Delicious and Healthy Spicy Lentil Cake Recipe

Dear esteemed readers,

It is with great pleasure that I bring to your attention a recipe that has captured the hearts and taste buds of many – Ondhwa or Handvoh, a spicy lentil cake recipe. This dish is an exquisite example of traditional Gujarati cuisine, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region. The recipe boasts a unique fusion of lentils, rice flour and vegetables, resulting in an incredibly savory dish that will have you hooked from the first bite.

As a scribe for Chef Ehud, renowned for his luxurious take on Israeli culinary, I have had the privilege of learning from one of the world’s best chefs. Together, we have perfected this ondhwa recipe to bring out its true flavors and textures without altering its originality.

This scrumptious delight holds many fond memories for those living in Gujarat and is often made during family gatherings and festivals. The practice of adding fermented mixed dal to the batter dates back centuries ago and is what sets it apart from other savory cakes.

Whether you’re a vegetarian or just seeking an appetizing new dish to tickle your taste buds, this spicy lentil cake recipe will exceed your expectations. It has captured the hearts of many for its heavenly taste and impressive nutritional value.

So without further ado, let us get started with this classic Gujarati handvo recipe and explore the distinct richness of flavors and aroma that awaits you with each bite!

Yours sincerely,

Chef Ehud’s scribe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Ondhwa or Handvoh - Spicy Lentil Cake
Ondhwa or Handvoh – Spicy Lentil Cake

Dear esteemed foodies,

I am here to tell you why you’ll absolutely love this exquisite ondhwa or handvoh spicy lentil cake recipe. So, buckle up and prepare to have your taste buds transported on a captivating culinary journey!

Firstly, this savory rice and lentil cake is a traditional Gujrati dish made with an enticing blend of lentils, vegetables, and spices that come together in perfect harmony. The combination of moong dal and chana dal provides rich sources of protein, making it a perfect snack or meal for vegetarians and anyone who loves eating healthy.

Secondly, the recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing for substitutions and variations to suit everyone’s tastes. For example, you can use bottle gourd, carrots, onions or potatoes to add some vegetable power. If you’re a spice lover like I am, you can add more ginger, fresh garlic cloves, fresh green chile or even sprinkle some extra sesame seeds on top for that extra crunch.

Thirdly, making the dish itself is incredibly easy! You only need a few basic ingredients such as wheat flour and semolina flour alongside the lentils and vegetables to create the handvo batter – perfect for those busy days when time is of the essence! You can also buy an instant handvo mix from Indian shops if you want to save even more time.

Fourthly and most importantly – the flavor! This spicy lentil cake packs quite a punch with its astonishing blend of ground mustard seeds, turmeric, salt, cloves & cinnamon that fill your home with pleasing aromas as it bakes away in the oven. This flavorful cake made with rice flour mixed with lentils fermented overnight will leave you wanting more.

In conclusion, traditional gujarati handvo is a staple food in many households throughout India, and once you’ve savored one bite of our spiced up version, you will become just as hooked! The texture is crispy on top while being soft in the middle – perfect for a cozy evening indulgence or served alongside soup as an entree. Trust me; once you try our spicy lentil cake recipe (ondhwa/handvoh), you won’t be able to resist sharing this delicious savory rice-lentil vegetable cake with your friends and family – Bon appetit!

Happy cooking,


Ingredient List

 With every slice, the flavors of India come alive in your mouth!
With every slice, the flavors of India come alive in your mouth!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this traditional Gujarati dish, often made with a mixture called Ondhwa/Handvoh which is easily available at Indian shops. You can also make your own handvo flour by mixing rice flour, wheat flour and semolina in equal proportions.

Lentil cake:

  • 1 cup Mixed lentils (Chana dal, moong dal)
  • 1 cup Rice
  • ½ cup Wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp Semolina
  • 2 cups Grated bottle gourd
  • 1 cup Grated carrot
  • 1 cup Grated potato
  • 2 cloves Fresh garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 fresh green chilli chopped finely


  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling on top

These ingredients are perfect for making a savory rice and lentil cake that you won’t be able to resist.

