28 pm

    I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely
    enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you book marked to look at
    new stuff you post…

  3. July 15, 2011 1:39 pm

    yumm! will try it. can you share your diet plan details. would love to get on it. esp if it can be done with the recipes you post that’ll be awesome

  4. July 4, 2011 11:45 pm

    Yum, your Handvo looks so good! Nice job!

  5. June 27, 2011 12:12 pm

    Congratulations on the weight loss! 14lbs in quite an accomplishment. I too have been on a weight loss quest…although this delicious looking cake would make it difficult!

  6. June 22, 2011 7:13 pm

    Glad to see you back 🙂 This is new kinds dish for me and looks perfect for a evening snack. Thanks for sharing. 14 lb in 6 weeks .. i need that mainly for my hubby. Could you please email me some details .. link etc .. Would be so grateful to you.

  7. hetal permalink
    June 22, 2011 12:55 pm

    you didn’t mention of the smell that premeates the entire house when you make this, and why am I smelling it here sitting at my desk, now ?

    • June 22, 2011 10:35 pm

      Yes.. How can I forget the aroma??? We will make it when I am there 

  8. June 22, 2011 1:47 am

    lovely recipe- have heard so much about this, yet to make it !! fine clicks

  9. June 21, 2011 11:58 pm

    So nice to see you back Meghna…great job done on loosing 14lbs…I have 2 more weeks to complete my 6 weeks target..don’t know how much my loss would be…but I hope I would be able to continue this nutritarian life style throughout.
    The handvo looks really tempting…would love to grab a few slices…I will check about this flour in a Gujarati supermarket..will get it there mostly…this is totally looking lip smacking.

    • June 22, 2011 10:40 pm

      Thanks Raji!! Thumbs up to you for following the diet with having to cook regular food for you family… We both know it is not and easy job!!


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