Monday, March 14, 2011

karadayan Nombu

A fast (viradham) observed by the married woman of Tamilnadu, Karadiyan Nombu  is similar to the Karva Chauth celebrated in North India. This festival is observed during the transition period of Tamil month Maasi to Panguni.The legend goes that Savithri , a princess was so loving and devoted to her husband Satyavan that she forced the Lord of Death (Yama)to return her husband back.To thank Yama for sparing her husband, she prepared this  dish called Kara adai which she offered to him with unmelted butter.The name of the dish is the name of the festival.This festival is celebrated for a very happy married life and for a long life and well -being of the husband. You can read more on this here

To this date my mother observes this puja, wearing a  9 yard saree. She also used to make me & my sister sing these immortal lines:-
Urugada Vennaiyum, Oru adaiyum vaithen ;
oru kaalum yen kanavan piriyadhu irukanum !
I have sung these lines without understanding the meaning for a very long time, when i did make sense of these lines, i appreciated the unmatched love it signifies for the spouse !
The lines literally translated means ,Lord I am offering you Kara Adai with unmelted butter, please let me and my hubby not be separated ever !

There is also a ritual of tying saradu around the neck -  it is a sacred yellow thread with a small piece of turmeric root or a few flowers placed in the centre.  

The Puja/celebrations today:-

I follow the same ritual observation as my mom does and the recipe is also the same way she makes.The adai prepared are of two types - sweet & savoury (Inippu adai & Uppu karadai)

For both the adais it is imperative to dry roast the rice flour till it is light brown in colour and has a texture that is right for drawing rangolis ! I kept checking it time & again by taking a pinch of the flour and drawing a flower on the kitchen board !

Sweet adai:-

What goes
  • Rice Flour - 1 cup + a little extra if required
  • Jaggery - 3/4 cup - to taste (powdered)
  • Black eyed Beans (Karamani/Lobia) - 1/4 cup (boiled)
  • Coconut Pieces - sliced to small pieces - 1/4 cup
  • Cardamon - 2 to 3 pods - crushed
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Water - 1 cup


Soak the black-eyed beans  for 2 hours and pressure cook them to 3 whistles. In a large pan add water and bring it to a boil. Now add the jaggery and as it starts blending together with water, add beans, coconut pieces and powdered cardamom. Give it a boil and add ghee..


Now switch off the flame and add the rice flour little by little while continuously mixing it well to a fine dough. Add little ghee and flour (if required).

Allow the dough to cool and knead it a little by hand too if there are lumps.
Now take a small ball and spread it  and flatten them as shown. Make a small hole in the centre like vadas !

In a greased idli plates or in pressure cooker with  flat plates. steam them for 7-10 minutes until cooked.

Uppadai (Savoury)
  • Rice Flour - 1 cup + a little extra if required
  • Black-eyed Beans- 1/4 cup
  • coconut pieces- 1/4 cup
  • Water- 1 cup
  • Toor Dal - 2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds - 1tsp
  • Green Chilli - 3 - to taste
  • Coconut - 2 to 3 pieces
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Mustard,Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Water- 1 1/4 cup


Grind the lentil, cumin seeds, green chillis & coconut to a fine paste. In a large pan prepare tempering by adding oil and allow mustard & urad dal to splutter. Add curry leaves and water - bring it to a boil. Now add the ground paste along with beans, coconut pieces and salt. Give it a boil and 

switch off the flame. Add the rice flour little by little while continuously mixing it well to a fine dough. Add little oil and flour (if required).

Allow the dough to cool and follow the same procedure for flattening like the sweet ones !
Steam & serve hot with chutney or butter !

This goes to Gayathri's Walking through the memory lane

Also to Umm Mymoonah's AWED-Indian Cuisine event by DK


  1. Nice post on karadayan nombu, I will be doing it in our local time. I miss amma and her last minutes rush to wear madisar pudavai. By the way adai looks yummy.

  2. That's informative, Priya. I think we appreciate all these rituals when we are adults. And kids get to enjoy all the goodies. :)

  3. Loved your post..very well written n everything looks so yummy n very authentic!

    US Masala

  4. Nice looking adai's. I will be home very late today and will only do pazham neivedhyam. Thatz why I prepared adai last week!

  5. Nice and detailed post and may the good lord be with you and hear ur prayers...
    I loved those 2 lines... Shows ever lasting love...

  6. Everything looks so wishes for the nombu..

  7. I don't know if this is good or bad. We Indians follow the same ritual and same belief in different ways and different dates. I follow Karwachaut because I married someone from North India, My Mom follow Savitri Vrath , which is a similar ritual followed by Bengalis and you follow something similar again. Won't it be more fun to celebrate the same thing on the same day ??!! Just a thought :)

  8. Happy nombu and the adais look very delicious.

  9. Very informative post and good looking adais... May God bless your family :-)

  10. Nombu adai looks yum..very authentic!! Happy Nombu!

  11. Nonbu adais looks super yummy, wat an authentic dish..

  12. oh priya, how can I forget those good old days???? Your post made me relive those good old days! Thanks sis :) Mom will be proud of your post!

  13. Nice post dear..authentic recipe,looks yummy.

  14. Adais look so yummy.And informative post.Happy Nombu!

  15. Slurp! The adaias very yummy and drool-worthy!

  16. That is a very sweet tradition. I love learning about them. Thanks Priya for a wonderful, informitive post :)

  17. Nice Information !!! Adais looks so perfect and yummy !!!!

  18. Am such a craziest fan for these adai's .. My neighbours, who are brahmins they make it for karadaiyan Nonbu.. I came to know abt the recipe after my marriage thro one of my friend.. Now i get to taste the authentic adai from ur recipe..Thanks for sharing

  19. Glad to know about this tradition. Adais look great.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  20. Wow!What an informative post, Priya! Loved the story behind the adai. Looks so delicious and thanks a lot for sending..

  21. Hi! Really GRT.Iam proud of u dear doing the Nobu like me. The adais are so good.U are a role model to this present generation.This young generation has no time as well as no belief in old customs and traditions. U are also a part of young generation but doing every function and rituals sincerely and systamatically. Keep it up! Mom

  22. Nice to read about the Nombu story.Looks really great the adai's.

  23. Nice post,well the delicious adai's..

  24. sounds wonderful!I've got an award for you! Please come by and pick it up :)

  25. platter looks very yum!...I would surely fast ...if i am going to get that in the end!:))
    We also do such kind of fasts...
    Smitha's Spicy Flavors

  26. Song brought tears to my eyes - I pray for this everyday now - My mom put a different spin on it - that as kanni pengal, we are praying for a good spouse - Lovely post thanks for sharing

  27. Lovely post, looks so yummy and authentic:)

  28. Your recipe looks very yumm and nice verses too. Thank you for sending it to AWED :)

  29. Nicely done post on the nonbu. Stepwise pictures of the recipe is self explanatory! Good one Priya and I am sure you had a wonderful pandigai.