Sunday, January 15, 2023



All over India, if not in many parts of the world, people talk about the Udupi cuisine, a town in my Home State of Karnataka. In most cities, especially in South India we find the ubiquitous vegetarian "Udupi Restaurant "

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes from this area such as:-

My friend from Udupi always spoke of a simple sweet she often made for naivedya called Hayagreeva Maddi or just Hayagreeva.  Although I had tasted this several times, I had never tried it out before - so decided to give it a try. The principal ingredients used are channa dal ( called Kadalebele in Kannada and Bengal Gram in English), jaggery, and coconut. 

I would like to share my experience in making this dish which came out to be quite delicious. 

  • The channa dal should get fully cooked but not get overcooked. This is a very important aspect in making this dish. 
  • The cooked dal is to be lightly mashed. Usually the channa dal is less mashed but some prefer to have it more mashed. 
  • The colour of the dish will be determined by the colour of the jaggery that you use
  • The sweetness of the dish depends on the amount of jaggery that you use. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add more jaggery, but at the minimum you should use 1 cup of jaggery for 1 cup of channa dal. 
So, the next time you want to make an offering for any puja, you can try and make Hayagreeva, a simple yet delicious sweet from Udupi in my Home State of Karnataka. 


  • Kadalebele, (Channa Dal/Bengal Gram), 1 cup
  • Jaggery, grated/powdered, 1 cup
  • Gasgase ( Khus Khus/Poppy Seeds), 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, or Copra, 1/2 cup
  • Almonds, 10
  • Cashewnuts, 10-12
  • Raisins, 2 tbsp
  • Cardamom, 3-4 
  • Water, 2 cups to cook the channa dal
  • Ghee, 3-4 tbsp

Break the almonds and cashew nuts into pieces and keep aside
Dry roast the poppy seeds and keep aside
Powder the cardamom and keep aside

Wash and pressure cook the channa dal with 2 cups of water for 4-5 whistles or till cooked
The channa dal should get fully cooked, yet remain firm as seen in the photo below

Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal and strain the water using a sieve
Mash the cooked dal using the back of the ladle keeping some portion of the cooked dal intact 

In a thick-bottomed kadhai, heat 1 tbsp ghee and on medium heat one by one roast the almonds, cashewnuts and raisins till the nuts change colour and the raisins puff up . Keep aside.

To the same kadhai add the grated jaggery and a little water and on medium heat keep stirring till the jaggery melts  
Now strain the jaggery to remove impurities, if any, and transfer the strained syrup jaggery back to the kadhai
Bring the jaggery syrup to a boil
Lower the heat and add the fresh coconut gratings, the cooked and mashed dal and 1-2  tbsp of ghee 
Mix well and let it cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, add more ghee as required and stir from time to time  
Cook till the dal and jaggery are well blended and the Hayagreeva becomes fairly thick 
Switch off the gas and mix in the roasted poppy seeds, cardamom powder, fried nuts and raisins
Transfer the Hayagreeva Maddi to a bowl

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