Turmeric rhizomes are inextricably intertwined with our culture & traditions. The family ties are religiously acknowledged by tying a turmeric smeared thread around the wrist or neck (only for women) in the presence of deities, priests & other elders. Women used to observe fasting until the sacred turmeric thread is tied around the neck when they get married and also on the day of Karadaiyan nonbu that usually falls on March 13 or 14.
Karadaiyan nonbu is an ascetic ritual still practiced, by a few women like my aunt, at the dawn of Tamil Calendar month Panguni every year to seek the blessings of Goddess after tying a turmeric thread. On this day married women used to observe fasting, offer prayers & chant verses wishing her husband’s longevity & unmarried girls wishing to get married to a righteous groom; They also seek the blessings of elderly women in the family by touching their feet.
They end their fasting in the evening after feeding the cows, by taking vella adai (sweet disc) & uppu adai (salted rice disc) smeared with vennai (butter) to signify that the couple is inseparable like adai & vennai.
You may refer the images below that are self-explanatory for the recipes of divinely delicious soft vella adai & uppu adai.
Here I had to add 2 tbsp of flour more as the dough was sticky. But equal measures of flour and water would be perfect most of the times, I guess I might have added more water by mistake.
- It is important to have equal measures of flour & water while mixing.
- I have used store-bought raw rice flour and roasted in low flame for 10 min. It is required for the flour to reach the consistency similar to free-flowing beach sand. Roasting helps to remove the gluten in rice flour, when gluten is removed the dough becomes softer but not squishy, sticky & shiny when steamed.
- Black-eyed beans (karamani) must be either soaked for an hour or dry roasted before pressure cooking them; You could also make adai attractive by using maroon karamani for salted adai & white karamani for sweet adai.
- Adding coconut pieces for sweet adai & grated coconut for salted adai gives a wonderful texture.
- We need to steam each batch of adai for at least 10 minutes, if you are making small thin discs steaming time may be reduced further.
- I have shaped the remaining dough as below and steamed them as pidi kozhukattai.