As a kid, i loved this because i got to have so much butter :), which was a rarity at home.. Amma would make & store mainly for this occasion, so i would wait for it! I don't remember praying, coz all i could think off was just 'Butter' :D (was a foodie then too)..Last year, i was under the expert guidance of my MIL, so just learnt stuff & helped her..So, this year its by myself..i was apprehensive, coz i am making the adai by myself and was mentally prepping myself.. in case i mess it up..its okie, am sure god would understand..my intentions were genuine ;)
This is celebrated on the completion of Maasi maasam & the beginning of Panguni ( Tamil calendar months) and this time, the date happened to be March14th and in the morning...The story behind this festival is that of Savithri.. I am sure all of you must have heard, on how she fights Yama(Goddess of Death) and gets Satyavan, her husband from the jaws of death..Savithri marries Satyavan, despite the fact that he just has a year to live and chooses him for his righteousness. She lives in the forest with him and on this day does penance, wins his life back and rest as they is history & eternal :)
She offers the Vella (Jaggaery) Adai with cow peas/black eyes peas (Karamani) and butter in a banana leaf and hence this is the main dish for this festival..In our place, we wear the 9 yards saree..put a small kolam (rangoli), place the plantain/banana leaf, place flowers, saradu ( yellow thread), banana and then the main dish along with Uppu (salt) adai.
A two line chant is said & the sacred thread is tried around the neck
'Urugadha Venaium Oreadaiyum, naan noothan
Oru Kaalam enn kanavan, ennai vittu piryadha irrukavendum'
(The translation of the above means i make an offering of butter and rice adai , my husband i should stay together forever and never be separated)
Off to the recipe now..
1.Blackeyed Peas - a fistful
2. Oil - 1 tsp
3. Water - 2-3 cups
Vella Adai (Jaggery/Sweet Adai)
1. Rice flour - 1/2 cup ( my cup measures 118 ml)
2. Jaggery - 1/2 cup
3. Coconut - 3 tbsp
4. Cardamom powder - 1/2tsp
5. Water - 2 1/2 cup (whichever cup you take, use the same to measure)
Uppu Adai (Salt Adai)
1. Rice Flour - 1/2 cup
2. Oil - 2tsp
3. Mustard seeds - 1tsp
4. Urad dal - 1-2 tap
5. Green Chillies - 2
6. Curry leaves - a sprig
7. Cilantro - a sprig
8. Coconut - 2-3tbsp
9. Water - 2 cups ( an additional 1/4 later)
10. Salt - to taste
1. Take a pan, add 1 tsp of oil, add the black eyes peas and roast till they turn light brown. The add water and boil, till the beans are cooked (They should be soft not totally mashed). Once done, drain water and keep aside
2. In another pan, take 1 cup of rice flour ( I used 1/2 cup for sweet adai & 1/2 cup for salt adai..This makes around 20 adai's and was sufficient for us). Roast the flour, till it lightly changes color..Take a pinch of the flour & try to draw a line with it, just like how we do a rangoli/kolam.. if you can do that easily, you can remove off flame!
3. Now, to make vella/jaggery adai, take a pan, add the jaggery and add water ( take the same measure as rice flour you take, the flour jaggery proportion is always 1:1 and water will be 2 1/2) and bring to boil
4. Once jaggery melts, strain it once, to remove the impurities & bring it boil again. To this add coconut, cardamom, black eyed beans (half for this & remaining for uppu adai) & rice flour and mix well to form a dough and cool it
5. To make Uppu Adai, take a pan, add oil & once warm, add mustard seeds. As it splutters, add urad dal and as it turns light brown, add chillies, curry leaves & cilantro (finely chopped). Saute for a minute & add water ( The proportion is 1: 2 1 cup of flour 2 cups of water) and bring to boil
6. Once it comes to a boil, add black eyed beans, coconut, salt & rice flour and mix well. If the water seems less to make the dough, add water very slowly ( i used an extra of 1/4 cup)..It should mix well to form a soft yet form dough, not watery ( so extra attention on water added). Remove off flame & cool
7. Once they are cooled, pinch small portions of the dough and small flat adai (mini pancakes) and then grease the idli plates with a little oil/ghee and place these adai's in them and steam for 10 minutes
8. Once they are done, serve them with butter :)
* Use the same cup used to measure for rice flour, for measuring the water!
** Coconut should be cut as pieces.. As i didn't have that, i used frozen coconut.. Having chunky pieces of coconut, makes it tastier!
This has been one long post, i agree. Well, i am really trying to learn more about the festivals, its significance and i am sharing what i know :D.. So if there is a different story, or more info or the different ways you celebrate.. do let me know, would love to hear & learn from you all :)
I was delighted that it turned out well & brought back a lot of memories of my grandma, amma and my MIL :)..