Veg Handi

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The number of Curry Recipes, the Indian food culture holds in itself is really astounding, especially for someone who is not from India. Thus, this country truly is synonymous with the word ‘curry.’ This post talks about one such famous curry dish, the Veg Handi, also known as the Veg Diwani Handi – a rich, creamy and delicious gravy made with mixed vegetables, traditionally from Hyderabadi cuisine. This recipe is a very restaurant-style version of the dish, for which you definitely would need to put in some efforts. But once done, it will all be worth.

veg handi garnished with coriander leaves and served in a copper handi with text layover.

What is handi

It is obvious from the name Veg Handi that this dish is made in a typical Indian cooking vessel called the ‘handi.’ With a shallow depth and a wide mouth and bottom, handi is popularly used Indian cooking as a cooking vessel. Thus, like this Diwani Handi, other recipes made in a handi are named so – Paneer Handi, handi pulao, handi biryani, etc.

For this Veg Handi, I have used a clay handi, which is also the case with any such dish which traditionally uses a clay or any earthen handi to cook it. Like if you visit any iconic eateries in Hyderabad too, they too use the same to get a royal and earthy flavor in the Veg Handi.

But I understand at home, you might not have this specific cooking utensil to make this dish. In that case, you can even use a steel handi or a regular kadai, pot or pan. Many dishes in Indian cuisine like Kadai Paneer Gravy and Kadai Veg are cooked in the humble kadai.

Similarly, if you travel to different regions in India, there are other cooking vessels with different names that are equivalent to a handi. Some of them are degchi, tasla or tasli and ahuna. Basically, a dish cooked in a handi is usually slow-cooked or simmered for a long time.

Sometimes, it is sealed with a dough to sustain the steam within that helps to retain the nutrients in the dish. Thus, the food gets cooked in its own juices or moisture, further enhancing the flavors and textures in it. The much-loved event ‘dahi handi’ is also a part of the festivities of Krishna Janmashtami.

More on this recipe

Who doesn’t like restaurant food at home? We also do, and are no exceptions. And once a while, it is also alright to be indulgent and consume such food. After all, we don’t really eat binge on restaurant food every day.

I have taken inspiration from the rich, filling food served in restaurants for this recipe of Veg Handi. Though the ingredient list is quite long, it is an easy and simple recipe that I have developed by referring ‘On The Butter Chicken Trail: A Moti Mahal Cookbook.’

The gravy of this recipe of Veg Handi also has a base made with onions, tomatoes, cashews paste and cream. Hence, the flavors are a bit sweet, mild as well as creamy. Generally, the vegetables are fried or sautéed for this dish. However, I have steamed the veggies.

My choice of vegetables for this Veg Diwani Handi are carrots, potatoes, French beans, green peas, cauliflower and corn kernels. I also like the taste of mushrooms in this curry, so have added them too. Along with this, I also add paneer or cottage cheese to give it a richer feel. You can add whatever your choice is. Tinned fruit cocktail can also be added towards the end in the recipe.

Just a bit of prep work is required to prepare the cashew paste and steam the veggies. After this is done, cooking the Veg Handi is a breeze. Cooking the veggies in the gravy is also an option. But I prefer to steam them separately and do the remaining prep work, while they are steaming.

The Veg Handi pairs great with tandoori rotis, naans, parathas or even your homely chapattis, phulkas or plain rotis. You can have it with steamed rice as well.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Veg Handi

Preparation

1. Soak 3 tablespoons (20 t0 22) cashews in hot water for 30 minutes.

soaking cashews in hot water.

2. After 30 minutes, drain and add them to a grinder or blender.

drained cashews added to a blender jar.

3. Add water and blend to a smooth paste.

cashews blended with water to a smooth paste.

4. While the cashews are soaking, rinse, peel and chop the vegetables. You can add vegetables of your choice.

chopped vegetables for veg handi.

5. Steam the vegetables in a pressure cooker, steamer or electric cooker, till they are cooked completely. You can also fry or sauté the vegetables.

steamed vegetables for veg handi.

Making gravy

6. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a handi or pan. Keep the heat to the lowest, so that the butter does not brown or burn.

melting butter in a handi.

7. Add whole spices – ½ inch cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 2 single strands of mace, 2 cloves and 1 small to medium bay leaf (tej patta). Sauté the spices till fragrant.

sautéing whole spices in melted butter in handi.

8. Add ½ cup finely chopped onions.

finely chopped onions added to handi.

9. Stir and sauté the onions on low heat.

sautéing onions in butter.

