The holige is better than the sum of its parts

NAGARATHNA SITARAM writes: At a time when most women (and certainly a few men) find it easy and convenient to hop across to the store and buy readymade holige to kick off the festive season, it is touching to see shuddha Kannadigas googling for “holige recipes” and in one case “obbattu recipes for two”.

So here goes: Five easy steps to make kaayi holige



One coconut; 250 gram jaggery; 5 cardamoms or one spoon of cardamom powder; 250 grams of rava (semolina); 250 grams of maida flour; 50 grams poppy seeds (khas-khas)


1) Grate the coconut, and grind the grated coconut without adding water.

2) After cleaning the jaggery, prepare a syrup. Put all the jaggery in a pot of about half a litre of water and boil it. Add the ground coconut and cardamom powder to the jaggery syrup. Take the boiling concoction off the stove once it begins to harden. Keep it aside, and allow it cool. This is your hoorna.

3) Prepare a dough of the maida and rava with required quantity of water. Add a dash of oil/ghee along with salt to taste. The texture of the dough needs to be similar to your chapati/poori dough. Do not let the dough to dry up; keep it soaked in a small bowl/plate of oil/ghee for about 12 minutes.

4) Make a lemon-sized ball of dough. Leaven it like you would a chapati on a plantain leaf or a sheet of thick aluminium foil (use a biscuit wrapper or a Kellog’s sachet). Spread the dough to the size of a small poori. On top of it, now place a small ball of hoorna. Let the quantity of the hoorna be slightly less than the quantity of dough you have chosen.

While you place the hoorna on top of the leavened dough, hold the edges of the dough and wrap the hoorna around it. Roll it like a stuffed parantha not like you would roll a chapati. Which means roll it from the centre, not the edges. For best results, dip your hand/fingers in a little oil, and pat down the dough-and-hoorna combo.

5) Pat some poppy seeds on top of the leavened dough and cook on the pan on both sides, smearing ghee as required, for about 3 minutes. With the dough you have made, you should be able to make 7-8 holiges.


Serve cool, preferably with a little ghee, although there is nothing to stop you from eating it hot. But if you microwave it, make sure it doesn’t get roasted like a papad!

Happy Ugadi


Email me if you have any specific culinary issues, problems or queries:


Also read: Mavinakayi chitranna in five easy steps



  1. Though I won’t have the pleasure of having holige this Ugadi, reading this post partially fulfilled my desire. Thank you Nagarathna.

    I for one prefer the delicate beLe hOLige to the kaayi hOLige!

  2. manju19 said

    With Holige, you can mix warm milk and eat the taste is different….Please note to add some varities of Holiges to the menu….Thanks.

  3. ujwala said

    Aha, nagarathanamma, before reading I thought you would be giving tips to easily pepare holige. But after reading I realised that there is nothing special.
    When you say soji – you have to say that it should be chiroti rave or soji. Those who are preparing for the first time may buy bansi soji! When giving tips – think thrice not just twice.

  4. Suma said

    I agree with Ujwala that the ingredients should be specific. u can also pat ur holige on paper plates preferably silver colured ones. The kanaka or dough should be kneaded well (chennagi nadabeku ) otherwise devarane holige sariyagi barolla

  5. Nagarathna Sitaram said

    Many thanks for the feedback. Yes, I should have clearly stated “sanna rave” or “chiroti rave”. My apologies for the slip-up. It was written at breakneck speed, with the husband breathing own the neck, if you get what I mean. Regardless of my recipe, I hope a good holige was had by all.
    TV9, the new 24-hour Kannada news channel, had an interesting story yesterday on “Holige” Gowramma, the grand old Shimoga lady whose name and reputation is spread across continents. Did anybody sample her stuff yesterday? Any reviews?

  6. NostalgicMysorean said

    Nagarathnamma navare,
    TV9 nalli Holige Gorammana vara vishaya miss maadbitte.Please,adenantha post maadtheera? I am interested.
    By the way, nim recipe very good[hinde neevu Mavinkai chitranna recipe kottidri,right}

  7. Dheerendragopal said

    Nagarathna avare. chennagidhe nimma recipe(Thindhu nodille)

    hoLige gu Obbattigu yenu vyathyaasa ?
    Kaaye Obbattigu beLe Obbattigu athava hoLigegu?

    Kaaye haalu ( coconut milk ) maadthare adhara bagge gotha ?

    Dharwad/Maharastra kade maaduva obbattina vidhana bagge heLi ..Gothidre?

  8. Hello Madam

    this is poornimaprasad me newly married i don’t know how to make the bele holige pls can u send the recipe about bele obbattu pls

    thanks regards

  9. stove top smoker said

    Hi. Very nice blog. I\’ve been reading your other entries all day

  10. Girish said

    Thanks for the recipe of holige. It is the best sweet one can ever eat. I wonder who discovered the formula.

  11. Roopa said

    Hi, tried the recipe !! came out good..but i prefer “NOT ADDING WATER” with jaggery. I added less water than you recommended, and it went on cooking for hours to get the right consistency.
    I would recommend just jaggery and grinded cocunut as jaggery and cocunut leave some water from heat just enough to give a nice consistency and takes less time plus comes out good.

  12. yeshaswini said

    thanx maam…i want to prepare this from a very long time…but no one to teach me…this weekend i’ll try and tell u…ya i did chk that chiroti rava thing…thanx ujwala…maam, i’ll definately get back to u…

  13. dolashree said

    hey well you can also try out another variety made from dates… this is known as kharjura holige… instead of using coconut or lentil as your filling you can use dates.. buy the hard dates pressure cook them with sugar, cardomom powder and little water for one pressure and a little coconut (optional). make sure you dont add excess water you need the right consistency to use it as the hoorna… you dont need to add semolina or rave to the maida dough you prepare for this obbattu or for the bele obbattu , roll out the maida dough on your palm fill it with the hoorna and obattannu thatti… cook it on a tava (hanchu) with about 1/2 tsp of oil and enjoy….

  14. Anu said

    Loved ur narration and the explanation of holige preparation.

    I am Anu from My Scrawls. I have posted my version of Obbattu in my blog. Do visit my blog in ur free time. Would be happy to receive your comments 🙂

    Belated Ugadi wishes 🙂

  15. kusuma said

    thnk u very much nagarathnaji,bcoz i stay in mumbai, i am cooking beleobbatu since 3/4 years here every house hold they hav only that. i wanted to preapre kayi holige since a long time( i am from mysore) this ugadi ( tom) i will try we can prepare hoorna in microwave that’s more easy .

    wish yo u all ” happy ugadi”

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