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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Karadayan Nombu

When I was a kid, I had a story book with three stories in it - Savitri, Sukanya, Damayanti. I was around 7 or 8 years, but I still remember the cover page and the stories too. I can't put my finger on what it was about these strong female characters that has stayed in my mind over the years!

Today is Karadayan Nombu, and no, I am not going off track here. I am going to tie this thing to my story book - just bear with me a while.


This nombu is an important upvaas/fast based on the legend of "Sathyavan Savitri". Savitri married Sathyavan knowing that he was destined to die after a year of marriage, but she still went ahead. She fasted and offered adai to God praying for her husband's long life. She brought back her husband to life from the clutches of Yama (the God of death) through her persistence and smartness. The detailed story can be read here:

 
And this was the first story in my book.

Karadayan Nombu is celebrated by a a really small percentage of people, so not many people know about it. Think of it as a Tam Bram version of Karva Chauth! Ahh! Now the light bulbs just flickered on, didn't they? Well, this ritual isn't as glamorous as its North Indian  counterpart, but the purpose is the same. We ladies pray for the long and blessed lives of our husbands (ever wondered why the menfolk don't ever seem to do anything to elongate our lives?). On this day, the ladies, clad in the traditional nine yards (just a salwar kameez for yours truly) fast until the appointed hour (which varies, have to check in the panchangam (a kind of calendar). Then we pray to goddess Kamakshi or Parvati offering Nombu Adai and butter as neivedyam along with fruits. We tie a yellow string with some flowers and a couple of pieces of turmeric  around our necks (I usually ask my hubby to do the honors :) ) Then we break the fast with the adai after reciting the words:

"Urugaada Venaiyum oru adaiyum veithen.
Oru kaalam yen kanavar yenaai vittu piriyaamal irukka vendum
"

(I offer unmelted butter and adai to you. I pray that my husband and I never separate)

The Tamil version (got it off a google search!) is, I believe, something like this:

"உருகாத வெண்ணையும் ஓர் அடையும் வைத்தேன், ஒரு காலும் என் கணவர் என்னைவிட்டு பிரியாமல் இருக்க வேண்டும்".



 Now, on this day the offering is made of two kinds of adais - one is sweet (Vella Adai) and the other is savory (Kara Adai).

Vella Adai

Preparation and Cooking: 30-40 minutes (excluding soaking time)    Makes:12-14

Ingredients:

Rice flour - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Water - 2 ½ cups
Black Eyed Beans (Karamani) - 2 tablespoons
Coconut - ¼ cup (cut into small bits)
Cardamom Powder - ¼ teaspoon
Salt - a pinch

Method:
  • Soak the black eyed beans in water over night. Then pressure cook them until they soften.
  • Roast the rice powder for a minute or so. I use pre-roasted idiappam flour.
  • Boil the water with the jaggery till the jaggery completely dissolves in the water.

  • Now add the salt, cardamom powder, the coconut pieces and the black eyed beans.
  •  Stir in the rice flour a little at a time stirring continuously to avoid forming lumps.
  • When the rice flour thickens into a smooth ball-like dough, leaving the sides of the pan, take it off the flame and let it cool till it is comfortable to touch with your hands.
  • After cooling, pat them into smooth patties with a small hole in the center. Use wet hands to avoid sticking and breaking.
  • Steam these in greased idli plates for about 10-12 minutes.

Vella adai is ready for neivedyam!


Kaara Adai 

Preparation and Cooking: 30-40 minutes (excluding soaking time)    Makes:12-14


Ingredients:

Rice flour - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups

Black Eyed Beans (Karamani) - 2 tablespoons
Coconut - ¼ cup (cut into small bits)
Salt - to taste
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - a few
Green chillies - 2, chopped fine
Ginger - a small bit, minced
Asafoetida/Hing - a pinch
Oil - 1 tablespoons

Method:
  • As with the vella adai, soak the black eyed beans in water over night. Then pressure cook them until they soften.
  • Roast the rice powder for a minute or so. I use pre-roasted idiappam flour.
  • Heat the oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, green chillies and ginger.
  • When the mustard seeds splutter, add the water and bring it to a boil.
  • Now add the salt, the coconut pieces and the black eyed beans.


  •  Stir in the rice flour a little at a time stirring continuously to avoid forming lumps.

  • When the rice flour thickens into a smooth ball-like dough, leaving the sides of the pan, take it off the flame and let it cool till it is comfortable to touch with your hands.
  • After cooling, pat them into smooth patties with a small hole in the center. Use wet hands to avoid sticking and breaking.
  • Steam these in greased idli plates for about 10-12 minutes.

Kaara adai is ready for neivedyam!

2 comments:

  1. The recipe is looking yummy..More than that the definition of the nomolks dosent do anyting for bu and the story behind it was very informative..thanks to that (I am really wondering now why the menfolk dosent do any rituals or fast for our long life..)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thx Pepper, hope u liked it eating it too!

    ReplyDelete

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