Aadi Sevvai Manjal Pongal and Thalagam (Aadi Chevvai)
Aadi Sevvai (Aadi Chevvai) are the Tuesdays in the Tamil month of Aadi. Aadi is the 4th month in Tamil Calendar year. Though this month is considered inauspicious of certain things like marriages etc, still Usually during Fridays and Tuesdays in the month of Aadi, many women keep fasting, chant all Devi slokas and pray to Goddess Parvati. There is a special fasting they call it as “Ovvai Nonbu“. Kozhukattai made with rice flour and jaggery is a Prasad prepared for this nonbu. Temples decorate the idols of Goddess Parvati in different forms like Durga, Chamundeswari and many other forms of Devi.
In villages there is a tradition, especially in Tirnunelveli district of TamilNadu. Unmarried girls gather together on Aadi tuesday and they go to the riverbanks of Tamaraibharani river, take bath in the holy river and after dressing up, they go and see the darshan of Goddess and return to their homes. In homes, they consider the unmarried girls as the form of Goddess Parvati and treat them with Manjal Pongal (Yellow Rice+dal) and Thalagam.
There is a song that the girls will sing when they are coming back from the river
ஆடி செவ்வாய் தேடிக்குளி
அரைச்ச மஞ்சள் பூசிக்குளி
அறையாத மஞ்சளை எனக்கு தா
தொடுத்த பூவை நீ வச்சிக்கோ
தொடுக்காத போவ எனக்கு தா
மாடப்புறா மஞ்சள் அரை
கோயில் கொளத்துல குளிச்சு வா
Its a belief that ladies have to take hair bath, apply turmeric for the body and keep fasting and pray to Goddess Parvati for their wellness of their husband.This tradition is slowly fading away. Still my MIL recalled this wonderful tradition she followed in her childhood and wanted to share with you all along with the recipe of Manjal Pongal and Thalagam.
This Manjal pongal is not the conventional Ven Pongal that we make for breakfast where we dry fry the moong dal and rice and pressure cook with pepper, green chili, ginger, and many other spices. This Manjal Pongal is very simple. Its just the rice with toor dal along with turmeric, salt and sesame oil, pressure cooked. There are no spices added other than turmeric and salt. The reason we add sesame oil is that it will help the dal to cook with the rice.
Thalagam is a traditional Tirunelveli Delicacy made using multiple seasonal vegetables. For Thiruvathirai Festival it’s served with Thiruvathirai Kali as an offering to god. We use atleast seven different types of vegetables to make this kuzhambu. Also it’s in thick consistency hence its also called 7 kari kootu.
Please refer the Recipe of Thalagam in this link.
Aadi Chevvai - Manjal Pongal
For Manjal Pongal
- 1 Cup Raw Rice 1 Cup - 250ml
- ½ Cup Toor Dal (Pigeon pea)
- a Pinch Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Salt As Needed
- Take Rice and toor dal in a vessel. Wash it thoroughly twice and then add a pinch of turmeric.
- Add 5 cups of water to the rice and dal.
- Add a teaspoon of sesame oil and salt and pressure cook for about 4-5 whistles