Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Handwa (Eggless Corn Muffins with Vegetables and Indian Spices)

Here is a gluten free recipe for corn muffins/bread with Indian spices and veggies. It was a serendipitous invention a few years ago when I had extra veggies from other recipes and cornbread batter. I combined the two and although it is not identical to the traditional handwa, it is very close and pretty delicious!

If you use soy milk or other alternatives, it can be dairy free also. If you decide to use soy, rice or a nut milk, the juice from half a lime or lemon would be nice to give the muffins a little touch of tartness of the buttermilk. These are especially delicious served as appetizers or starters or as a meal with roasted corn chowder, mung dal soup, etc.

These muffins freeze well. Just thaw slightly, heat, and serve.

12 muffins


1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Cornstarch/Ground Flax Seeds plus 3 Tbsp Water
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp Oil


1 small Zucchini OR 1/4 small Lauki (Bottle gourd), grated
1 small carrot, grated
1/2 cup Green Beans, finely sliced crosswise
1/4 tsp ground Turmeric
1 pinch of Sea Salt


1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 pinch Asafoetida
2 tsp Fresh Ginger, finely minced
1 Jalapeño Chili, finely minced
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves, finely sliced into a chiffonade


Preheat the oven to 400 F and coat the muffin pan with cooking oil spray.

Make the thalippu: Heat the oil (in a pan large enough to cook the veggies) and add mustard seeds and dal. When the popping of the mustard slows, add the asafoetida, ginger, chili, and the curry leaves in that order. Add the green beans with a pinch of salt, stir to mix well, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the grated veggies and heat through. Remove from heat, let cool.

Place the flours, baking soda and powder and salt in a mixing bowl.

Combine the next 3 ingredients (cornstarch/flax seeds + water, buttermilk, and melted butter) and quickly add to the dry ingredients, stirring just to mix.

Fold the cooled vegetable mixture into the batter to combine.

Put the batter into a prepared muffin tins.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Serve hot with any type of chutneys such as the Coconut, Green Cilantro/Mint, or Green Chili chutney. Enjoy!!

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