Turmeric rhizomes are inextricably intertwined with our culture & traditions. We perform all our religious rituals only in the presence of turmeric in the form of turmeric powder, kumkum, turmeric pillaiyar, or turmeric thread. Turmeric smeared thread is regarded as the sacred thread as our family ties are religiously acknowledged only by tying a sacred thread. Turmeric thread is usually tied around the wrist or neck (only for wife) as a wedding ritual in the presence of priests, other elders and also in front of the deities. Women observe fasting on the day they get married until the sacred thread is tied around her neck. They also observe fasting on the day of Karadaiyan nombu, perform pooja after tying turmeric thread and end their fasting by taking karadaiyan nombu adai.
Karadaiyan nombu is an ascetic ritual performed by women at the dawn of Tamil Calendar month Panguni (ie. middle of March) every year to seek the blessings of the Goddess (amman). Women observe fasting through the whole day and offer prayers after tying a turmeric thread. They chant verses wishing her husband’s longevity & unmarried girls wish to get married to a righteous groom. They also seek the blessings of elderly women in the family by touching their feet.
Finally they end the fasting in the evening by taking karadaiyan nombu adai (vella adai & uppu adai) smeared with vennai (butter). It signifies that the couple is inseparable like adai & vennai. It is also customary that women feed these sacred adai to the cows & calves in the neighbourhood before partaking them.
Karadaiyan Nombu Adai Recipe:
Now let’s prepare both the vella adai & uppu adai specially for this Karadaiyan Nonbu, you can refer the images below that are self-explanatory for their recipes.
Vella adai (sweet adai) recipe:
Uppu adai (salted adai) recipe:
Tips for making perfect nombu adai:
- It is important to have equal measures of flour & water while making the dough.
- I have used store-bought raw rice flour and roasted it in low flame for 10 min. The roasted flour should look like a free-flowing beach sand.
- Black-eyed beans (karamani) have to be either soaked for an hour or dry roasted before pressure cooking them. You could also make adai attractive by using maroon karamani for salted adai & white karamani for sweet adai.
- Adding coconut pieces for sweet adai or grated coconut for salted adai lends a wonderful texture.
- We need to steam each batch of adai for at least 10 minutes, if you are making small thin discs steaming time may be reduced further.
- I have shaped the remaining dough as below and steamed them as pidi kozhukattai.