Listen, I’m all for shortcuts in the kitchen that do not compromise on taste and this zucchini handvo is definitely one of them. Handvo is traditionally made with doodhi or Indian bottle gourd but when I can’t make it to the Indian grocery store, zucchini lends a similar flavor and texture. This is my MIL’s recipe and the only person’s handvo I enjoy and yup, she uses a pre mixed handvo packet to make it ! This handvo is super soft (thanks to the water content in zucchini), spicy, savory and overall very well balanced. The yogurt in the recipe gives it just the right amount of sourness without being overwhelming and if you don’t eat much spice, I would cut the amount of green chilis called for in the recipe, in half.
To Prep for this recipe:
First thing you want to do is prepare your garlic, ginger, and green chilis because there is a LOT of it in this recipe. You want it all to be very finely chopped/crushed so it blends into the batter. I have this grinder that I love- works super well for garlic, ginger, and chilis and doubles as a dry spice grinder too.
You can also grate the zucchini right before you start but do not let it sit for too long as it will begin to release a lot of liquid.
Click here to shop my Patel Brother’s Grocery Haul! If you do not have an Indian grocery store near you, you can buy Talod Handvo flour from Shop Indian Eats! If you do purchase, grab a packet of their Khaman mix too because that recipe is coming next for you all !!
Swap In’s & Modifications:
- We traditionally make this recipe with Doodhi (aka Indian Bottle Gourd) but when I cannot make it to the Indian grocery store, zucchini works great too because it is also has high water content and a mild taste. (Pro tip: When buying doodhi, look for a darker green one that is long and skinny- no need to remove the seeds but you do have to peel it).
- You can also add chopped cabbage or spinach to this to up the nutrition !
- There is a hefty amount of oil in this recipe to make the Handvo super moist and while I haven’t played around with decreasing the amount, you could certainly try!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe because it’s truly a staple for us ! If you do, be sure to tag me on @thechutneylife so I can see your wonderful creations! If you have other requests for recipes, be sure to leave them in the comments box!
For the Handvo Batter:
- 2 cups zucchini (about 2 medium size zucchini grated on the medium side of a boxed grater) you can also use upto 2.5 cups of indian bottle gourd
- 500 g bag of Talod Handvo Flour
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 3 tbsp minced green chilis (serrano or thai green chilis) use less for less spice
- 1/3 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 cups water
For the tadka:
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
- 1.5 tsp mustard seeds
- 1-2 dried red chilis snapped in half
- 1/4 tsp hing (asafoteida)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1.5 tbsp sesame seeds
- Preheat the overn to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all of the Handvo batter ingredients until everything is incorporated well. Set it aside and make the tadka.
- For the tadka, heat a small vessel/pot over high heat and add your oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to pop and crackle, add the cumin seeds and hing, let them splutter, then add in the red chilis, give it a quick (and careful) swirl and remove from heat (the red chilis brown fast so you dont want it over the flame for too long or they will burn). Pour this mixture directly into the handvo batter and mix well.
- Pour the batter into a greased 9x 13 oven dish. Drizzle one tbsp of oil over the top and sprinkle with the sesame seeds evenly across the surface.
- Place in the oven in the middle rack for about 50 minutes to one hour. The handvo is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Once the handvo is cooked all the way, set the oven to a low broil setting for about 3-4 minutes to brown the top of the handvo. Keep an eye on this so it doesnt brown/burn too quickly.
- Remove from the heat, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then use a sharp knife to cut into squares. Serve hot with a cold glass of milk, or a hot cup of chai and enjoy!