Handwo – Indian Chilli Cake

Ever wondered how a cake can taste savoury, haha Gujaratis have it all, this is one of the most famous chilly cake, it can stay fresh for longer, so usually made when you’re travelling. All mommys are expert in this, I personally tried 5 times myself, failed at it and finally got it right the 6th time. I use an oven to bake this, but my super mom uses a jiko and her handwo is the BEST!! So here we go….

Ingredients for the batter (Serves 6)

  • 2 Cups Fat Rice
  • 1 Cups Chana Dal
  • 1/2 Cup Urad Dal
  • Soak the above in water for minimum 4hours to overnight. Either can work. After it’s soaked, blend it in a blender with very little water in batches to a smooth thick paste.

An alternative option to the above is that you can even buy ready-made handwo flour easily available in any ration shop, and soak it in thick buttermilk for 4 hours to overnight.

I personally prefer blending the lentils.

For the Spices to put into the batter

  • 1 Medium sized bottle gourd, peeled and grated
  • 3 Medium sized Carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 Pressed cups fresh chopped methi (you can even add spinach to this)
  • Salt to taste
  • 11/2 tbsp giner chilly paste
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1tsp Ajwain
  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sodar bicarbonate or Eno fruit salt, both work well
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 3 pieces dry red chillies
  • 5-6 pcs of cloves, 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Mustard seeds
  • Oil for the temper


  • Once the batter is blended, add all the vegetables into it, don’t worry if you’re seeing more vegetables than the batter. Make sure when adding the grated bottle gourd, squeeze out all the water with your palms and then add it to the mixture. Let it remain thick at this stage. Ginger chilli paste to be added at this point.
  • Mix the above well, and now prepare the temper, heat oil, add the cloves, cinnamon stick and dry red chillies, once the aroma spreads add mustard seeds, let them crackle well, followed by cumin seeds and finally sesame seeds.
  • Pour the temper in the batter, add salt and oil at this stage into it. Mix well, if you feel the batter is too thick, add a little water to give it a baking dough feel, not too thick not too thin.
  • Finally before pouring it into the baking tray, add soda bicarbonate or Eno.
  • Now grease the baking tray with oil and pour the batter, sprinkle loads of white sesame seeds on top of the batter, (this will give that brown crunch to the chilly cake) make sure the oven is preheated for 10mins before you bake.
  • Bake for 20mins at 180C
  • And the mouth-watering handwo is ready, tada J

The vegetables have to be more in the batter, this will not make it sticky, it will bring out the soft spongy feel.

handwo 2

handwo pic

One response to “Handwo – Indian Chilli Cake”

  1. trishna Avatar

    One of my Favs will definitely try

    Liked by 1 person

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