Hayagreeva and the Story

Hayagreeva is a very common sweet dish made in most Madhwa temples, especially in Rayara Matta’s. If you have visited Sode or Sonda, the place of Shri Vadiraja Thirtharu, you sure will know the story of Hayagreeva also.

Lord Hayagriva or Hayavadana is an avatar of Vishnu. He is worshiped as the God of knowledge and wisdom, with a human body and a horse’s head, brilliant white in color, with white garments and seated on a white lotus.

Quote from Dvaita.org:

Every day, Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha would offer a sweet dish called Hayagrîva (a preparation consisting of jaggery, almonds, ghee and kaDale (lentil) by keeping it in a tray and holding it on his head while seated (as shown in the image below). The Lord Hayavadana used to take a form of a white horse, and would put his feet at the shoulders of Sri Vâdirâja Tîrtha, eat the sweet, play for some time like a horse, and disappear into the Hayavadana icon. It is said that Sri Vâdiraja Tîrtha would sing the ‘Dashâvatâra-stuti’, set to an ‘ashvaghâTi’ (literally, a horse’s trot) beat, to please the Lord, and the latter Himself would appear and dance when His devotee sang to Him.

Hayagreeva done by most of my relatives including my Mom & Ajji comes close to the taste of Rayara Matta, but never the same. I guess it is the place where we eat food also matters.

Anyway, many of you had asked for this recipe, I had postponed it for a long time. When I talked to my Mom about what she had prepared for Dasara which was also my parents wedding anniversary, she said she had prepared Hayagreeva. My daughter heard and asked me to prepare the same as well. Since this requires lot of ghee, I resist doing such items, but once in a year it is Ok to eat such dishes right? So, here comes the recipe for the same.


  • 1 and 1/2 cup Kadale Bele or Channa dal
  • 2 cups brown sugar or grated jaggery
  • 7 cloves
  • 5-6 kesari or saffron strands dissolved in water.
  • Raisins and cashews as much as you want.
  • 2 tsp Ghasgase or Khus Khus
  • 1/4 cup grated dry coconut
  • 1/2 cup ghee


  1. In 3 tsp ghee fry channa dal until brown.
  2. Put water until all the dal is covered and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
  3. Once the pressure is down, strain all the water from the channa dal.
  4. Transfer this into a pan, and now add jaggery and cook in low heat.
  5. Add the kesari also.
  6. In another pan, add the remaining ghee.
  7. Fry the raisins, cashews, khus khus, cloves and coconut.
  8. Transfer this to the cooked channa dal.
  9. Cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

P.S: Once the pressure comes down, it takes around 15 minutes to prepare this dish. Serves 4 people. Now you know why this dish should be eaten just in Rayara Matta or once a year, right?

25 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shashikala on August 13, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Thank you very much for the recipes. ರಾಯರ ಕೂಟು – Spicy Kootu Made in Sree Raghavendra Swamy Mutt was delicious.



  2. Posted by Bramhanya on November 15, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Dry dates can be used by coarse powdering in grinder in to the Hayagreeva prepration. I tested it some time back, it tastes very good.



    • Posted by Ravi on May 2, 2022 at 5:33 am

      Thank you for creating a well-structured website. How about using kari bella (black jaggery) as a sweetener?


  3. Posted by bhargavi on November 13, 2011 at 2:05 am

    once you strain the water from the pressufe cooked dal, you can use that water for preparing “saaru” which will taste out of the world !


  4. Posted by girish on October 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    hi all,

    this is a very nice article about hayagreeva, author told that, where we take the food also matters, but in hayagreeva it’s different,

    first prepare one day and have it simply,

    next day offer it to Sri Raghavendra Swamy or Lord Vishnu, then feel the difference, its my experience.

    just it should be felt & experienced


  5. Meera,

    I made this yummy sweet and it was wonderful! Thanks again for posting so many traditional recipes and pooja procedures.


  6. Posted by meeraghu on March 16, 2010 at 9:16 am

    There is no influence of Silicon Valley here. This is how it is made in most of my relatives house. And we are all achha Madhwas.


  7. Posted by V.Gopal on March 16, 2010 at 7:21 am

    hi,. As far as I know from my parents, hayagreeva, it not very liquid. It is also not supposed to be very soft. Some differences I find from the traditional dish is the use of almonds and cahsews. I guess these were later day additions, thanks to the influence of silicon valley on madhwa cuisine!! I always liked the simple stuff which is served in the mutts.


  8. Posted by Rupa on March 15, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Namskara Meera,
    I just happened to come across ur site. Ur information about everything is very nice. I have been living in Muscat for past 19 years and missed all the festivals back home. Ur recepies are very simple and easy to prepare. Tomorow being Yugadi, I will try Haygreeva for sure. Wish u and ur family and all other friends a Very Happy New Year.


    • Posted by meeraghu on March 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

      Namaskara Rupa, thanks so much for your comments. 19 years is a long time. I had visited Muscat when we were in Dubai. We visited the temple also there. Beautiful country.
      Wish you also a very Happy Ugadi.


