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Karadai Nombu is a ritual that is of great significance to married women in South India. As legend has it, Savitri with her great devotion...

Karadai for Nombu ( Festival Series)

Karadai Nombu is a ritual that is of great significance to married women in South India. As legend has it, Savitri with her great devotion was able to win back her dead husband's life. She made sweet, (kara) spicy adai and offered with butter (not melted) for the well being and long life of her husband. The recipe posted below is one that my sister shared with me after I got married. It is fool proof and makes 6 sweet and 6 salty karadai's.


Rice cooker
Idli Plates
Sauce pan
Wok or heavy bottom pan - 2
Cutting Board
Measuring Cups
Paper towel


Long grain rice - 1 cup roasted until it turns white.
Green Chilli - 1 sliced
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a few shakes
Curry leaves - a few
Cilantro- a few strands chopped
Karamani - 2 tbsp (soaked and cooked)
Salt to taste
Jaggery -1 cup ( use round darker color jaggery and please check the sweetness of jaggery.If not too sweet add 1/4 cup more)
Cardamon - 1 pod powdered
Coconut - 1/4 cup grated
Oil - 2 tsp ( 1 tsp for seasoning and 1 tsp for prepping the idli plates)
Water 2 cups for cooking the karadai and 1/2 cup water to melt the jaggery


1. Roast the rice and powder the rice. Divide the rice flour equally.

2. Add jaggery to 1/2 cup hot water and melt the jaggery. Strain to remove any stones in the bottom.

3.Boil 1 cup of water add 1/2 cup of rice flour and cook it until the water almost starts to disappear ( less than 2 minutes). Start adding jaggery water and cook it to reach a upuma consistency. Add coconut, cardamon and karamani. Cover and set aside.

4. Heat the pan. Add oil, mustard seeds and green chillis. When the mustard seeds pops add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil. Add salt, karamani and 1/2 cup rice flour and cook it until it forms a dough. Add coconut, curry leaves and cilantro mix well and set aside.

5. Spread oil on the idli plates. Pour 1 cup of water into the rice cooker and turn it on.

6. Wet your hand with some water and oil. Taking a lime size of dough pat it to form thin patties and make a hole in the center and place it on the idli plate.

7. Place the set of idli plates in the rice cooker and steam cook it. ( I am hoping your rice cooker is big enough to hold the idli plate else use your idli cooker/pressure cooker.)

8. The color of both the sweet and salt karadai will look a little pale when cooked( 10 minutes).

9. Remove from the idli plate and allow to cool on a plate. Serve with unsalted butter.


  1. My husband's a Tamilian, Srimathi, and he always loves it when I make traditional recipes that he ate growing up. Thanks for sharing this.
    To answer your question on the fenugreek seeds in my recipe, no, they are not too bitter because the soaking and cooking actually mellows them down.

  2. Adai looks perfect and yummy. We also made this but forget to click. Happy Nombhu.

  3. Adai prasadam looks divine. Happy Nonbu dear.

  4. Awesome recipe. I followed it and was able to do both kids of karadai... thank you... your recipe was well documented. good job

  5. Thanks to your recipie the karadai was tasty and yummy especially the sweet one.