Vendakkai aka Lady’s finger aka Okra is my favorite vegetable specially when made crispy and shallow fried to a golden brown. I love it as a side to the thayir sadam. Moving to the US, I sure missed my willowy favorite for all I could find were the short stubby cousin of the vendakkai I grew up with. I was told growing up that consuming vendakkai could do wonders for my pathetic Math scores. Now, I realize nothing could have helped 🙂
Stuff you will need:
Okra/Vendakkai – 1 lb sliced into 1/4 inch pieces horizontally.
Sambar powder/Paprika – 1.5 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Urad Dhal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
How to make it?
In a shallow kadai, heat oil till its hot enough. Add mustard and urad dhal and let cook till mustard bursts and the urad dhal turns a golden brown. Add asafoetida. Now add the cut okra and let it be coated with the oil. Let cook till the oil is absorbed and then add the salt and sambar powder. If sambar powder is not available, add a mix of paprika and ground coriander seed powder (dhania). Mix well and let the okra cook on low medium heat till well done. Remove and serve hot with rice.
Cutting the okra and letting it dry allows for a nice crisp curry without the standard stickiness associated with okra. This curry does ask for a little more oil than associated with regular south indian curries.