Nombu Adai 


Nombu Adai is a special neivediyam or offering to God prepared on the ocassion of Karadayan Nombu. This year the festival is celebrated today, 14 March between 10 and 10.30 am IST. This delicious sweet dish is a favorite in my household and is served with butter. Sometimes the timing for this festival was midnight or early hours of the morning, but I did not mind getting up as I knew my Mom would have prepared the delicious adais, which I will get to eat.

Now coming to the festival, this is a special ocassion celebrated in Tamil Nadu where married women pray for the longevity of their husband and young girls also observe this to get blessings of God. You could say it’s similar to Karvachuath. On this ocassion too, women get all decked up and also share half of the neivediyam with their better half.

This is my Mom’s recipe for Nombu Adai.


  • 1 cup chemba idiyappa flour or rice flour
  • 1 cup crushed jaggery,
  • 1/8 cup green gram (moong),
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder,
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut,
  • a few bay leaves,
  • 2.5 cups water,
  • 1 tbsp ghee


  • Roast the idiyappam flour or rice flour  until it emits a nice aroma
  • IMG_20160313_183841
  • Roast the moong dal until it emits an aroma and turns a little reddish. Powder it and keep it aside
  • IMG_20160313_191511
  • Powder the flour and moong dal together, adding some cardamom and sugar and keep aside
  • Heat 1/8 cup water and add the jaggery. Let it dissolve completely. Strain if needed to remove sediments and pour it back into the pan, reserving 2 spoonfuls to use at the time of shaping the Adai.  Mix in the coconut and just cook for a minute or so until they blend well
  • IMG_20160313_191555
  • In the meantime heat 2.5 cups water and bring it to a boil. Add the idiyappam flour and moong powder and stir well ensuring that there are no lumps
  • IMG_20160313_191516
  • The process should be continued until the mixture thickens, having the consistency of a halwa. Towards the end add some ghee, and the strained jaggery and mix well on slow flame
  • IMG_0532
  • Remove, cool and flatten into small circles with a tiny hole in the middle
  • If plantain leaf is available, make circles on small individual leaf cuttings, smear the jaggery syrup kept aside on  top of every adai (this will give a shine to the adai. I did not get plaintain leaves, so directly placed it on the idly steamer plates
  • Steam just as idlis. Put a few bay leaves in the water at the bottom while steaming. This will give a pleasant flavour to the adais

Enjoy the Adai and wishing you all a Happy Karadayan Nombu !


2 thoughts on “Nombu Adai 

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