Vegan Ondhwa or Handvoh – Vegan Spicy lentil cake

In the last post written on World Vegan Day by my son Rajesh, he mentioned that most of authentic vegetarian recipes in this blog can easily be made vegan and that’s what we have been doing lately.

We made this vegan ondhwa  using slightly different ingredients a couple of weeks ago. The recipe for the vegetarian ondhwa is here

Ondhwa often called handvoh is a  Spicy Lentil Cake made with a mixture of lentil and rice flour.  Most Indian shops sell this mixture as “Ondhwa mix”.  This dish is 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 lentils and rice plus you can add a choice of seasonal vegetables marinated in  yoghurt.   This is one of the dishes  we made using Soya yogurt so that the vegans in my family could enjoy it too.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 cups of  ready mixed Ondhwa flour
  • 1 cup coarse corn flour
  • ½ cup strong wheat flour
  • 1 cup soya yoghurt
  • 2 tbls fresh lemon juice
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 or 2 fresh green chilies chopped finely
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 5-6 tables cooking oil ( need it for the tempering and lining the plate)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp soda Eno Fruit salt
  • handful of nuts – cashews and peanuts


  1. Mix the Ondhwa flour,  the  corn and wheat flours with soya yoghurt and lemon juice.  Add some warm water to form a mixture which is firm. Cover it and keep it  in a warm place for 3-4 hours.

2. Grate the potatoes, onions and carrots and add them to the Ondhwa mixture.  Add in the ginger, garlic and green chilies. Add the salt and turmeric. Mix it all together.

3.  Mix the Eno Fruit salt  with a half cup of warm water and add to the mixture.  The ondhwa mixture will  start to rise.

4.  Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan.  Add the mustard seeds and a tablespoon of sesame seeds to the oil.  Once the  mustard seeds stop popping and sesame seeds go dark, pour the hot oil over the ondhwa mixture and stir well.

5. Transfer the mixture into a very well greased baking tray. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds and the nuts on top of the mixture.
6.  Bake at 170 degrees for 30 minutes and 150 degrees for 20 minutes.  Check and cook for a few more minutes if required.  Check that the ondhwa is cooked by putting a knife in the middle of the Ondhwa.  The knife should come out clean. If not cooked, give it a few more minutes.   The top should look fairly dark when the Ondhwa is cooked.
7.  Serve the ondhwa hot with green chutney and  masala tea.   This must have been one of the tastiest ondhwas made so far.  We did not tell the family that we had converted the usual Ondhwa recipe to a vegan dish and no one could tell the difference.


Do try this vegan version of Ondhwa and let me have your comments.

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