Karadaiyan Nombu Adai

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.

IMG_3860 Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Turmeric as an auspicious ingredient (turmeric thread, turmeric powder & turmeric kumkum)

Karadaiyan Nonbu:

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.

IMG_3894-1 Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Karadaiyan Nonbu celebrated at my home

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.

IMG_3882-1 Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Karadaiyan Nonbu adai smeared with butter

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.

IMG_3866 Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Karadaiyan Nombu adai

Vella adai (sweet adai) recipe:

kdas1-960x640 Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Vella adai ingredients
swadai Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
How to prepare vella adai

Uppu adai (salted adai) recipe:

kdas2-960x640 Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Uppu adai ingredients
karadai Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
How to prepare karadaiyan nonbu adai

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.
IMG_3784-horz Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Flour is like a free-flowing sand, perfect for making nonbu adai & kozhukattai
  • 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.
IMG_3875-horz Karadaiyan Nombu Adai
Kozhukattai using left-over dough
(before & after steaming)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my posts & leaving your comments.
      Sorry for the late reply, I’ve just found them in spam.

  1. Thanks for the post and the beautiful pictures and explanation. Even though I am Tamil, but I don’t see this practiced in Sri Lanka – may be it was there years ago. Is there a different name for the Karadaiyan Nombu? This is different from the “Gowri Viratham” right?

    1. Thanks Chelvi ! Karadaiyan nonbu, Varalakshmi nonbu & Gowri Viratham all are celebrated for the same cause, but each one is celebrated in different months. If you are interested you can try this next year, no need to follow those hard and fast rituals but you can offer these adai and perform a simple pooja at home. 🙂

  2. Another novel recipe, Megala. Such a sacred day and a dish that makes up for the day of fast. Your explanation too was practical and simple. I see that you have added no green chillies or the red variety to the salt adai. Thank you for sharing, Megala.

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