What is Ondhwa or Hanvo?Ondhwa is a savoury lentil cake. It’s one of those dishes all East Africans love making as it’s one of those easy to make one pot meals which can be eaten as a main meal or a snack. It’s often made from a blend of lentil flours and rice and everyone has their traditional recipe. Traditionally, ondhwa is made by soaking the lentil flour mixture overnight in yogurt. Fermentation takes place and when the ondhwa is baked in the oven-it turns out like a tasty savory cake. My recipe for making traditional Gujarati Ondhwo/ondhwa is here.Can Handvo be made vegan?Yes, you can substitute the yogurt for vegan yogurt and add some lemon juice to get the yogurty taste. My recipe for vegan handvo is here. I have been experimenting trying to make Ondhwo without having to ferment the lentil flour for a while now. This week I made ondhwa by soaking the whole chick pea dall and then blending it to make the flour. I didn't ferment it but added lemon juice and soda bi carbonate to make it rise. The Ondhwo turned out really tasty.
Author: Mina Joshi
2 cups of ground chick pea dall (I soaked 2 cups of chana dall and blended it in a blender using some water. You can freeze the left over mixture)
½ cup corn flour
½ cup chick pea flour (Chana flour)
½ cup wheat flour
½ cup yogurt
½ cup boiled chick peas ( I used the canned version)
1 onion – chopped finely
1 carrot – grated
1 cup grated cabbage
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables ( you can use any mixture you like)
3-4 cloves of garlic – minced
1 tsp. grated ginger
Salt to taste
1 tsp chilly powder (optional)
3-4 green chilies – finely chopped (optional)
½ tsp soda bicarbonate
3-4 tsbp lemon juice
1 tsbp sunflower seeds (optional)
For the tempering:
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4 -5 tbsp oil
3-4 tbsp sesame seeds (save some to sprinkle on the top of the ondhwa)
1 -2 cinnamon sticks
1 dried red chilly (optional)
Pour all your flours into a mixing bowl and add yogurt and 1 cup of warm water and stir until smooth.
Mix all your vegetables and chick peas in one bowl. If you are using frozen vegetables, make sure they are defrosted.
Mix the vegetables and the mixed flours in a big mixing bowl. Add all the spices and the ginger, garlic and green chilies and mix well.
Add the lemon juice, mix and add the soda bicarbonate. The mixture should now rise a bit.
In a separate saucepan, heat the oil and add the tempering mixture – sesame seeds, cloves , cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, dried chilies. Once the spices stop popping add them to the ondhwa mixture and stir.
Transfer the mixture to a greased cake or bread tin and sprinkle some sesame seeds and sunflower seeds on the top and cook at 170 degrees C for 30 minutes. Lower the heat after that to 140 degrees for 20 minutes. Check if its cooked by putting a knife into the middle of the ondhwa and it should come out dry if its cooked. The top of the Ondhwa should be crispy and look fairly dark brown.