Vendakkai Puli Kulambu Recipe or Vendakkai Puli Pachadi. This is served along with rice for lunch with any dry curry or kootu for side dish. 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 and dosa.
Notes while making Vendakkai Puli Kulambu:
1. Instead of regular 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.
2. Instead of sambar powder, you can also add store bought kulambu chilli powder.
3. If you do have jagggery on hand, use sugar instead but jaggery is highly recommended.
4. 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.
5. If you do not have sesame oil, use any other vegetable oil for cooking.
Vendakkai Puli Kulambu Recipe details below:
- 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 3/4 cup of hot water and extract its pulp and keep aside.
- Chop onions finely 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.
- Add onion and sauté till it turns translucent.
- Add vendakkai (okra), a pinch of salt and cook over low flame for 2 minutes till it softens and gets partly cooked.
- Add the tamarind extract and let it come to a boil. Add turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt, mix well.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes till the raw smell disappears and the kulambu thickens 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. Switch off the stove.
- Add grated jaggery, mix well and close with a lid and let it rest for 5 minutes for all the flavors to merge well.
- Serve this Vendakkai Puli Kulambu with hot rice to which a dash of ghee has been added and enjoy your lunch.