Let’s take a boring plain box of cornbread and spice it up! Inspired by the flavors of handvo, a traditional Gujarati vegetable cake, this recipe is a beautiful melange of Western and Eastern cultures. So if you don’t have access to handvo flour, are a homesick college student, need a quick appetizer with chai, or simply love fusion food, this recipe is for you! And of course, it’s vegan too! Also, if you don’t have a store bought cornbread mix, see the note below for how to make it from scratch. This is also a fantastic make-ahead recipe and keeps well in the fridge for several days, although they’ll likely be devoured before then 😛

Spiced Handvo Cornbread

Vegan, Jain

Time: 15 minutes prep + 35 minutes baking time

Makes 12 muffins



  • 1 box Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix (you could also use another brand, but this is what I used and it is vegan!)*
  • 1-2 tsp red chili
  • ½ cup bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup zucchini, finely chopped or grated
  • ½ cup green cabbage, finely chopped
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped + for garnish
  • ¼ cup pepitas for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


  • 1 flax egg (soak 1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water for 5 minutes)
  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used soy milk)
  • Juice of ½ lemon (this helps dull down the sweetness)

Tempered oil (vaghaar)

  • ¼ cup neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp karoori methi (sub oregano)
  • 2-3 green chilis, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dhana jeeru (cumin-coriander)
  • 1 tsp hing
  • 5-6 curry leaves

*If you do not have a store-bought cornbread mix, you can alternatively combine: 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 cup sweetener (apple sauce, coconut sugar, or granulated sugar) to create a homemade mix.


  1. Temper the spices or vaghaar. Heat 1/4 cup neutral cooking oil on medium heat. Once warm, add the mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle, add remaining spices and cook for 1-2 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring to avoid burning. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together tempered spiced oil, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, and flax egg.
  3. Toss in veggies, turmeric, and red chili.
  4. Slowly fold in cornbread mix, 1 cup at a time. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Transfer to baking dish or cupcake pan, and top off with crunchy peanuts and pepitas.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Serve warm! It pairs wonderfully with a cozy cup of chai or hearty soup.
Note: Feel free to substitute or add more veggies to the mix! I think some spinach, dudhi (bottle gourd), peas, or green beans would be delicious too! Perhaps, even add some crumbled tofu for more protein!

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Posted by:Priyanka

I am a Board Certified Physician Assistant with a passion for helping others achieve their optimal health through a plant-based lifestyle. On this blog, I share simple recipes, wellness tips, and ways to practice compassionate living rooted in Jain values of non-violence, non-attachment, and non-absolutism.

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