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Hayagreeva | Hayagriva |Hayagreeva Maddi

Comments : 11 Posted in : Almonds, Blogging Marathon, Boiled, Cashew Nuts, Chana daal, Daal or Lentils, Dessert, Elichi/ Green Cardamon, Festive Cooking, Ghee, Indian Cuisine, Indian Desserts, jaggery, Karnataka Cuisine, Kid Friendly, Nuts, Pressure Cooked, Raisins, South Indian Cusine, Sweeteners on by : ArchanaPotdar Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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#Hayagreeva or Hayagriva or Hayagreeva Maddi

#Hayagreeva or Hayagriva or Hayagreeva Maddi

Hayagreeva | Hayagriva |Hayagreeva Maddi is a delicious sweet that is made on special occasions.

Basically, I am from Karnataka but I can count the number of years I have spent there as a resident on my fingertips.

My memories of my birthplace are at weddings or some puja that were held and we used to visit. There used to be rows and rows of people sitting back to back on the floor. The food was served in either banana leaves or what was called ‘mutl yelli” or pattal leaves. Saar or rasam was served in ‘donni’ again the same leaf moulded in a bowl. The leaves were pinned together with the spines in coconut leaves. These bowls needed to be balanced with padding at appropriate places. Else your saar will be in your payasa. ;D .Totally eco-friendly.

These are now fast disappearing. Even now pressed leaves are used to serve food.

I remember trying to finish my saar and rice at one such occasion. When my cousins Shree and Kirti told me to dump the saar and rice and eat Hayagriva that would be following.

Basically, I thought that Hayagriva was a dish and not an avatar of Lord Vishnu till quite late in school.

My kids do not know both so in an effort to rectify this here goes.

Hayagriva, also spelt Hayagreeva (Sanskrit: हयग्रीव, IAST: hayagrīva), is a horse-headed avatar of the Lord Vishnu in Hinduism. In Sanskrit, Hayagrīva means haya=Horse, grīva=Neck.

He is worshipped as the God of knowledge and wisdom, with a human body and a horse’s head, brilliant white in colour, with white garments and seated on a white lotus. Symbolically, the story represents the triumph of pure knowledge, guided by the hand of God, over the demonic forces of passion and darkness.

Invariably, Hayagriva is depicted seated, most often with his right hand either blessing the supplicant or in the vyākhyā mudrā pose of teaching. The right hand also usually holds a akṣa-mālā (rosary), indicating his identification with meditative knowledge. His face is always serene and peaceful, if not smiling.

There is a story that more than 500 years ago, a devotee from the Daivajña Brahmin community was casting an idol of Lord Gaṇapati when it shaped itself in the image of Lord Hayagriva. Sarvabhauma Sri Vadiraja Guru Swamiji had a dream about this legend which inspired him to approach that devotee and take the idol from him in reverence. He then installed it in Shri Sode Vadiraja Mutt. Since then it has been worshipped there as the originating God of the Daivajnya Brahmin community.

The idol was then worshipped and as horses supposedly like Chana dal or Bengal gram, this delicacy using cooked Bengal gram with jaggery and coconut called maddi used to be offered to the Lord. It has since been known as Hayagreeva maddi in Udipi or Hayagreeva /Hayagriva in Uttar Karnataka.

The quantities here are as per my liking. Higreeva or Hayagreeva is very forgiving feel free to adjust the amount of jaggery and coconut and ghee.

Here too I did not add raisins and since I was low on cashew nuts I have used a few almonds.

The basic recipe is from memory jogged by this one here.

Here are some pictures of the steps.

#How to make Higreeva

#How to make Higreeva

Hayagreeva | Hayagriva |Hayagreeva Maddi

A dessert that pleases the Lord Vishnu Himself!


  • 1 cup Bengal gram/ Chana dal, soaked in water for at least an hour (this reduces your cooking time)
  • ½ cup jaggery grated or coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut, grated
  • 1 tablespoon khus khus/poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • Few nuts cashew nuts and raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder


  • Cook the soaked Chana dal in twice the amount by volume. You can cook it on the stovetop or in the pressure cooker, 3 whistles. I used the small cooker and cooked in the same pot.
  • Once you can open the cooker and the dal are cooked, Mash it up slightly.
  • Meanwhile, add a little bit of the ghee in a kadhai/wok and fry the nuts till they are lightly golden brown. I used a mixture of cashew nuts and almonds. Remove the nuts and drain the ghee.
  • Fry the khus khus/poppy seeds till they start popping. Add the coconut and lightly roast the coconut till you get an aroma. (Actually, this is a necessity if you are using dry coconut or chopra for fresh coconut it’s not necessary.)
  • In the cooker add the jaggery and mix well.
  • Again cook the mixture for 1 whistle or if cooking on the stove top till the jaggery is melted.
  • Stir and once the mixture is thickening and clumping together as a mass compared to its previous semi- liquid state add in grated coconut, nuts and ghee.
  • Add the cardamom powder and mix well and simmer for another thirty seconds or so and remove from heat.
  • Serve warm.


  • As soon as you add jaggery to the daal the daal will stop cooking. Ensure that the dal is cooked completely before you add the jaggery. (Need to check if the dal is cooked? Pick one grain and crush it. Once cooked the dal mashes under the pressure).
  • As the mixture tends to thicken as it cools (it also tastes sweeter then) thicken the mixture to the consistency of a loose batter.

Come and join me in in my #Karnataka Thali today with # Avrikai Palya, #Saaru and #Higreeva along with#Chapatti and #Rice.
Day 11


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11 thoughts

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  • sapana
    September 12, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Chana dal with coconut tastes good.Looks yummy.

  • September 13, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Reading the title even I thought it is the name of the dish. 🙂 Loved reading the anecdote associated with the dish

  • September 13, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Archana, I am unable to comment on rest of the posts.

  • September 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    so nice to see someone talk about Donni, Mutl leaves, and slurping away saaru in anticipation of Hayagriv !! yummy dish..reminds me of my classmate whose mom used to make it in bulk and send it to us at school :)))

  • September 16, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Thats a new and interesting dessert..and I am sure Lord Vishnu would be pleased with this one:)

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  • September 18, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Never made dal with Channa dal alone..Looks interesting.

  • September 19, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Lovely recipe. Channa dhal with coconut and sweet yummm yumm

  • September 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Archana, I enjoyed reading your post..thank you for writing in detail about the deity and the dish!..I love this one and have made it many times, not knowing it is also known as this..

  • September 27, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I have heard about this dessert, but never tried it myself. Thank you for the recipe, will try it out some time.

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