The Recipe How-To

 Enjoy a slice of savory heaven with every bite!
Enjoy a slice of savory heaven with every bite!

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, it is time for the fun part. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and start cooking!

Step 1: Preparing the Batters

Firstly, we need to prepare the lentil batter and vegetable batter separately. For the lentil batter, take a bowl and mix 1 cup rice flour and 1/2 cup semolina together. To this, add 1/2 cup chana dal and 1/2 cup moong dal along with enough water to soak these batters for 2-3 hours.

For the vegetable batter, take grated bottle gourd, carrots, and finely chopped onions in a separate bowl. To this, add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons ginger paste, 4-5 fresh garlic cloves (chopped), and finely chopped fresh green chile (quantity depending on your spice preference) along with sufficient amount of water.

Now blend both batters each using a hand blender or mixer just until you have a smooth, lump-free consistency is achieved.

Step 2: Merging Both Batters

Once both the lentil batter and vegetable batter are ready, take a large mixing bowl and combine both these batters along with adding 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda or baking soda. Mix well making sure there are no lumps in the mixture.

Step 3: Tadka Time!

In a small tempering pan or kadai, add some oil and let it heat well. Once hot, add in 1 tablespoon mustard seeds, two broken pieces of cinnamon stick, two cloves respectively. Once they start spluttering make sure not to burn them.

Then toss in this tadka mixture immediately into handvo batter along with it adding some white sesame seeds as well to get that nice crunch texture while biting into it.

Step 4: Baking Handvo

The Mixed Dal recipe is traditionally made in Handvoh or Ondhwa non-stick pan which I recommend for best results. So just warm up your “Handvo Pan” on low flame and got spilling into it as desired taking care that there aren’t any air bubbles pouring too much batter at one go may cause certain areas being less cooked than others.

Spread over some additional sesame seeds from the top to give an added crunch to our soft savoury lentil cake made oh so perfect for all out taste-buds.

Bake on low-medium heat by covering up for about 10-12 minutes till it turns crispy on the outside yet soft on inside but make sure not to flip more than once or twice while cooking as it can change its texture.

Serve while still hot smeared with chilli chutney or tomato sauce which should be quite tangy to bite through that fluffy texture – giving a zesty finish to our beloved

Substitutions and Variations

 Bring a burst of color and flavor to your table with this Ondhwa recipe!
Bring a burst of color and flavor to your table with this Ondhwa recipe!

My dear reader, if you are feeling adventurous and would like to experiment with substitutions and variations of this recipe, I have some recommendations for you.

Firstly, let us consider the lentils used in the recipe. While chana dal is traditionally used in making handvo, moong dal or a mix of the two can also be used for a different flavor profile. Moreover, you can choose to soak the lentils and rice overnight or use instant handvo mix that Indian shops sell.

For the vegetables, while bottle gourd, carrot, onion and potatoes are the vegetables commonly used in handvo, feel free to substitute them with any vegetables of your liking. Courgettes or zucchini can be an interesting addition to this savory cake made with rice and lentils. As for greens, kale or spinach can add some extra nutrition and texture to the dish.

Furthermore, for those who cannot consume gluten-containing products or prefer a gluten-free diet, wheat flour and semolina can be substituted with rice flour. The result will still be a delectable rice-lentil cake that is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

To add a bit of crunch and nuttiness to your handvo recipe, sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the batter before baking. Other spices such as coriander seeds or cumin seeds can also be sprinkled on top for an extra layer of flavor.

Lastly, for my vegan friends out there, you can easily make handvo vegan by substituting ghee (clarified butter) with oil and using plant-based yogurt instead of regular yogurt in the batter.

In summary, my dear reader, the beauty of cooking lies in experimenting with flavors and textures. Do not be afraid to substitute and vary ingredients to create your own version of this spicy lentil cake. Happy cooking!

Serving and Pairing

 A meal that is both healthy and delicious!
A meal that is both healthy and delicious!

When it comes to serving and pairing this spicy lentil cake recipe, there are various options to choose from. Traditionally, Ondhwa or Handvoh is enjoyed as a breakfast dish or as a mid-day snack. It is usually served with mint chutney, tamarind chutney or even plain yogurt.

