Monday, March 19, 2007

Karadayan Nonbu

I just cannot believe that it is already one year since I wrote about Karadayan Nonbu. It cetainly doesn’t feel like that long. Time really flies. The usual question people ask us when we meet is, “ How do you spend your time”. I can only ask them in reply, “what time?” I can actually hear my sons saying, ”you will never get time.” It is true, I somehow manage to fill my time to the brim with the result that my only complaint always is that I don’t have enough time.

We are back to the malayalam month of Meena or Panguni in Tamil. As usual we observed Karadayan nonbu on the 1st of Meena. This year, the sankrama was at 2.30am on the 15th and hence the priest conveniently announced that 6.30-7.30pm on the 14th would be the auspicious time to do the pooja. When I asked him why he advanced the time, he said, “Madam, nobody will get up at that hour and observe the puja. 6.30-7.30pm on the 14th is auspicious for conducting any puja as per the Panchanga." The priests have to be very diplomatic these days. I can remember times when we would keep awake till 11.30pm to do the puja or would wake up at 1.00am and get ready to do the puja. I must admit, however, that I also did the puja at about 7.30pm on the 14th this year. Our family priest has many fine qualities, but when it comes to mixing the practical with the spiritual, he excels himself.

An interesting point about this puja is that in our village (I don’t know about other places) and also in my husband’s village, jasmine or other types of flowers are not offered during this puja. The flowers offered are what are known as Arali in Malayalam which has a sweet frangrance. As in the past years we managed to get the flowers from a nearby garden this year also.


As usual, I prepared both vella adai and kara adai as per my tried and tested recipe. Some of my friends say, they use karamani or chickpeas in place of green gram dal. I feel green gram dal gives body to the adai and also makes it very soft.


Although, I had blogged about the recipe last year, I didn’t have the pictures for it then. Each of these pictures follows the various steps in making the adais: making the balls out of the dough, flattening them, placing them on the steamer and then finally the steamed adais.




After preparing the adais, I got ready for the puja. There is one place for each female member of the family, however small the girl is. Even if there is only one female member, usually we never have one neyvedyam kolam (rangoli). It is usually two. I offer the neyvedyam and charadu for the Tulsi plant.

After the kolam is made, the puja offering is prepared thus: A banana leaf is put on each kolam. One sweet adai, one kozhukkattai and butter, two bananas, betel leaves and nuts, two pieces of turmeric, arali flowers and the all important Nonbu Charadu.



After doing the puja, the charadu is tied around the neck and the neyvedyam is partaken by the offerers. (This is one of the few occasions that ladies get to eat before men). Though you can have any number of adais, it is only one adai and one kozhukkattai kept during the puja, The verses for the puja are

Urukkatha vennayum Oradayum notren
Orukalum en kanavan piriyathirukkanam


which can be translated as “I offer butter and one adai, let me and my husband be together always."

The Uppadai or the savoury adai is also not offered as neyvedyam. It is only to have as a savoury item after the sweet adais.

25 comments:

Sharmi said...

Hi Ammu, My pet name is the same too, I feel like I am calling myself. It is so nice to learn a Culture and tradition of different state.This is something similar to the varalakshmi pooja we do in Andhra.but tie the sacred thread in our hands.

cheers
sharmi

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have been a long time visitor of your blog, and just wanted to say how incredibly interesting your writing is. I am Malayali as well and grew up in Cochin in the 90's, but your words are a window into a kind of Kerala that is quickly disappearing..
I hope you keep writing for a long, long, long time :)
Uma

Aahaar Vihaar said...

Hi Ammu,
From childhood until i got married, we used to go to my grandma's house for karadayan nonbu. I love the adai with that dollop of butter on top. I am missing all that now. You have a wonderful blog.

Santhi said...

Hi Ammu,

It is so refreshing to read about Kerala Iyers..and of course, the various traditions that we have...we tend to ignore it all in this fast paced life with personal and professional responsibilities...reading your blog brought me back the memories of nonbu which we used to celebrate at home...:-)

Sowram said...

Hi Ammupatti,
All these years I would make a payasam and tie my nombu charadu. Each time I go to India I would forget to ask my mother to show how it is made. Then over the phone it was never clear. This time thanks to your nombadai recipe I made them for neyvedyam.

