Monday, December 9, 2013

Vendakkai Kara Kuzhambu | Bhindi Masala | Okra Masala

This is simple South Indian gravy which can be done in thirty mins or so. I have got few request to upload traditional kuzhambu recipes and here comes my first recipe of making vendakkai kara kuzhambu. Amma always have the method of adding coconut milk in her kuzhambu varieties to suppress the heat in the kuzhambu and it also enhances the taste… I generally don’t like to eat kuzhambu with idli or dosa, but this kuzhambu is an exception. Since we add coconut milk it gives an extra ordinary flavor and it can even be served for idli or dosa.

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20-30 mins


½ cup of peeled shallots
1 small onion
2 ripe tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves
1 lemon sized tamarind ball
¼ kg ladies finger/ okra/ vendakkai 
1-2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
½ cup coconut milk
Salt (to taste)
1tbsp Sesame oil

To temper

1tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
Fistful of curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida
1-2 red chillies (optional)

How to make it

  • Soak the tamarind ball in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Extract the juice from it. Adding hot/warm water quicken the process.
  • Chop equal size of the okra and set aside.
  • Peel the skin of shallots and chop roughly. Finely chop the onions and tomatoes. Either chop the garlic cloves finely or crush in a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.

  • In a kadai heat oil and temper the items given. Add the shallots and onions together. Fry for some time in the oil till the colors changes. Throw the garlic in between and keep stirring.

  • Now add the okras and sauté further. This is to make sure the okra and cooked in the oil before adding the tomatoes.

  • Once the okra and sautéed well, add the tomatoes and blend well. Tomatoes should turn gooey and then add the spice powders to the masalas.

  • Simmer down the stove to make sure the masalas are not burnt. Then add the tamarind juice and blend it well.

  • Check for salt and this stage and even for the spiciness. Add some more chilli powder if u need any.
  • Allow it to boil by closing the lid. Dilute the gravy by adding little of water. Continue to boil in medium flame.

  • Once the gravy reaches the consistency add coconut milk and blend again. Switch off the stove before it starts to boil. Don’t ever close the kadai with the lid after adding the milk.
  • Serve hot with idli/dosa or with steamed rice and with any dry curry of choice.