10. The onions need to become golden.

sautéing onions till golden.

11. Then, add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves and 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves. Stir and sauté for a minute.

ginger-garlic paste, chopped coriander leaves and chopped mint leaves added to handi.

12. Add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes.

finely chopped tomatoes added to handi.

13. Stir and sauté till the tomatoes soften, become pulpy and you see fat leaving the sides of the mixture.

sautéing tomatoes.

14. Then, add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder and ½ to ¾ teaspoon coriander powder.

spice powders added to handi.

15. Add the prepared cashew paste and 1 tablespoon yogurt (curd). Curd is optional and gives a faint sour taste in the gravy. You can easily skip, if you do not prefer curd.

prepared cashew paste and curd added to handi.

16. Sauté till you see fat releasing from the sides. Stir often.

sautéing veg handi masala.

17. Add 1 cup water and stir.

water added to handi and stirred.

18. Then, add 1 to 2 slit green chilies.

slit green chilies added to the handi.

19. Stir again and let the gravy begin to simmer. Takes about 3 to 4 minutes on low to medium heat.

simmering veg handi gravy.

20. Season with salt. You can also add sugar for a light sweet taste. Stir again.

adding salt to the gravy.

Making Veg Handi

21. Add the steamed vegetables.

steamed vegetables added to the gravy.

22. Stir very well and simmer the vegetables in the gravy for 2 to 3 minutes. The gravy will begin to thicken.

simmering vegetables in gravy.

23. Grate a bit of nutmeg directly in the gravy. About a pinch of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.

grating nutmeg into the veg handi gravy.

24. Then, add ½ teaspoon crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) and ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder. Stir.

crushed dried fenugreek leaves and garam masala powder added to gravy.

25. Lastly add 3 tablespoons cream. I added Amul cream. Use a low fat cream.

cream added to veg handi.

26. After adding cream, stir the Veg Handi gravy well and then switch off the heat.

cream stirred well into the veg handi gravy.

27. Garnish with chopped coriander or mint leaves and serve Veg Handi with tandoori rotis, naan, parathas or chapattis or roomali rotis.

veg handi garnished with coriander leaves and served in a copper handi.

Expert Tips

  1. If adding mushrooms, you’ll have to sauté them. Once the tomatoes have softened and turned pulpy, add mushrooms and sauté till they are cooked.
  2. In case you don’t have the clay handi, use a steel handi or your everyday kadai, pan or pot to make this dish.
  3. The vegetables for this gravy can be of your choice. You can steam them in a pressure cooker, electric cooker or steamer or fry or sauté them too.
  4. Adding curd (yogurt) in this recipe is optional. Remember, adding it will impart a faint sour taste in the curry. So, skip if you want to. 
  5. If you don’t have nutmeg at home, skip adding it in the gravy.
  6. Make sure to use a low-fat cream for this gravy.

More Curry Recipes To Try!

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veg handi recipe, veg diwani handi recipe

Veg Handi

This veg diwani handi recipe is a rich, creamy curry made with mixed vegetables.
4.95 from 38 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cuisine North Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Easy
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

for the cashew paste

  • 3 tablespoon cashews or about 20 to 22 cashews
  • ½ cup hot water or 125 ml – for soaking
  • 3 tablespoon water for blending – you can also use the soaked water instead of plain water

other ingredients for veg handi

  • ¼ or ⅓ cup chopped carrots or about 2 small or 1 medium carrot
  • ¼ or ½ cup chopped french beans or about 8 to 10 french beans
  • ¼ or ⅓ cup chopped potatoes or about 1 medium potato
  • ¼ or ⅓ cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup corn kernels – optional
  • ¼ or ⅓ cup chopped cauliflower
  • ¼ or ⅓ cup sliced mushrooms or 6 to 8 button mushrooms (optional) * for cooking mushrooms check notes
  • ¼ cup paneer (cubed), Indian cottage cheese – optional
  • 1 medium onion or about ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 medium tomato or about ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 medium garlic + ½ inch ginger – crushed to a paste or 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (adrak lahsun ka paste)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves

    (cilantro leaves)

  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 to 2 green chilies, slit or sliced (hari mirch)
  • 1 cup water or 250 ml water
  • 3 tablespoon low fat cream – 25% to 35% fat
  • 1 tablespoon Curd – optional (yogurt)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • ½ teaspoon kasuri methi – crushed (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoon Butter
  • salt as required
  • sugar as required – you can add about ½ teaspoon of sugar or as per your taste, (optional)

whole spices

  • 1 small to medium tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ inch cinnamon
  • 2 single strands of mace
  • 2 green cardamoms

