Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nonbu Adai

Karadayan Nonbu :

Come the middle of March , we have this festival or ritual or whatever one calls it- the Kaaradaiyaan Nonbu. This is the day when the Tamil Month Panguni arrives .And when it arrives with the last few minutes of the previous month Maasi still clinging on to it, the Nonbu is observed .And in many of the Tamil homes, this day is considered very auspicious. Women have the first go at the Adais prepared and pray that their husbands do live long. And young girls too, pray for a good groom. A yellow thread in which a flower and a slice of raw turmeric is strung , is tied across the neck chanting the words meaning

"Throram Krishhnami subhake saharithamDharami aham

bharthuAyushya Sidhartham supreethabhava sarvadha."

The following is the tamil chant

"Urukaddha Venneyum oradhayam naan nootren

Orukkalum en kanavar ennai vittu pririyadhirukka vendum."

which means I offer butter and the rice made out of kaara arisi bless me that i live happily with my husband.

Read the Story behind Karadayan Nombu:


Neivadhayam is made of banana leaves Neivedhyam consists of Adai made out of rice and butter, and adai made of rice and jaggery also, along with butter kept seperately.Vethalai paaku pazham is also offered to the Goddess . The women in the family perform Naivedyam (offerings to the divine) after placing a Karadai in a plantain leaf with betel leaves, areca nut (betel nut) and a ripe banana in front of the idol of God. A Charadu (sacred thread) with a flower tied to it like a pendant (in a necklace) is also placed along with the offering.

A small quantity of butter is placed on the adai and offered to the gods. While offering the women chant, ‘urukkadha vennaium oradaium vaitthen, orukkalum piriyamal en kanavan irukka‘ which is essentially an entreaty to God to grant her husband a long life. After finishing the pooja, according to one’s custom, charadu should be tied around the neck.

The menu for this event is very simple - just a mildly sweetened and steamed rice flour patty. I like the simplicity of this dish. It is usually served with a dab of freshly churned butter. The process is also time consuming but worth every effort. Traditionally it’s prepared by soaking raw rice in water, draining it, spreading it on a cloth and powdering the rice, while the rice is still damp.It is not that difficult to make provided you have loads of time to spare & a lot of patience too


Rice flour 1 cup

Moong dal -2 tbsps

Jaggery- 1cup

Coconut gratings- ½ cup

Cardamom powder -1 tsp.

1. To prepare roasted rice powder– Wash and soak 1cup of raw rice in water for 1 to 2 hours. Drain water and dry the soaked rice in a white cloth under shade. When the moisture is removed fully dry grind it in a mixer into a fine powder. Dry roast it in a frying pan till a nice aroma comes out of it, taking care not to burn it. Keep aside.(This can be readied the previous day itself)

2. Roast the Moong dal also to a golden red colour. Cook the Moong dal with just enough water, until half done. Add the jaggery in 2 cups of water.

3.When the jaggery is melted add the half cooked Moong dal, coconut gratings, and roasted rice flour and cook until all the water is absorbed .

4.Add the cardamom powder and the ghee, stir well till every thing together cooks well to form a thick paste. Remove from fire and allow to cool.

5.When reasonably cool, roll the cooked flour into balls. Take half of the balls and flatten in the form of adais on plantain leaves.

6.Make small pieces of plantain leaves. Make small balls of the cooked rice flour (the size of a small orange) and keep on the plantain leaf. Flatten with the palm and make a small hole in the centre.

7.Keep the plantain leaves on a steamer and steam for 5 to10 min. This is offered with a blob of butter.

Savoury adai.


Rice flour- 1 cup

Moong dal -2 tbsp.

Coconut gratings- ½ cup

Green chillies- 2 or 3 cut into small pieces

Mustard- 1 tsp

Urad dal -1 tsp

Curry leaves a few sprigs

Oil -1 tbsp.

Salt to taste

Plantain leaves to steam the adai


1.Roast the rice flour and moong dal separately to a golden brown colour.

2.Cook the moong dal in just enough water, until half done. Heat the oil in a pan and add the hing.

3.Add the mustard. When mustard starts spluttering, add the urad dal, green chillies and curry leaves.

4.Add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and the coconut gratings.

5.When the water starts boiling add the half cooked moong dal and rice flour and cook until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.

6.Make balls of the cooked rice flour and flatten on plantain leaves and steam for 10 mnts.

On this occasion let me wish all the ladies a happy karadayan nonbu!


Indian Khana said...

Nice post..thanks for the information :)

Gita Jaishankar said...

Nice photos...thanks for the meaning of the mantra :)

Raks said...

We to celebrate karadayan nonbu! Adais look perfect,we make kozhukattais I think!

Vikis Kitchen said...

This is a very nice post . Looks so authentic. Its always a pleasure to worship Gods on auspicious days with their favorites. Very informative. I Love to celebrate this function.