I love anything with vendakkai/okra
and luckily it happens to be one of the vegetable that is loved by all at home as well. At my side of family, while we call this vendakkai gravy as puli kulmabu, in my MIL’s side they call it as Vendakkai Puli Pachadi with a slight variation in the recipe. I simply combined both the styles and started to make my own version which we all at home love. What ever be the name, its hard not to love this okra in tamarind sauce as it happens to be a significant South Indian gravy for lunch.
Of course there happens to be another version as well where I make it with a ground paste that is added to the gravy but this one is simple, quick and will make a nice variation to the usual sambar that you will make daily for lunch. Usually tomatoes are not used to make this one but if you want you can always add but make sure to adjust the amount of tamarind pulp as you may end up with a much tangier kulambu. You can also have it as a side dish for idli
Vendakkai Puli Kulambu Recipe
Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins | Serves: 3
Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Lunch
- Vendakkai / Bhindi / Okra – 1/4 kgs
- Tamarind – 1 small lemon size
- Onion – 1
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Sambar powder – 2 tsp
- Rice flour – 1 tsp
- Jaggery, grated – 1 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Vengaya kari vadagam – 1/4 tsp
- Whole dry red chili – 2
- Asafetida – 1/8 tsp
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
- Wash and wipe the vendakkai / okra and cut into into thin round slices. Chop the onions finely.
- Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water and extract its pulp and keep aside.
- Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add vengaya kari vadagam, fenugreek seeds, broken whole red chili, asafetida and curry leaves and sauté for 1/2 minute till you get the aroma.
- Now add the onion and sauté till it translucent. Now add the chopped vendakkai/okra, a pinch of salt and cook over low flame for 2 minutes till it softens and gets partly cooked.
- Now add the tamarind extract and let it come to a boil. Add turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt, mix well and cook for 5-7 minutes till the raw smell disappears and the kulambu will thicken a bit.
- Mix rice flour in 1/4 cup of water and add it to the kulambu. Turn the flame to high and cook for 1-2 minute and you can see the kulambu thickening further. When you dip the spoon in the kulambu it should coat the back of that spoon. That is the right consistency. Take off the stove.
- Now add the grated jaggery, mix well and close with a lid and let it be for 5 minutes for all the flavors to mingle well.
- Serve hot with steaming rice to which a dash of ghee has been added and enjoy an aromatic lunch.
- Instead of big onions you can also use sambar onions or shallots. But remember that they have a sweet taste to them and and you may want to skip the jaggery at the end.
- Instead of sambar powder, you can also add store bought kulambu chilli powder.
- If you do have jagggery at hand, use sugar instead but jaggery is highly recommended.
- You can skip the vengaya kari vadagam for seasoning if you do not have. But I love to add them as they lend a wonderful flavor to the kulambu.
- If you do not have sesame oil, use any other vegetable oil for cooking.
Labels: Gluten Free, Kulambu Varieties, South Indian Lunch, Vegan Recipes, Vegetable: Ladies Finger/Vendakai/Okra