I love to stick to some tradition and custom which my mom taught me while growing up and love to celebrate the festivals and birthday on that rather than that week or month. That is me; I don’t want to judge anybody. Last Friday that is on March 14th 2014 we had a religious festival called Savithri Nombu or Karadaiyan Nombu for that I made this Karadaiyan nombu adai, there is sweet and salt version for this steamed flat rice cakes.
Karadaiyan Nombu or Karadayan Nonbu is a major Tamil brahmin festival which is celebrated at the time on Meena Sankranti or Sankramana usually comes in the month of March. It is celebrated at the moment when Tamil month Maasi ends and month Panguni starts. Karadai is the name of a unique Nivedyam prepared on this day and Nombu means Vratham or Upavasam.
Legend is that Savitri beautiful princess got her husband Satyavan who died on that day brought back from Yama, the Lord of Death on the very same day. Due to this legend Karadaiyan Nombu is also known as Savithri Vratam. Read more about Satyavan and Savitri from here . On Karadayan Nonbu day women worship Goddess Gowri and offer her Karadiyan Nombu Nivedyam. After Puja women tie the sacred yellow cotton thread known as Manjal Saradu or Nonbu Charadu for well-being of their husband.
Married women observe it for long lives of their husband while unmarried girls observe it to get ideal person as their husband. On this day married women and young girls wear yellow robes and pray to Hindu Goddesses for long life for their husband or to get ideal person as their husband in the future.
The fast for Karadayan Vritham is observed from sunrise on the transition day when God Surya moves from Kumbha Rashi (Aquarius) to Meena Rashi( Pisces) . Fast breaking time for Savitri Nombu might fall any time between current day Sunrise to next day Sunrise depending on time of Meena Sankramana. I have seen amma used to wait until sometime late night or early morning to do these pooja rituals. Both I and sister will also join as we are unmarried girls. This time I was joined with my little princess, did exactly what my mom used to do it on that day.
According to legend savitri was staying in forest and making the goodies so it is really simple and made with daily used ingredients, like rice powder, jaggery( sarakarai), coconut, karamani( black eyed peas) for sweet version. And savory version is made with rice powder, karamani, coconut, salt, green chili, mustard seeds and curry leaves asafeotida( hing) . However only sweet version is offered to god and you only serve one sweet adai. While praying we have to chant like this
Urukkatha vennayum Oradayum notren
Orukalum en kanavan piriyathirukkanam
which can be translated as “I offer butter and one adai, bless that me and my husband will stay together always.”
Savory version is eaten after the sweet version.
For this recipe you need to make fresh rice flour from the soaked rice, rice should soaked for 1 hour and then drained and dried for 1o minutes and then ground into powder. Sift so that you will get only very fine powder. Then fry this rice powder for 7-8 minutes until it releases aroma.
Then add this to jaggery (raw brown sugar) , coconut, cooked black eyed peas mixture and make dough then make it into thick flat cake or disc with a hole in the center. Later it is steamed for 10 minutes or until it has shiny surface. Then it is served with piece of butter.
For savory version, first make seasoning with mustard, urad dal, red and green chili, curry leaves and hing( asafetodia) . Then add water and when water starts boiling add roasted rice flour, cooked black eyed peas, coconut pieces and salt. Then make dough and later flatten the dough into thick disc with hole in the center and steam it and serve it with butter.
It takes ½ day work, so make sure to prepare ahead. Here comes the recipe.