Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Karadayan Nonbu Adai

For the second day I have taken List_of_snack_foods. I was confused as to which item to pick up from this list and finally decided on Adai. Karadayan Nonbu - a festival followed in brahmin (Iyer/Iyengar) houses was around last week. For this festival they make a special type of sweet and savoury adai of which I am a big fan.

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.

Before going to the recipe I would like to share the story 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


Rice Flour – 1 cup
Grated or powdered Jaggery – 1 cup
Cardamoms – 3 -4
Coconut cut into small pieces or grated – a handful
Ghee – 1 tsp
Water – 1 1/2 cup


  • Dry roast the rice flour till light brown on medium heat. 
  • 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 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

Adai is ready!!! This is generally had with a dollop of plain butter. We had it as snacks with tea.


  • Cowpeas / Karamani is generally added to this adai. Pressure cook the Karamani, mash them coarsely and add it to the flour before steaming.


  1. Delicious adai.. Love this so much...

  2. Excellent nonbu adai, i can munch few anytime.

  3. Nice to read about the story and this recipe..good one..

  4. Adai looks yummy. Good to read about this dish.

  5. Delicious adai. I love this and can have any time.

  6. Sound yummy. We make a similar dish in Andhra but stop the preparation at the steaming point.

  7. New to me. Looks delicious

  8. Interesting read and lovely adais.

  9. It is on my to do list. Yours has come out so well...

  10. Our traditional offering and it had come out so well!!