Instructions
 

preparation

  • First heat water in a pan, microwave or electric heater.
  • Then soak cashews in the hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • After 20 to 30 minutes, drain all the water and add the soaked cashews to a grinder or blender.
  • Add water and grind or blend to a very smooth paste.
  • Meanwhile when the cashews are soaking, rinse, peel and chop the veggies.
  • Steam the veggies in a pressure cooker, steamer or electric cooker till they are cooked completely. You can also fry or saute the veggies till they are cooked.

making veg handi gravy

  • Heat butter in a handi or pan.
  • Add whole spices – cinnamon, green cardamoms, mace, cloves and tej patta. Saute the spices till fragrant.
  • Add finely chopped onions.
  • Stir and saute the onions on a low flame till they become golden stirring often.
  • Then add ginger-garlic paste, chopped coriander and mint leaves. Stir and saute for a minute.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes.
  • Stir and saute till the tomatoes soften, become pulpy and you see fat leaving the sides of the mixture.
  • Then add turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder.
  • Add the prepared cashew paste and yogurt/curd. Curd is optional and does give a slight sour taste in the gravy. You can easily skip, if you do not prefer curd.
  • Stir often and saute till you see fat releasing from the sides.
  • Add water. Stir.
  • Then add slit green chilies. Stir again and let the gravy begin to simmer. Takes about 3 to 4 minutes on a low to medium flame.
  • Season with salt. You can also add sugar for a light sweet taste. Stir again.
  • Add the steamed veggies.
  • Stir very well and simmer the veggies in the gravy for 2 to 3 minutes. The veg handi gravy would begun to thicken by now.
  • Grate a bit of nutmeg directly in the gravy. About a pinch of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
  • Then add crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and garam masala powder. Stir.
  • Lastly add cream. I added amul cream. Use a low fat cream.
  • After adding cream, stir & switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander or mint leaves and serve veg handi hot or warm with tandoori rotis, naan, parathas or chapatis.

Notes

  • * mushrooms have to be sauteed. So once the tomatoes have softened and become pulpy, add mushrooms and saute till they are cooked.
    You can use a steel handi or even a regular kadai or pot or pan to make this dish.
  • You can add veggies of your choice like green peas, cauliflower, baby corn, potatoes, cauliflower, baby corn, french beans, bell pepper, carrots and corn.
  • If you like paneer and mushrooms then you can add them as well.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Veg Handi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 320 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 54mg18%
Sodium 509mg22%
Potassium 500mg14%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 2859IU57%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 16µg15%
Calcium 157mg16%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 45µg11%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 62mg16%
Phosphorus 151mg15%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Veg Handi recipe from the archives was first published in May 2014. It has been updated and republished in April 2024.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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120 Comments

  1. You’re my kitchen mom, whatever I have cooked it’s just your teachings , those picture instructions are too good tutor ! Thank-you5 stars

  2. I tried this recipe yesterday . And it was. A Big hit!!!. Thnx a lot Amit.. becoz of ur recipes, wich never fails, I started loving to cook now..5 stars

  3. Hi Amit. I tried this recipe of veg Hundi. And it was just yuummmmy.. I and my family loved it. Thnx a ton.i don’t enter kitchen for cooking before watching ur recipe .almost Evryday I try a new dish, And it never had disappointed me. Happy guru purnima. You are my Guru, teacher of cooking..thnx a lot.5 stars

    1. Welcome Dr.leena. Thanks for your kind words and for sharing positive feedback on recipes. Happy Guru Purnima to you too. Stay Blessed and happy cooking.

  4. Hello ma’am. Its always a pleasure to go through ur blog and all ur recpies plus the very nice depiction of images makes cooking even more feasible.
    I am a beginner, probably my question might sound stupid. I wanted to ask does the handi over here means earthern pot??? If yes how hv u used it on gas stove??

    1. Thanks Bhavya. Handi can be made of any substance like clay, steel or iron. basically its the shape of utenstil. this clay pot is from kerala and one can easily use it on fire. in tamil nadu, goa and kerala different types of clay utensils are available, that can be used for cooking. they just have to be seasoned and treated before using for cooking.

  5. Hello mam, I am a big fan of your blog and refer it from time to time. Luv the way you give details and step by step photos too. Have tried many recipes using your blog and they have come up superb. Thanks a lot for your efforts.5 stars

    1. Welcome SUHAS. Thanks for your kind words. Nice to know that you are liking the recipes posted on blog.