Thursday, March 15, 2012

Karadayan Nombu

Yesterday was Karadayan Nombu, a simple & small festival celebrated by the south indian brahmin community, where the ladies pray for the longevity of their husbands...No, this not restricted only to married people, even unmarried women & girls pray to find a good husband..something in the lines of Karvachauth :)..(I am sure that rings a bell, how many movies & serials we have seen, where the preparation of that starts months..oops! episodes before :D )

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 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

Preparation Time!!

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 :).. 


  1. new and interesting one dear..presenation is awesome

  2. Replies
    1. They are julie very healthy.. a god tiffin item too!

  3. Great to see the traditional treats!! Interesting & healthy recipes!!!

  4. wow you have explained well about this nonmbu. very nice adai. i got both of these from my friend.

    1. thanks anu :).. tried what i could.. Hope u enjoyed them,. nice to have such friends around :)

  5. wow interesting recipe to me. this is totally new. looks wonderful

    1. Best part of blogging i guess ..thanks kanan :)

  6. Very well explained both about the festival and the adais, very nice stepwise instructions dear..

  7. this is new to me..looks wonderful..very well explained post!!

    1. Glad it served the purpose..thanks poonam :)

  8. hey i am glad to have virtually celebrated this festival with you... thanks for joining me at my blog as well

  9. Nice recipes. First time to ur blog n loved ur space. When u get time, do visit mine.

    1. def akila..thanks for ur comment..always makes my day.. will hop by there soon :)

  10. Nice recipe and thanks for the step by step recipe and the detailed post on the festival. It is really nice to know about the different aspects of culture and traditions and guess these moments of togetherness is what adds to the wonderful moments in life.

    1. very true vandal.. i am in the process of learning & maintaining a note.. its going to be helpful someday, i just know :)

  11. Nice recipes. First time to ur blog n loved ur space. When u get time, do visit mine.

    1. def akila..will come along in a few min :)

  12. Nice looking daughter also had her fill of butter. She didn't bother to have the adai.

  13. wonderful job rasi!!...looks amazing!!

  14. This recipe sounds delicious! And the photos look amazing! I think I will try to make some this weekend! :)

  15. Absolutely mouthwatering Rasi!! Nice clicks!

  16. I loved your tip drawing a line to check if the flour is roasted enough.

  17. both the version are gud...yummy!


Really look forward to your opinions, comments & suggestions :)...Glad you took time to say something on my dish..Its a yay! moment for me :)