Anonymous said...

so if there is a karadyan nonbu there must be other kinds of nonbu also?

Anonymous said...

yes! a 'bear' nonbu and a set of non bare 'highly decorated' ones? why is it called a bear nonbu i wonder.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post on nombu.... I love the kozhukattais and adais.... I am not married, so amma always tells me I can skip making the adais if I want and just tie the nombu... But I love them so much that, I wouldnt dream of doing it...

Also, my mother always put roasted karamani in the adais and it adds a nice crunchy texture... I didnt know they could be skipped....

Ammupatti said...

see my note for not adding karamani

Ammupatti said...

Hi Sowram

I am sure you mom must have been thrilled to know that you could make adais for neyvedyam.

Best wishes

Pushpa said...

Hi Ammupatti,

I am married to a palakkad iyer, never had anyone teach me their way of cooking, thanks to you I am able to try out most of the recipes. Even tried the adai... taste was good but it became slightly mushy... any solution to this??? Anway keep up the good work... Really helped me a lot!!! :)

Ammupatti said...

Hi Pushpa

I am glad you could try and get almost good results. The mushiness could be either because the rice flour was not roasted to the right degree or the quantity of water was more. Though you may have used water according to the direction I gave, some types of rice requie less water and some more. Better luck next time.

Happy Vishu!

Pushpa said...

Dear Ammupatti,

Thanks for the solution to the Adai...Will definitely try it next time....Happy Vishu to you and your family too!!!

Latha said...

Dear maami,

I found this photo in tamil magazine aval vikatan which resembles your nonbu picture (i think they have only changed the background colour to red). You might want to clarify with them:) The link is http://www.vikatan.com/aval/2008/mar/14032008/avl0202.asp

Ammupatti said...

Hi Latha

Thanks for the information. I tried to look at the web page, but could not open it.

It is very sad to note that people have no qualms about making use of others' hard work and enjoy the fruit.

Latha said...

Hello maami,

I think the link doesn't work because it's a subscribed magazine. You must be knowing vikatan group of publications is very popular in tamil. This was their recent issue of aval vikatan. I too was quite taken aback that such a popular magazine would do something like this.

sudha said...

Hello Ammupatti,

By chance, I saw this blog, and felt very happy to note that even now it is active. Though I follow the Samaithuppar of Meenakshi Ammal, I found all your recipes very interesting and simply transmitted me to a time of 15-20 years behind, when I used to enjoy the delicious preparations of my beloved mother's hands. Though now she is no more, I always follow the way she used to make the things and when I get the same result, I share it with my younger sister. Now I feel like saying that through your blog, I got n-number of sisters, friends and one lovely Ammuppatti (the addresseing itself gives a nive feeling and pleasure)

Deepa said...

WOW.... what an amazing Blog... I love the piece on festivals and Iyer traditions... when my north indian friends tell me that after Diwali, the only festival they have is Holi, I happily reel off Karthigai, Thiruvathurai, Sankranthi, Thai Poosam, Nombu, Ram Navami etc... such wonderful traditions.. thank you, Ammu Patti.

Loots of Love & a BIG HUG to you ( I miss my patti so much)

Deepa

Anonymous said...

Hi, I loved the pics of karadayanonbu of March 2007. Am using one in my google talk . Great recipies, great pics.

shubha said...

dear ammupaatti,
i had posted a comment in ur blog abt a yr back & i also got a prompt reply frm u...i was expecting my second baby then & ur recipes were satiating my endless craving for sweets...well, i was blessed with a baby girl in july 2009...now shes is around 8 months old and vry naughty...
thank u ammupaatti for ur wonderful recipes...keep writing more of such traditional recipes..it surely is a great guide for novices like us :)

Ammupatti said...

Hi anonymous

Thanks

Ammupatti said...

Hi Shubha

Congratulations and best wishes to you and your new born.

Swathi said...

Ammupatti subu's kitchen is copied your photo of nombu nivedyam.

http://www.subbuskitchen.com/2009/03/karadayan-nonbu.html

Ammupatti said...

Hi Swathi. Thank you very much for looking out for me. I have emailed the proprietor of that blog. I hope they are up-standing people to do the right thing.

Thanks
Ammupatti

Shanmathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.