Tuesday, May 18, 2021



Today's dish is from Tamilnadu and gets its name from the principal ingredients: Lady's Fingers/Okra or Vendakkai in Tamil, and Tamarind or Puli in Tamil. 

Lady's fingers has to be one of the most common vegetables in India. Called Bhindi in Hindi, Bhenda in my mother tongue, Konkani and Bendekai in Kannada, this vegetable has numerous health benefits. It is strong in Vitamins and has good quantity of proteins as well. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with lady's fingers/okra such as:- 

Today's recipe is for a side dish called Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu and has been adapted from Kannamma Cooks. 

We enjoyed this for lunch served with hot steamed rice. 


  • Vendakkai, (Lady's Fingers/ Okra), 250 grams
  • Puli ( Tamarind), lemon sized
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Byadgi Dried Red Chillies, 2
  • Curry Leaves, 1 sprig
  • Turmeric Powder , 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Sambar Powder, 1 tsp
  • Jaggery, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 3 tbsp (1+1+1) 
For the Masala:-
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Garlic Cloves, 4-5 
  • Onions, 2
  • Tomatoes, 2
  • Coconut Gratings, 4 tbsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

Wash the lady's fingers and pat them dry, snip off the two ends and cut them into 1" pieces 
Wash and chop the tomatoes and onions, and peel the garlic
Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of warm water for about 10-15 minutes and extract the juice. 
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a thick bottomed kadhai and sauté the cut lady's fingers, adding a little salt, for about 6-8 minutes. Keep aside
In the same kadhai, add 1 tbsp of oil and on medium heat add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and garlic cloves. Saute for a few seconds, then add the chopped onions and fry till they become soft
Now add the chopped tomatoes and the coconut gratings and sauté for a few minutes
Remove from the flame and allow this to cool 
Transfer to a small mixer jar and grind to a smooth paste adding water as required
Remove and keep aside
Heat 1 tbsp oil in the kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the urad dal and fenugreek seeds and sauté till it changes colour
To this add the dried red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
Now add the freshly ground masala and the tamarind juice and mix well
Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder, sambar powder, salt and jaggery along with one cup of water and bring to a boil
Lower the flame, cover the dish and let it simmer for 15 minutes
Now add the sauteed lady's fingers, mix well and let it cook for another 5 minutes till the oil appears on the surface
Switch off the flame and transfer to serving bowl
Serve Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu with hot streamed rice 

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