Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Gujarati Recipe Series - Handvo, Savoury Cake

This post marks the first in my series of Gujarati recipes! This is something I've been meaning to start for a long time and I have been encouraged by many of my twitter followers to do so too. I think it is pretty fitting to start off with a cake, but this time a savoury, spicy vegetable cake.

Handvo, or Andvo, is made from chickpea and semolina flour with carrots, peas, onion and sweetcorn, chili and ginger inside with a crispy top with mustard seeds on top. We always used to eat this on Saturday nights, with other snacky food like samosas - although it is a pretty filling meal in its own right.

Makes one 18 x 6 cm dish (though will work in slightly bigger or smaller dishes)
You need to start this the day before you want to eat it. 
My cups are American cups, teacups also work well.

Part 1 - the day before
1 cup of coarse semolina flour
1 cup of chickpea (gram) flour
1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
1 - 2 green chillies (to taste)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 cup of natural yoghurt (my Mum said the cheaper the better as you want a nice tangy yoghurt!)
2 tbsp of groundnut, sunflower or mild olive oil
warm water - about 1/2 - 1 cup

Mix together all the ingredients except the water, add the water gradually to loosen the mixture til it is the texture of cake batter. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight (or up to 24 hours) when you want to use it remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature.

Part 2 - the next day
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder 
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp of frozen peas
2 tbsp of frozen or fresh sweetcorn
1 medium carrot, finely diced

Add all of the vegetables to the 'cake' mixture plus the baking powder, stir briefly (don't overwork the mix) to combine. Preheat your oven to 180c / gas mark 4. Grease and line your dish and pour in the mixture.

Mustard Topping
1 tsp of black mustard seeds (the yellow ones don't really work as well, try your local asian grocer or health food shop for black mustard seeds)
3 tbsp of groundnut, sunflower or mild olive oil

With your mixture ready in your dish and your oven heated up. Heat the oil in a high sided saucepan on a med/high hob. Put in the mustard seeds and quickly cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow the mustard seeds to pop for about 30 seconds. Turn off and remove from the heat and allow it to cool for about 1 minute. Then pour the oil and mustard seed mixture over the cake mixture in the dish.

Bake for 45 mins - 1 hour in your preheated oven. You want the top to be quite brown, possibly looking a little overdone (I erred on the side of caution here so mine is a bit paler than it should be). 

Handvo is supposed to be served hot so slice up as soon as it comes out of the oven, it is best served with a dollop of good old tomato ketchup! It is also great cold the next day

Am hoping to return soon with more Gujarati recipes, I've got lots of things I'd like to make next. I hope you might make this, its a great recipe to try if you like baking cakes.

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