For those looking for a more substantial meal, Ondhwa can also be served as a main course alongside some preferred vegetables or a salad. In fact, with its wholesome ingredients like lentils, vegetables, and rice flour, this lentil cake works perfectly as part of a balanced meal.

For those hosting an Indian-themed dinner party, Ondhwa can also work as an appetizer. Simply cut the small cakes into bite-sized pieces and serve them hot with some coriander chutney on the side.

If you’re looking for creative ways to use your leftover Ondhwa, try cutting it into cubes and sautéing it in some oil with mustard seeds until crispy. This makes for an excellent addition to curries or stews.

Lastly, although traditionally made with vegetable inclusions such as bottle gourd or carrots, don’t be afraid to experiment with other vegetables that may be available in your pantry or local market. This savory lentil cake recipe is highly versatile and can easily accommodate different vegetable combinations.

Whether as a breakfast food or part of a larger meal spread for dinner, in every serving of this delicious spicy lentil cake recipe lies a wonderful blend of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 It's a lentil cake, but not as you know it!
It’s a lentil cake, but not as you know it!

Dear readers,

The Ondhwa or Handvoh cake recipe is a delicious and savory dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The good news is that this traditional Gujarati handvo recipe can be prepared in advance, refrigerated, and reheated easily.

Making the Ondhwa or Handvoh batter requires mixing wheat flour, semolina, rice lentils, bottle gourd, carrot, potatoes, chana dal, moong dal, fresh ginger, fresh garlic cloves and green chilies along with some turmeric powder and salt. Once mixed well, you can store the batter in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. This will allow the lentils to ferment naturally and will result in a soft and fluffy lentil cake.

When it comes to reheating this spicy lentil cake made out of rice flour mixture combining lentils and vegetables like bottle gourd (lauki), onion (pyaj) potatoes (aloo), you can opt for microwaving it for a minute or two. You can also reheat it in the oven by covering it with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.

One thing to keep in mind is that this dish is best enjoyed when fresh out of the oven. However if you have any remaining slices of handvo left over after your meal, then they’ll still make for an irresistible snack when served at room temperature.

In terms of storing your Ondhwa or Handvoh cake, you must wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can even freeze it for up to 1 month but ensure that you cut them into individual servings before freezing.

I hope these tips on making-ahead, storing and reheating your Ondhwa or Handvoh make your cooking experience much easier. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Traditional Indian cooking at its finest!
Traditional Indian cooking at its finest!

My dear friends, a wise person once said that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. When it comes to creating the perfect Ondhwa or Handvoh – Spicy Lentil Cake Recipe, that statement couldn’t be more true. As with any dish, the key to success lies in the details, and I have some tips and tricks up my sleeve to ensure your spicy lentil cake turns out absolutely divine.

First of all, let’s talk about the batter. The lentils and rice need to be soaked for at least 4 hours prior to making handvo batter. However, on some days we are so busy that we forget about soaking rice and dal/lentils. Do not worry my dear friends! You can use instant handvo mix available in Indian shops instead. But if you do have time and would like to make handvo from scratch, make sure you grind your soaked lentils and rice well – this will ensure a smooth batter which will help you create a tender lentil cake.

Another important tip is to pay attention to the vegetables you are using in your recipe. Try to select fresh vegetables such as grated carrot, finely chopped onion, diced potatoes or even bottle gourd – this will result in a moist and


Before concluding this spicy lentil cake recipe article, let’s address some frequently asked questions. These queries will assist in putting to rest any doubts or questions one might have regarding preparing the dish. Read on for some helpful tips and suggestions that could make your cooking experience even better.

What is the difference between Dhokla and Handvo?

Handvo, a popular Gujarati snack, can be considered Dhokla’s sophisticated relative. It is a blend of diverse textures and tastes from lentil flours, rice, spices, veggies, seeds, and nuts. The sour tang in Handvo is due to the fermentation of the batter.

What else can be made from handvo batter?

I will provide instructions, tips and recommendations for a variety of scrumptious Indian snacks such as Khandvi, Rava dhokla, Chana Dal Dhokla, Methi muthia, and Khaman dhokla. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds!

