There are certain dishes that are invariably made only once a year, on particular days, like Poornam Kuzhakattai for Ganesh Chathurthi, Kali for Thirvadarai, Cheedai for Janmashtami, Pori urundai for Karthigai and this particular adai for Karadayan Nonbu. At least it is like that in my house. Somehow we don’t make these dishes on a day to day basis. I guess that’s what makes them so special.
Savithri Vratham or Karadayan Nonbu is generally observed on the day when the Tamil month Masi ends and Panguni begins. Married women observe a fast on this day for the well being and long life of their husbands. Unmarried girls pray to be blessed with a good husband. There is a particular time, (the time changes every year), at that time, the women tie a yellow charadu or thread around their necks and break their fast by eating these special adais with unsalted butter. Usually while having the adais, the following two lines are repeated:
Orukaalum yen kanavan piriyamal irrukaname
Before going to the recipe I would like to share the legend behind Karadayan Nonbu. The story behind observing this Vratham is that, Princess Savithri, daughter of King Ashwapati, married Satyavan a penniless prince. She also knew the fact that Satyavan would live only for a year. Three days before the destined day of Satyavan’s death, Savithri vowed to fast. On the last day, when Yama the God of Death came to take Satyavan’s soul, Savithri prayed to him to either take her with her husband or to leave her husband behind. Impressed by Savithri’s love and devotion, Yama agreed to grant her any boon other than Satyavan’s life. Savithri asked for a son. Yama granted her wish. But how could she have a son without her Satyavan and hence Yama was forced to give back Satyavan’s life. Thus Savithri rescued her husband Satyavan from death. It is said that later she broke the fast by having these adais.
Makes about 12 - 14 adais
What you'll need
1. Rice Flour – 1 cup
2. Grated or powdered Jaggery – 1 cup
3. A handful of cowpeas or Karamani
4. Cardamoms – 3 -4
5. Coconut cut into small pieces – a handful
6. Ghee – 1 tsp
7. Water – 1 1/2 cup
- Dry roast the rice flour till light brown on medium heat. (You should be able to put lines with the flour like you do with kolam maavu).
- Dry roast the Karamani for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Pressure cook the Karamani, mash them coarsely and keep it aside.
- In a Kadai, heat the said 1 ½ cups of water with the grated jaggery.
- Once the jaggery dissolves completely, remove from heat. Strain impurities and place it on heat again. Let it start boiling.
- Once the jaggery water starts boiling add the cooked cowpeas/karamani, coconut pieces and cardamom powder and roasted rice flour. Mix well without forming any lumps.
- Add a tsp of ghee and mix well. The whole flour should become a round mass. Remove from heat. Let it cool a little.
- Grease idly moulds. Knead the dough a little to make it smooth.
- Make small balls out of this mixture and flatten them. Make a small hole with your finger in the middle. Place in idly moulds and steam for about 10 mins. Once cooked the Adais will have a shiny appearance.
Karadayan adai is ready. Offer to the Almighty with some homemade butter.