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. We regard turmeric smeared thread 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 the 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.
Women perform an ascetic Karadaiyan nombu at the dawn of Tamil Calendar month Panguni (ie. middle of March) every year to seek the blessings of the Goddess (amman). They observe fasting the whole day and offer prayers after tying a turmeric thread. Married women chant verses wishing their 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). Apparently, it signifies that the couple is inseparable like adai & vennai. It is also customary that women feed this 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 to 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. Basically, the roasted flour would look like a free-flowing beach sand.
- We can either soak Black-eyed beans (karamani) an hour or dry roast them 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 we make small thin discs then we can reduce the steaming time.
- I have shaped the remaining dough as below and steamed them as pidi kozhukattai.