Hayagreeva: Classic Chickpea Lentils And Jaggery Sweetmeal
Image Credit: Hayagreeva is made using lentils and jaggery | Instagram @vegetableandspices

The humble lentil, chana dal or split chickpea lentils transform into a soft, nutty and delicious tasting food no matter what you make of it, dal tadka or chana dal halwa. And when it comes to sweets, jaggery is the underrated friend for sweet cravings, which fulfills the urge for sweetness without messing with our health. Karnataka's Hayagreeva helps in creating a delicious and gooey sweetmeal of chana dal and jaggery. A humble food, made by incorporating jaggery syrup with pressure-cooked chana dal and a mouth-watering tempering of ghee, cashews and raisins, this dessert ends up satisfyingly on the tongue and belly.

Tradition of Hayagreeva

As many would know, Hayagreeva is the name of the avatar of Lord Vishnu, and thus the name of this sweet dish as it is offered to Hayagreeva. It's also offered as naivedyam every day in Sodhe Vadiraj Mutt in the state. Hayagreeva also known as Hayagreeva Muddy is an extremely common dish made in the Madhwa brahmin homes of Karnataka. The word Maddi because a mixture of jaggery and chana dal is also called Maddi in Kannada.

Hayagreeva | Picture credits : Instagram - @nirulchoudhary

Jaggery, often considered a healthier alternative to refined sugar, is an essential ingredient in Kannada and Maharashtrian cuisine. So much so that it's used in every kind of food whether it's sweet or spicy. The age-old importance of Gud or jaggery especially during religious ceremonies in these states is well-known. Delicacies such as Chakkara Pongal, Obbattu and Payasam made with jaggery are offered as Prasad during religious ceremonies. Throughout India, the tradition of eating a piece of jaggery before venturing out on an important task and on hearing any good news is practiced. Besides this in rural Maharashtra and Karnataka, a piece of jaggery and water is given when someone arrives home after being exposed to summer heat.

Jaggery is also known for its undisputed medicinal properties and is used for making kaada to cure sore throat and cough by elderly folks. It is rich in minerals and is known to purify the blood and provide relief from menstrual cramps.

Preparation: 45 minutes

Cooking: 35 minutes

Servings: 2


  • ½  cup chickpea lentils 
  • 1 cup jaggery 
  • 2 ½ cups water 
  • ¼ cup grated coconut 
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder 
  • 2 tbsp cashews 
  • 2 tbsp raisins 
  • 2 ½ tbsp ghee


  • Cook rinsed chana dal or chickpea lentils in a pressure cooker for up to 3 whistles.
  • Simmer and cook for 5 minutes after 3 whistles. Take out the chickpea lentils in a bowl.
  • In another pan, put jaggery and add water and cook it on medium flame until the jaggery dissolves completely and the syrup starts boiling.
  • Then add the cooked chickpea lentils to the jaggery syrup and stir it well.
  • Mash slightly some lentils while stirring.
  • Add ghee to the mixture and cook for 10 minutes.
  • After the mixture thickens, add grated coconut and cardamom powder and mix well. Turn off the flame.
  • In a small pan, heat ghee and add cashews and raisins to it.
  • Fry them until cashews change colour slightly.
  • Add this tampering to the chickpea and jaggery mixture.
  • Serve on a banana leaf.

Hayagreeva is an extremely easy-to-make sweet recipe that can be successfully made by most people on the first attempt itself. Made with just jaggery and chana dal, the dessert tastes rich and luscious with just ghee and a topping of dry fruits.