Hayagreeva (Chana Daal Jaggery Dessert)

hayagreeva 018

My plan for Ganesh Chaturthi/Chavthi pooja was to prepare the usual kadabu as a sweet offering to the Lord. Kadabu in Kannada also called as “Ukadiche modak” in Marathi is prepared by first stuffing sweet coconut mixture in a rice flour covering and then steamed to create a unique tasting decadent dish. This requires lots of fresh shredded coconut but is considered to be Ganapathi’s favorite dish.

So we got coconuts from the Grocery, some for the pooja and one to prepare the dish. But much to our dismay discovered that the coconut had gone bad. We usually pride ourselves in picking good coconuts by doing the right tests. The first test is by shaking it, and making sure that there is lot of liquid sloshing inside and second to kind of knuckle on the shell at different places to make sure there is no hollow sound.

So at that spur of the moment I had to think of other alternative and I decided to make this dish called “Hayagreeva”. This is a specialty of the Madhava community (followers of the Dvaitha philosophy) in Karnataka and is made on special occasions. This is very similar to the sweet filling that goes in the puran poli/obbattu. The original recipe does not roll this like a laddoo. Also the texture of this dish is little bit coarser, but I smashed the daal finely and rolled it like a laddoo so that it is easy to eat (especially for the little one). Adding rava is optional and is not called for in the original recipe.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Chana Daal
  • 1 cup Jaggery  (powdered)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 Tbsp fine rava/sooji(optional)
  • Handful Dry grated Coconut (use fresh if dry is not available)
  • Cashews for garnishing (roasted in little oil)


  • Dry roast the dry (fresh) coconut in a pan and keep aside.
  • Pressure cook the daal, make sure the daal is not over cooked. Drain the water and mash the daal with a masher.
  • Meanwhile heat the jaggery in a heavy bottom pan by adding a quarter cup of water.
  • When the jaggery has melted add the chana daal paste and mix well.
  • Add the ghee and the rava in intervals and mix well.
  • Keep stirring until the moisture is nearly gone.  Make sure not to overcook as it tends to become hard when cooled.


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  1. sangeeth says:

    really great pic! and new recipe…i first thought it was ladoo before reading your recipe…cashews are a great touch to the hayagreva.Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sia says:

    RC, first time i had it at one of my friend’s home on some pooja day and fell in love with it. i like the way u have rolled it into laddu. gorgeous pic

  3. kausi says:

    I am from Madhava community and I prepare hayagreeva.

    but I got to know new method of turning it into ladoo. I shall try.

  4. Smitha says:

    I came across your website a few weeks back. Since then I have cooked few dishes looking into your recipes. All of them are very simple, yet tastes great! Thanks.

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