Nombu Adai: Naivedyam Recipe

Karadai Nombu is a festival in Tamil Nadu when women pray for the well being and longevity of their husbands in remembrance of the Satyavan-Savithri katha. The women in the family offer Naivedyam (offerings to God) by placing Nombu adai  in a plantain leaf with betel leaves, betel nut and a ripe banana in front of the idol of God. A Charadu (Yellow sacred thread) with a flower tied to it like a pendant (in a necklace) is also placed along with the offering. What I like best about this festival is the Nombu adai that’s made for the Naivedyam. It’s usually served with a dollop of fresh home made white butter and I just leave my guilt to the winds while relishing it. This time when I visited my Mother I learnt how to make it without the excuse of the festival.

•    Rice powder – 1 cup
•    Black eyed lentils (Lobia) – 1tbsp
•    Jaggery – 1 ¼ cups.
•    Coconut shavings- 1 and 1/2 cups
•    Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
•    Ghee -1-2 tsp
•    A pinch of salt
•    Butter – 50 gm.
•    Dry roast the rice flour till a nice aroma comes out of it and keeps it aside
•    Dry roast the black eyed lentils in a pan on medium heat till it emits a nice aroma and soak it in sufficient quantity of water overnight.
•    On the day of preparation, pressure cook the black eyed lentil in the same water upto two whistles.
•    In a pan, dissolve jaggery in 1 and a half cups of water, and add the coconut and a pinch of salt to it.
•    Add the roasted rice flour and the cooked lentils together into the boiling jaggery solution, stirring all the while.
•    Add the cardamom powder and the ghee, stir well till every thing together cooks well to form a thick paste.
•    Remove from fire and allow it to cool
•    Once the dough cools down, make them into the shape of medu vadas with a hole in the center as shown in the picture.
•    Grease idli plates with ghee and steam for 5-10mins.
•    You can alternatively steam them on plantain leaves
•    Wait for 15 minutes after turning off the heat.
•    Serve with a dollop of fresh white butter.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves: 2

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