Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hayagreeva - a fitting sweet naivedya for the remover of all obstacles

It is that time of the year already when I am celebrating my favorite festivals with all of you on the blog. Happy Gowri-Ganesha festival to all of you celebrating it.

Gowri-Ganesha festivals were a great big deal growing up for us. My regular readers may remember the 3 part series I did last year and the goodies that went with it. This year with all the adrenaline rush of last few weeks, we kind of took it light as I still had house guests and we had been eating a whole lot of food - savory, sweet and everything else in between :-). We still did the regular pooje but cut down on the calories slightly. After a little bit of initial confusion about the dates of celebration, we chose to do the pooje today since it was Sunday and as we had an elderly uncle leave in the morning. Since I wanted to get some of the dishes ready before he left, I chose to make simpler dishes for the naivedya this time without compromising on the taste at all.
Nammamma used to make Hayagreeva for Ganesha festival if Gowri & Ganesha festival happened to fall on the same day, she used to tell us that since Ganesha has had too many kadubu & modakams in all the other houses, we would offer him something special. Cooking in my own kitchen, now I see the reason behind this change in menu, Hayagreeva is a decadent sweet dessert that involves no elaborate processing and gets ready very quickly. If Gowri & Ganesha festivals came on the same day, she would already be cooking so many items for the 2 separate offerings and making deep fried kadubu would only stretch her day longer. We all loved the soft, sweet Hayagreeva so no one complained or whined about the absence of karigadubu.

If you haven't tasted Hayagreeva before, think about the hoorana (stuffing) that goes into the obbattu. This is a close relative of that in concept but has a different texture, consistency that enables it to stand on its own as an independent dessert. Soft and sweetened chana dal with raisins to bite along, flavored with roasted poppy seeds, cardamom etc - Ganesha would love this dessert any time.

And yes, many of you may recognize the peeping white delicacies next to the bowl of Hayagreeva. If you are from Karnataka, you will immediately know what I made for the savory treat to beloved Ganesha. I will be back with that in a separate post as soon as I can in the next couple of days. Until then, enjoy your festivities, share, savor and be happy.
What do you need to make Hayagreeva?
1 cup chana dal
2.5 cups grated/powdered jiggery
1.5 cup water
1 Tblsp grated dry coconut (called kobbari, available in Indian stores)
1/2 Tsp cardamom powder
1 Tblsp poppy seeds or khus khus or gasagase
2 cloves
1 Tsp ghee
1 Tblsp raisins
1 Tblsp cashews (broken into small pieces)
How do you make Hayagreeva?
  • Wash chana dal in 2-3 changes of water, add 1 & 1/4 cup of water and pressure cook until the dal is soft to the core but holds shape when pressed.
  • Let the pressure cool off. Drain off any excess water and keep chana dal ready. The water used for cooking chana dal can be used as base for other dishes.
  • Heat a pan on medium heat, dry roast the poppy seeds for a minute until you get the aroma, keep aside to cool and then make into a coarse powder in the spice mill.
  • Add ghee to the same hot pan, add raisins, cashews (if using) and cloves, stirring frequently fry for a minute and half until raisins plump up.
  • Take these aside until ready to use.
  • Add the grated/powdered jiggery to the pan along with 1/4 cup water, let it come to a boil on medium heat and let jaggery dissolve completely.
  • Add the cooked chana dal to the jaggery, add cardamom powder, grated dry coconut, powdered poppy seeds and mix in well.
  • Let it cook for 8-10 minutes until the additional water evaporates and it comes together as a blob.
  • Switch off, add the fried raisins and cloves, mix well.
  • Serve warm or cold after you offer it to the Lord :-)
  • Chana dal should be cooked soft but not be mushy. Personally I like the texture of the non mushy hayagreeva, if you like go ahead and experiment.
  • Freshly pounded cardamom gives the best flavor.
  • Once chana dal is added, 8-10 minutes on medium heat is all it takes for the dish to be ready, do not keep it on the stove for long as it tends to become dry.


NamsVeni Pothas said...

happy Gowri- Ganesha to you all
Hayagreeva is simply tasty and superb. I love it.

kitchen queen said...

delicious and tempting sweet.

Chitz said...

That's a tempting sweet, heave heard about it but first time seeing the recipe..Charm !

Smitha Kalluraya said...

my hubby loves maddi..
do visit my site..

Maha Gadde said...

sweet luks so yummy n nice cliks..

Priya Suresh said...

I always want to make hayagreeva for pooja, but still its in my to do list, delicious neivedyam.

shubha s said...

We can enhance the flavour by adding a small pinch of pachh karpoora and nutmeg powder. Trust me it takes it to a different level.

Nagashree Ravi said...

Thanks for the tip shubha, i add paccha karpoora when I have it :) but nutmeg is new. Will try next time when I make it.