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Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

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Hayagreeva Maddi is a favourite dessert of Madhwa Brahmins and one of the top listed recipes in udupi cuisine.  The sweet dish is just a matter of cooking Bengal gram with jaggery and garnishing dry fruits. But the history behind this dessert has made it famous and favourite among the residents of Udupi and surroundings.

Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

 History of Hayagreeva Maddi:

Sri Vadirajathirtha of Sri Krishna Matt, udupi  was a great devotee of Lord Hayagreeva/Hayavadana (Lord Vishnu in the form of beautiful white horse). Every day he offered Maddi sweet for ”naivedya“  to Lord Hayagreeva placing it over his head and for his true devotion Lord Hayagreeva used to arrive as a beautiful white horse accepting the maddi. It is known that the white horse ate all the maddi leaving behind a handful to Sri Vadirajathirtha as “prasada”.

This was a daily routine while some wicked men who wanted to test Sri Vadirajathirtha poured poison to the maddi naivedya. As usual Sri vadiraja thirtha offered to lord, but this day the white horse completely ate without leaving behind as prasada. Also the statue of Lord hayagreeva turned bluish as the proof of poison. Sri vadirajathirtha came to know the truth during meditation. 

When the wicked men came to apology, he gave them seeds of brinjal (locally called as mattu gulla) and asked to grow and offer as naivedya as a solution for their evil deed.
Sri Vadirajathirtha was a descendant and belonged to Sodhe Matt. So as a remembrance maddi sweet is offered to Lord Hayagreeva in Sodhe matt even to this day.


One cup chana dal/Bengal gram
3 /4 cup jaggery
2 or 3 cardamom/ cardamom powder
Cashews, raisins
Grated coconut


Clean wash chana dal /Bengal gram and pressure cook the same after a whistle and simmer for 8minutes.  Note that the dal should not be over cooked and smashed; it should only get softened retaining its shape.

Once cooked strain the excess water from the cooked Bengal gram using a strainer.

Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

Now mash the cooked lentils with your fingers to some extent retaining its shape in the midst.

Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

Meanwhile in a deep pan prepare jaggery syrup by adding water just enough to dissolve jaggery. Boil till the syrup thickens.

Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

To this jaggery syrup add the mashed lentils, 3 to 4 spoons ghee and cook till it forms a lump. 

Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

Keep stirring continuously to avoid sticking to the pan. This might take for about 8 to 10 minutes. 

Now add roasted cashews, raisins,grated coconut and cardamom powder to the cooked lump. Stir them well to get mixed well.

Hayagreeva Maddi - Udupi Recipe

Switch off the flame. Hayagreeva maddi is done. Serve the dessert pouring a spoonful of hot ghee.

Note that the lentils should be cooked well before you add them to jaggery syrup. Once they get mixed with jaggery the cooking process reaches a complete halt.

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