Karadaiyan Nombu Adai

Turmeric rhizomes are inextricably intertwined with our culture & traditions. Here 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 here 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.


Sweet 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.

Salted Adai:


Please Note:

  • 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.


59 Comments Add yours

  1. How fascinating ! Thanks for sharing such a lovely tradition. Goes to show all races in India have their version of karva chauth !! Jaggery Adai looks yum !

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, it is amazing to find people across various regions here in India following different rituals for the same cause.
      Thanks a lot for stopping by !

  2. amrita says:

    lovely share…something new I learnt today

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by !

  3. Wonderful post and clicks!!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

  4. B. says:

    Oh dear! This is dreamy…

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks ! 🙂

  5. Rini says:

    Interesting post Megala – the food and cultural context!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

  6. Didn’t know about this celebration..thank you for sharing!!!The dishes look amazing as always!!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

  7. Beautiful pictures, so nice to see the puja & the beautiful Goddess:) The Adai very delicious😊

    1. Megala says:

      Delighted to hear these words from you, thank you !

  8. InspiresN says:

    wonderful post about the significance of making this dish . love both the sweet and savory adais and the various shapes it can be made into!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you !

Please share your thoughts here: