Corn, Quinoa & Potato Handva

I’ve been wanting to make variations of this snack/side dish for months, if not years. So I finally bought a Tarla Dalal cookbook and decided to try one of her Handva recipes. Handva is pretty much spelled phonetically. It is a savory cake originally from the state of Gujarat, India, that can be baked or pan-fried. This particular recipe calls for baking the Handva.

In standard fashion, I modified the vegan/vegetarian recipe to my liking.  I replaced the rice with quinoa and the sugar with agave nectar. I also added some chopped ginger. All attempts to improve the nutritional benefits of the dish while retaining the lovely flavors.

The savory handva came out soft, textured and just the slightest bit sweet, with complimentary flavors of sesame and mustard seed.

Handva Ingredients

  • 1 cup corn, boiled and lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 3/4 cup mixed vegetables (green peas, french beans, cauliflower, etc), chopped and boiled
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed then cooked
  • 1/4 cup semolina (sooji/rava), any grain size
  • 1/4 cup ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

Tempering the Handva

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai/sarson)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (til)
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1. Measure 1/2 cup dried quinoa. Rinse, then cook the quinoa in double the water (with a 1/2 teaspoon salt) for 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Combine the corn, potatoes, peas, semolina, ginger, cilantro, chili, lemon juice, agave nectar, water and remaining salt.  The mixed vegetables can include many types of vegetables – I chose to simply use peas. Add 1/2 cup of the cooked quinoa. Stir mixture together.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 9 sq inch baking pan.

4. There are two options for tempering the Handva.

Option 1: Incorporate some of the tempering into the dish prior to baking it. Then finish tempering the Handva once it’s baked.

Place a small pan on the stove on high heat. Add 1/2 of the oil. When it is visibly less viscous, add 1/2 of the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add 1/2 of the sesame seeds. Allow the seeds to sizzle for about 10-15 seconds. Then pour over the mixture and stir in. Then transfer the entire mixture into the square pan, spreading the mixture evenly. Bake the dish for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F on a middle rack in the oven. After 20 minutes move the dish to the top rack of the oven and broil the dish for 30 seconds – 1 minute on the ‘Hi’ setting. Then remove the dish from the oven. Temper the remaining mustard seeds and sesame seeds in oil. Add the pinch of the asafoetida and allow it to sizzle for a moment before pouring the spices over the Handva.

Option 2: Temper the Handva after it is baked

Transfer the entire mixture into the square pan, spreading the mixture evenly. Bake the dish for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F on a middle rack in the oven. After 20 minutes move the dish to the top rack of the oven and broil the dish for 30 seconds – 1 minute on the ‘Hi’ setting. Then remove the dish from the oven. Place a small pan on the stove on high heat. Add the oil. When it is visibly less viscous, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the sesame seeds and a pinch of the asafoetida. Allow the seeds to sizzle for about 10-15 seconds. Then evenly pour over the baked Handva.

5. Cut the Handva into pieces and serve. Makes enough for 4 people.

Yum!

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Shalini says:

    These look and sound incredible AND healthy!! I plan on trying these this weekend. Thanks!!!

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