Friday, July 28, 2017

Karadaiyan nombu adai

Karadaiyan nombu is a festival celebrated by Tamil Iyers around the world. The story behind it is an interesting one. Savitri was a very brave and intelligent princess. Since most kings were intimidated by her valor and intelligence, her father was unable to find a groom for her. He asked her to find a groom for herself and thus she set off to find a partner. She found herself the perfect partner - Satyavan - in a remote jungle. However, she was warned by the sage Narada that Satyavan would only live for a year after their wedding. She decided to marry Satyavan despite the warning. They lived in the jungle for a year. The pre-ordained day of his death arrived. Savitri fasted all day. She offered karadai to God, and asked that her husband should be with her always. Yama, the God of death arrived and took Satyavan's soul away with him. Savitri followed him. Pleased with her love for her husband, Yama said that though he could not release Satyavan from the clutches of death, he would grant her 3 wishes. The clever Savitri asks that her father should be blessed with a hundred sons, that her blind father-in-law should regain his eyesight and that she and Satyavan should be blessed with a hundred sons. Pleased with her intelligence, Yama grants her boons and brings Satyavan back to life.
Iyer women and girls continue the tradition of offering karadai while praying for the long lives of their husbands or in the case of unmarried girls, for good husbands. A yellow thread with a flower strung on it is tied around the neck and the adai with a blob of butter is offered to God. This festival usually falls in March (the end of the Tamil month of Masi and the beginning of Panguni). In our family, we offer sweet and salt adai as neivedyam along with butter. This is usually eaten as dinner on the day of the vratam.

What you need:
For vella adai/sweet adai
Rice flour - 1 cup (double roasted)
Jaggery - 1 cup, powdered
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Karamani/cow peas - 2 tbsp., soaked in water overnight & cooked
Water - 2.5 cups

Heat water in a thick bottomed pan. Add jaggery to it and heat until the jaggery melts completely. At this point, if there are impurities in the jiggery, you can filter it out. Lower the flame. Add cardamom powder, cooked cow peas and the rice flour, stirring continuously and briskly so that no lumps are formed. Keep stirring until the water is completely absorbed and the mixture thickens to a dough. Keep aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, make small lemon sized balls and flatten them into thick discs with a hole in the center. Place this in a steamer/idli pan in a single layer and steam for 10-12 minutes or until the adai looks glossy.

For uppu adai/salt adai
Rice flour - 1 cup (double roasted)
Oil - 1 tbsp.
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Water - 2.5 cups
Salt - to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard and urad and roast until the seeds pop. Add water, asafetida, salt and grated coconut. When the water starts to boil, add the rice flour, stirring briskly and continuously. Cook till moisture is absorbed and mixture thickens to a dough. When cool enough to touch, make lemon sized balls, flatten them into thick discs with a hole in the center and steam in a single layer for 10-12 minutes or until shiny.

This is my second post for Week 4 of Blogging Marathon #78 under the theme Festival foods.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM# 78


The Pumpkin Farm said...

nice story....we celebrate by fasting, tying a thread around banyan trees, it is a big day in maharashtra especially for newly married girls...the adai looks beautiful

Mayuri Patel said...

An interesting story and tradition that is followed by Tamil women. Its always nice to learn about traditions and festivals from fellow bloggers. Interesting preparation too.

Srividhya Gopalakrishnan said...

It's been ages since I had this. Love these adai. Yummmm

Rafeeda AR said...

Very interesting adai... I am intrigued by the addition of cowpea beans...

Sapana Behl said...

Love reading about your traditions. The adai sounds very delicious.

Chef Mireille said...

loved reading about the history and culture of the tradition

I Camp in my Kitchen said...

oh we love this adai, in particular the savory ones!!! yumm!