  9. Posted by Deepti on September 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Meera,

    I tried the Hayagreeva recipe today – it tasted awesome! Thanks for sharing this delightful recipe.
    In between, it took me 4 pressure cooker whistles and 1 hour of boiling (on sim in a pan) to get “almost soft” belle. Do I need to soak the kadle belle before pressure cooking it? If yes, do let me know….
    Once again……the flavour and aroma was fantastic…..thanks 🙂

    Meera: I don’t soak the kadale bele.


  10. Posted by Bhavya on August 7, 2009 at 4:20 am

    Thank you so much mam…..

    For such a good recepies of Madhavas…..


  11. Posted by M A Acharya on June 15, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Good narration and preparation technics. You should have added the story of Matti Gulla( a variety of Brinjal available in Mattu Village near Udupi) which is cultivated by the seeds given by Sri Vadiraja Swamiji. The story is that of the cooks who thought that Hayagreeva is eaten by Swamiji in the closed pooja room, they mix poison to the Hayagreeva and offer . The god Hayagreeva completely eats the preparation with leaving small portion as prasadam, which was a regular practice and shows his anger. Swamiji in his dream realises the fact. After the inquiry he finds the truth from the cook and as guided by the God he gives the seeds to the poor people of Mattu village and through the preparations of sambar from the Brinjal the effect of the poison came down . It is said that even today we can see the green mark in the neck portion of the Hayagreeva idol which was totally green earlier.
    M A Acharya

    Thanks so much for the story. I did read about this in one of the books I have on Shri Vadirajaru.


  12. Posted by Parvathi on April 14, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Hi Meera,

    I am a regular visitor to your site and recently tried the haigreeva. It tasted very good, but I felt 2 things could have been better. Please tell me what I should do different.

    The channa dal – frying it in ghee and then pressure cooking it makes its very difficult to become soft. i cooked it almost 7-10 whistles before it was soft(and that too not extremely soft). Do you fry, then wait for it to cool and then p.cook? How can I make it softer?

    The final dish did not turn out as liquidy as shown in you picture (above). How can I get that?


    Parvathi, I fry it in ghee and immediately cook it in the pressure cooker. Of course, if the water is too much, I drain it and use it for doing Saaru. Yes, it takes a few whistles but never is completely cooked. You can add some water to it


  13. Posted by Anil Rao on March 30, 2009 at 8:03 am

    If i want to join the community of Sri Sonda Vadiraja math through orkut what i have to do..

    I have no idea, Anil. I am not part of any online community.


  14. Posted by rashmi on March 19, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Meera
    My name is Rashmi and I a devotee of guru rayaru..on thursday today..I happen to see ur website and Im impressed with ur work..
    I own a food blog and a blog on Rayaru as well.
    can we be friends..pls mail me .
    are on orkut or facebook if yes then pls mention .I would like to be in regular touch with you
    take care


  15. Meera,
    great to see “hayagriva” recipe. This was one of my favorites when I visited rayara matha in Sringar (bangalore). I stayed within a block from the temple all my childhoot and collge days there. prathidhina gudi-ge hogodhu vaadike aagbittitthu. saamanyavaagi hayagriva prasaadakke maadthidhru.
    eega recipe sikkidhe, illi maadakke try maadtheevi.
    thank you.
    Thanks, Ram. I prepare Hayahreeva very rarely. But, when I do, I use Ghee which is what makes this dish so tasty. Give it a try.


  16. Hi, Iam Rekha from chennai,now iam sucked into ur site iam happy to see like minded people on the net.recipies are nice .


  17. Posted by meeraghu on October 13, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Hi Shwetha,
    Thanks so much for your nice comments. I have to multi-task a lot, and do many things at the same time. It sure is tough, with a full time job which involves a lot of traveling, writing technical articles, speaking at conferences, managing the family, this blog. I sure am sleep deprived.

    And at this point I remember one of my Managers who used to always say “Sleep is for lazy people”. But, I enjoy and love everything I do, so no regrets at all.

    I sure will write to you personally also.


  18. Posted by Shwetha on October 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks Meera for the response.

    I have read your other technical blogs and reviews am amazed how you find time for all of your activities. Would you mind sharing your time management skills?

    would really appreciate it you could write me at shwetha_shwetha@hotmail.com

    with best regards,
    New Orleans,LA


  19. Posted by meeraghu on October 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Shwetha,
    Gasgase and Khus Khus is one and the same.


  20. Posted by Shwetha on October 13, 2008 at 10:13 am


    I am very happy to find your blog Kalpavriksha Kamadhenu. It is very informative. I will definitely try making ‘Hayagreeva’..

    I just wanted to clarify is khus khus and Ghasgase is one and the same? I mean is Ghasgase called khus khus ?

    Thanks again for all the effort you take to make this blog as informative as possible!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: