I learnt this recipe many years back from a TV show. Its a dish from Chetinadu cuisine. I have made small changes in that recipe to suit our taste. Lady’s finger/ Okra is known as vendakai in Tamil and bhindi in Hindi.
Vendakai is rich in dietary fibre, vitamins A, B and C. It is also rich in minerals like iron, calcium and potassium. It’s good for diabetic patients and also people who are anaemic. It also helps in lowering blood cholesterol and aids weight loss due to its high fibre content.
I made this after a long time for lunch today. My family really enjoyed having this and I hope you all would like it too:)
Vendakai ( lady’s finger/ bhindi) – 1/4th kg
Peeled Shallots ( sambar onions) – 1/2 cup
Tomato – 3 medium sized
Garlic – 4/5 cloves
Tamarind – lemon sized
Grated jaggery – 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder ( dhania powder) – 2 tsps
Thick coconut extract – 1/2 cup
( if making with coconut powder, mix 4tbsps of the powder with little less than 1/2 cup of water)
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbsps
For the tempering
Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds ( saunf/ sombu) – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds( methi/ vendhayam) – 1/2tsp
Slit green chillies – 2
Red chillies – 2-3
Curry leaves – few
Soak tamarind in 2 cups of water for 30 mins. Squeeze well and take the extract. Keep it aside.
Wash and cut the vendakai into 2 inches pieces.
Wash and chop the tomatoes.
Slice the shallots finely.
Crush and chop the garlic.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it starts spluttering, add fennel seeds, fenugreek, red chillies, green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté for few seconds and then add the chopped garlic.
Sauté for few seconds and add the sliced onions. Sauté till the onion turns pale and add the chopped tomatoes and vendakai.
Sauté for a min and then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Mix well and sauté for a min or two.
Then add the tamarind extract and grated jaggery. Let it boil well till the vendakai becomes soft.
Reduce the flame and add the coconut extract. Mix well and check for the seasonings. Let it simmer for few mins.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice drizzled with little melted ghee and pappadam/ vadam 🙂