What is Ondhwa flour made of?

The Ondhwa Flour is made by grinding 100% chana dal and rice to perfection, which is ideal for creating delicious lentil cakes.

What is handvo in english?

Handvo is a type of savory vegetable cake that comes from Gujarat, India and is commonly found in Gujarati cuisine. Typically made with a filling of bottle gourd, it can also consist of various other vegetables, and sometimes includes crushed peanuts.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Ondhwa or Handvoh spicy lentil cake recipe is the perfect dish to incorporate into your meal planning. It is a fusion of traditional Gujarati tastes and modern flavors that will leave you wanting more. With its simple ingredient list and step-by-step instructions, it is beginner-friendly and can accommodate various dietary needs.

Moreover, the versatility of handvo allows you to customize the ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Whether served as a savory snack or a main course, it offers an exquisite blend of spices and textures that will leave your taste buds asking for more.

So go ahead and give this delicious and healthy cake made with rice and lentils a try. Trust me, once you taste it, you won’t be disappointed; in fact, you may even end up sharing the recipe with your friends and family.

Ondhwa or Handvoh - Spicy Lentil Cake

Ondhwa or Handvoh - Spicy Lentil Cake Recipe

This dish is made with a mixture of lentil and rice flour. Most Indian shops sell this mixture as "Ondhwa mix". This dish was very popular among Gujaratis who lived in East Africa. It's usually served as a snack with tea and chutney. In my opinion, it is a meal on its own as it has all the lentils and rice plus the vegetables and yoghurt. It's dish which can be served hot or cold at any time. It's great for picnics. The flour used in this recipe is called "Ondhwa flour" and available in most Indian grocers. It's made from a mixture of lentils such as Urad dall, chana dall, tuverdall and rice flour . This mixture can also be made at home by mixing these ingredients and then soaking them overnight in water and then blending them finely) Years ago, housewives in East Africa used to have to spend a lot of time preparing their lentils and flours at home. At the end of the month, housewives used to soak up their left over lentils and rice and blend them with yogurt and cooked a kind of a bread ( similar to sour dough bread) which later got very popular because of its taste.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Calories 963.5 kcal


  • 5 cups flour, Ondhwa flour
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 -2 fresh green chile
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves, crushed finely
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated finely
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 -4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


  • Method:.
  • Overnight Preparation:.
  • Mix the Ondhwa flour , plus the semolina and strong flour with yoghurt to form a firm mixture. Cover it and keep it overnight in a warm place. This enables the ondhwa flour to ferment.
  • On the next day:.
  • Grate the potatoes, onions and carrots. Add them to the Ondhwa mixture. ( You can also add a grated marrow or zuchini also if you wish - any vegetables that can cook well and provide moisture to the mixture can be added). Blend the ginger, garlic and green chillies in a mixer or blender and add to the mixture . Add the salt and turmeric. Mix it all together in a fairly large saucepan or basin.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Add the mustard seeds, cloves and cinnamon to the oil. Add a tablespoon of sesame seeds to the oil. Once the mustard seeds stop popping, pour the hot oil over the ondhwa mixture and stir well.
  • Mix the sodabicarbonate with a half cup of warm water and add this to the mixture. The mixture will start to rise (Hence the need for using a large saucepan or basin).
  • Transfer the mixture into a very well greased baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on top of the mixture and bake at 170 degrees for 30 minutes and 150 degrees for 10 minutes. Check that it's cooked by putting a knife in the middle of the ondhwa. If the knife comes out dry - the ondhwa is cooked. If not - give it an extra 5-10 minutes. The top of the Ondhwa should look fairly dark when it is cooked.Ondhwo will be crispy on the outside but lovely and firm on the inside.
  • This can be served with yoghurt and coconut chutney or with coriander and chilly chutney.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 348gCalories: 963.5kcalCarbohydrates: 127.4gProtein: 20.1gFat: 41.8gSaturated Fat: 6.2gCholesterol: 5.3mgSodium: 632.5mgFiber: 8.3gSugar: 4.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Indian, Lunch, Onions, Oven, Potato, Potluck, Spicy, Vegetable
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