The Karadayan Nonbu is celebrated in the phalguni (Panguni) month and falls around 14th or 15th of March. Women observe fasting till the birth of the new month, do pooja, tie yellow thread around their neck, offer sweet adai and butter to God and pray for long, healthy and happy life for them and their husbands.Young girls and children also can do this.

The Story Behind Karadayan Nonbu

It all started with Savitri who by observing this Nonbu got boons from Yama, the God of Death. Savitri was a beautiful and intelligent princess of Madra who chose Satyavan as her life partner although she knew he was destined to die in a year. Satyavan lived in a forest with his aged blind parents who had lost their kingdom to their enemy. When Yama appeared, Savitri with her presence of mind, smartness and devotion impressed Yama to bless her with five boons that could grant her anything except for Satyavan’s life. She asked for healthy life, got back their lost kingdom and eyesight of in-laws and finally 100 sons thereby indirectly winning over Satyavans life!

This day is celebrated by remembering her story to infuse ourselves with the same strength and determination to face hardships in life.

Now the recipe for the Adai!

Sweet adai



One glass Rice powder,
Jaggery(lal gud),
coconut shredding or coconut pieces ,
elaichi powder,
one handful of karamani (lal chowli or payaru,black eyed beans),
2 spoonful ghee

The ratio of rice powder:jaggery:water is 1:1 1/4 :2


For Rice Powder:
Soak rice in water for atleast two hours . Drain the water. Spread it on a cloth for half an hour and powder the rice nicely . Dry roast the rice powder till you can draw lines with it (rice powder should flow smoothly and continuously without lumps)

Note: One glass of rice powder gives two glasses of wet powder. When you roast it again till it gets a slight reddish tinch, then it reduces in volume and again you get one glass of roasted powder

You can prepare the rice powder one day in advance and store it.You can use rice powder bought from stores too if you get good quality powder.

The next step is to roast karamani slightly till it becomes hot . Add water and cook it till it breaks (It should not be cooked too much but just enough to break).


Now add water and one and quarter measure of jaggery and boil it. When the jaggery mixes nicely with water,add more water.For one glass of rice powder, there should be two glasses of water. When the water boils, add the coconut shredding or pieces. Gradually add the rice powder and mix well till it leaves the sides of the pan and becomes a dough .

Add elaichi powder and two spoonful of ghee. The dough is ready. Make small adais with a hole in the middle and small cylindrical balls (kozhakattais to accompany the adais). Steam it for some time till it becomes shiny which shows it is well cooked.


The Sour and Salty Adais


Roasted rice powder,
2 spoonful urad dal ,
one spoon of rai,
green chillies,
piece of ginger,
a small cup,
salt to taste

Grind green chilles and ginger and make a paste. Heat oil in a pan,add rai and urad dal when rai splutters and urad dal is roasted red, add water.


For one cup of rice powder , add two cups of water.Add coconut pieces or shredding,green chilli paste and salt. Bring the solution to boil. Add the roasted rice powder slowly so that it does not form lumps and becomes a smooth dough. The dough for salt adai is ready.


Now make small adais with a hole in the center . place them in idli plates and steam them till they are shiny and well cooked.




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