Zucchini Handvo: The Gujarati Classic With A Global Touch
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Handvo, a traditional Gujarati snack made with rice, lentils and vegetables, is made with a fermented batter, that is critical to its taste. The protein-rich staple, commonly served as a tea time snack in Gujarati households, has a cake like density, that keeps you full for hours after eating. Often heard of iterations that include moong dal or a combination of lentils and vegetables like bottle gourd, spinach, carrots, radishes and green peas, which make the batter rich in antioxidants, high on fibre and great for gut health.

The key to making the perfect handvo lies in the amount of time the batter spends fermenting as well as pouring the batter onto the pan when it is adequately hot. There are two ways that one can approach making the handvo; one involves mixing together all the ingredients with pre-packaged handvo flour that is easily available in stores and the other, a slightly longer process of soaking whole grains and pulses until fermented before grinding into a batter. This zucchini handvo recipe follows the former method as it allows you to pre-make a big batch of handvo flour that you could store and use multiple times. It is also a refreshing take on the traditional recipe that would normally use grated gourds or carrots.



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Handvo: A Nutritious Breakfast Cake From Gujarat

  • 1 cup rice
  • ½ cup chana dal
  • ¼ cup urad dal
  • ¼ cup toor dal
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, grated
  • 3 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic-chilli paste
  • 1 teaspoon soda bicarb/eno
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 6-7 curry leaves
  • 2 dried red chillies

Image Credits: Meeta Arora / Piping Pot Curry


  • To make the handvo flour, grind the rice and lentils along with the methi seeds in a blender jar, to a coarse powder. Measure two cups worth of flour, add the yoghurt to it and leave to ferment for a minimum of 6 hours. Add some water if the mix is too dry but ensure to be careful so as to not dilute the consistency of the batter.
  • Once fermented, add the grated zucchini, ginger-garlic-chilli paste, turmeric powder, salt, sugar and soda bicarb to the batter and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and temper with mustard, cumin and sesame seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the asafoetida and curry leaves and swirl everything around until they spread evenly on the surface of the pan. Lower the heat and pour the batter onto this tempering.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 8 minutes. Using a spatula, separate the edges of the handvo from the walls of the pan and flip it over to cook for another 6-7 minutes. The underside should be golden-brown and slightly crispy. Cut into wedges of your desired size and serve hot with green chutney and a sprinkling of coriander leaves.