Food Stories/ One Pot Meals/ Snacks/munchies/Quick Bites

Makai no Handvo – a traditional savoury cake made with maize flour

Khichri ni khpori (the golden layer formed at the bottom of the pan once the khichri scorches  at its bottom, Handva nu pad  (the crust of the Handvo ) are layers that can trigger small clash during dinner times…. Seriously, they are that good. The Khapori of the Khichdi is as precious to us as Tahdig is to the Persians. As so it the crust of the Handvo that is cooked in a bundt shaped Handvo cooker. The slow cooked  golden crust is the most awaited part of this preparation. The thick crust dunked in tea or oil or used to mop the oily pickle is pleasure Gujjus look forward to.  So if you read that it’s the moistness of the crumb that one should aim for, understand its jus half truth. To the ones who are able teethed it is the amber coloured crust that holds the true appeal in a Handvo. And this is the TRUTH!!

Handvo is also a food that is been interpretated  in several ways, popularly known as savoury cake of Gujarati origin it is now made with different combination of grains, pulses and  vegetables.  To me Handvo is a complete meal. When in doubt I always turn to this  trusted choice. When the weather gets cooler and the season is apt to include millets and other whole grains,  we shift to Handvo preparations that include bajra flour or maize four to the mix. The Makai no Handvo recipe I share with you makes it an ideal winter meal. Do not worry about the combination of vegetables to be used the best that works is grated carrots, very tender baby peas, some frozen corn kernels (if you are like me and tend to freeze when sweet corn is in season) can be added. I have baked it but you can make it the convention way or in a skillet. Don’t be skimpy on using oil. Just as good cake requires butter a good Handvo requires oil for that tender crumb and golden crust.

Go make some 😍



Makai No Handvo

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 40 minutes


  • 1.5 cups coarse maize flour/makai no lot
  • 1/2 cup handvo flour
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, better if it is sour
  • 1/2 cup water ( adjust to make thich batter)
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, boiled
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 2-3 teaspoons green chilis, minced
  • 2 teaspooons ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup jaggery (more or less to balance the sourness of the furmented batter)
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted and skinned
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • a pinch of asafetida
  • 2 whole red chillies (optional)
  • 1 spring curry leaves (optional)
  • salt to taste



In a large pan mix the flours and massage in 2 tablspoons of oil.


Mix in the yogurt. Add water to make batter similar to the consistency of idli batter.


Cover and allow the batter to ferment overnight or atleast 5-6 hours.


After the batter has fermented give it a stir, add the carrots, corn, jaggery, salt, tumeric, ginger, chilli and peanuts.


Take a 9 X 9 square or equivalent recteangle baking dish.


Grease the bottom and sides of the bakign dish.


Pour the batter in to the prepared bakign dish.


In a shallow pan temper the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil with mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves (if using) and asafetida. Once the mustard has crackled, turn off the flame and add the sesame seeds


Once they crackle pour the tempered oil over the batter.


Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees untill the crust has browned and knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Cool it a little, cut in squares and serve with chai and chutney.

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