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In my introduction , I have written about our dog who had his own food preferences. This is the story of 1960s .We had a dog named Tommy,. In those days, almost all male dogs were called Tommy and females were called Jimmy. This "Thorough Bred Pure Mongrel" was more than our family member. He had certain rights which we did not have. He always knew that Handvo is being prepared .My mom or kamala mami when they soaked the dhalls in the night, he would know that handvo is being prepared tomorrow. He would refuse to go out anywhere and sit in front of the kitchen like a Sphinx in the same pose. From time to time, he would sniff and try and make out of the progress of baking. Mind you , he would not leave the home to go to his usual rounds of streets where his concubines lived on walltax road, till we served his piece (king size) of Handvo. He had many other preferences but that will come with his other likings or dislikings of certain dishes. Gujaratis prepare Handvo which is a traditional salty-spicy cake. You can call Handvo as cousin of Dhoklas but is baked instead of steam cooked. It has a great taste and is generally a weekend meal (light ) or an evening snack. Many variations are there but I am posting a vegetable rich spicy version.

For a family of four 2 helpings
Boiled Rice (parboiled) 1 cup
Kadalai Parappu ( Channa Dhall ) 1/4 cup
Ulutham  parappu (black gram dhall) 3 tbsp
Thoram parappu (Red Gram Dhall ) 3 tbsp
Paiyar Parappu (Green Gram Dhall ) 3 tbsp
Rava (optional) 2 tbsp
Sour curds 1 cup
Julienned Bottle gourd/Carrots 1/2 cup
Onion (thin long sliced 1 no.)
Capsicum 1 small
Green chillies (finely cut) 4 to 5 nos.
Grated Ginger 1.5 "
Chilli powder 1 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Sugar 1tbsp
Soda Bi-carb 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste

Oil 50 to 60 ml.
Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Curry leaves (optional) 1 sprig
Asafoetida 1/2 spoon





Soak all the dhalls and rice for 4 to 5 hours, drain and wet grind to a thick paste (coarse like vadai maavu). Now add sour curds, salt and a little water and allow to ferment overnight. Keep in a warm place to allow proper fermentation. Adding a piece of stale bread would ensure proper fermentation. Next stage is preparation of julienning of either carrots or bottle gourd (one cup), drain excess water from gourd and set aside. Grate ginger, cut chillies very fine, slice onion and capsicum in thin slices and set aside. When the fermentation is over, add all the grated, sliced and julienned vegetables and spices like chillies , ginger,capsicum etc to the fermented dough. Also add chilli and turmeric powders and sugar. 

Mix soda bi- carb in a spoon of oil and make milky solution and add it to the dough.Mix thoroughly. If you add a little sour curds again at this stage it will be great.. 

Now prepare a non stick pan or a big kadai. add oil and all the tempering spices (except sesame seeds). Set the flame on medium. When mustard starts to crackle, immediately add sesame seeds, they will immediately start crackling. Now pour all the Handvo dough in the pan/kadai and set it to a low flame .Cover with a lid. Or if you are using an oven, put it in pre heated oven at about 175 to 200 centigrade . 

Late it bake for about 15 to 20 minutes in a non stick pan. Check if the under crust is brown .If brown, turn the Cake and let the other side cook in the non stick pan (inverting and removing the cake without breaking is very essential) .If you are using an oven, when you see the upper crust brown, turn the other side and let the underside brown also. Some people do not let the underside brown if they are using an oven, this leaves inside uncooked. A fine aroma will prevede when the baking oven or the lid is opened. 

The Handvo is ready. Let it cool for about ten minutes. Make cake like and cake sized pieces and serve steaming hot with chutney or sauce or with Garlic chutney.

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