Monday, September 6, 2010

Hayagriva ( a lentil based sweet )

This is an Indian sweet dish made up of cooked bengal gram dal, jaggery, freshly grated coconut and poppy seeds. It is very popular in the south of India especially in Mantralayam.

I love making this sweet as it is very delicious, nutritious ( when was the last time you heard of a sweet dish being nutritious too !) and very quick and easy to make. Hayagriva is very similar to the puran in Puran Poli / Holige .

Some people like their Hayagriva to be a little runny in consistency. However, I like mine in a soft, semi solid state. This depends on personal preference, so if you like it a little more runny do not evaporate a lot of the moisture out during the cooking process. Also when cooking the channa dal / split bengal gram dal , some opt to cook it in the pressure cooker. I, personally, prefer the stove top method - cook it in a saucepan with lots of water - as this allows me to control the texture of the cooked dal. I like my dal to maintain its shape and integrity and putting it in a pressure cooker can be a hit or miss in that. Again there is no hard and fast rule here, as this is not going to change the taste of the dish, just the visual appeal.


Makes about 1 cup sweet.


1/2 cup channa dal / split bengal gram dal
1/3 cup jaggery / gur, packed
2 tbsp fresh coconut, grated ( in the US, you can get fresh grated coconut in the frozen food section of a grocery store )
1/2 tsp poppy seeds / khus khus
1/8 tsp cardamom / elaichi,  powdered

  1. Soak the channa dal for 30 minutes in water. After 30 minutes cook it in a medium saucepan with lots of water. Remove and drain when it is fully cooked.
  2. Return the cooked dal back to its saucepan and add the jaggery. The jaggery will melt and create a lot of moisture in the dish. Now is also the time to add the coconut and poppy seeds. Keep on medium low heat to cook out as much moisture from the dish. When it reaches the consistency you desire, remove it from the stove top.
  3. Sprinkle some cardamom powder on it, cool it down a little and serve.


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