Karadaiyan Nombu Adai

Turmeric rhizomes are inextricably intertwined with our culture & traditions, all our religious rituals are performed only in the presence of turmeric powder. Even the family ties are religiously acknowledged by tying a turmeric smeared thread around the wrist or neck (for women) before the 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 usually falls in the middle of March.


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 observe fasting, offer prayers & chant verses wishing her husband’s longevity & unmarried girls wishing to get married to a righteous groom; and they also seek the blessings of elderly women in the family by touching their feet.


After feeding the cows in the evening women end their fast 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 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 soft (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.



79 Comments Add yours

  1. Bookmarking the adai recipes too! I don’t believe I have ever tried them before. Thanks for this window into your world of delicious food, Megala. xx

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much for reading my posts & leaving your comments.
      Sorry for the late reply, I’ve just found them in spam.

      1. Most of my comments on other blogs too have met the same fate. Sigh. No worries, Megala. x

  2. 3C Style says:

    these look really really good, Megala.

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much.

  3. rabirius says:

    This, again, looks so tasty!

  4. My Real Dish says:

    Love the symbolism and history here!

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much for reading my posts !

  5. Chelvi S says:

    Thanks for the post and the beautiful pictures and explanation. Even though I am Tamil, but I don’t see this practiced in Sri Lanka – may be it was there years ago. Is there a different name for the Karadaiyan Nombu? This is different from the “Gowri Viratham” right?

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks Chelvi ! Karadaiyan nonbu, Varalakshmi nonbu & Gowri Viratham all are celebrated for the same cause, but each one is celebrated in different months. If you are interested you can try this next year, no need to follow those hard and fast rituals but you can offer these adai and perform a simple pooja at home. 🙂

  6. juliarecipes says:

    These looks like little cute donuts! Lovely photo! Love your recipes and Indian cuisine!!!

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much.

  7. Another novel recipe, Megala. Such a sacred day and a dish that makes up for the day of fast. Your explanation too was practical and simple. I see that you have added no green chillies or the red variety to the salt adai. Thank you for sharing, Megala.

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a ton for reading my posts !

  8. Extremely beautiful post. Unique and innovative as usual…

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much !

Please share your thoughts here: