Monday, November 25, 2013

Bendakai Kuzhambu | Vendakkai Kuzhambu | Okra/Bhindi Gravy | வெண்டக்காய் குழம்பு

Vendakkai Kuzhambu is a simple and delicious South-Indian rice accompaniment. Okra is cooked in grounded Indian spices. Bendakai is also called as Vendakkai, Okra or Bhindi. In India we call it as Lady's finger. Vendakkai/Okra is free from fat and Cholesterol. It is rich in anti-oxidants, fiber, Calcium, Iron and vitamin A,C, & K. It is normally included in weight-loss diet. This recipe helps to include this healthy veggie in our daily routine. 
Many avoid cooking this healthy veggie as they become slimy, sticky and gooey on cooking. Click on this link to know How to avoid stickiness in Okra. My mom's Vendakkai Kuzhambu is my favorite. Here goes the recipe.. 
Ingredients :-
 Okra    10
 Onion (finely chopped)     1  
 Tomato (finely chopped)    1 
 Mustard    ¼ tsp   
 Curry leaves    few 
 Salt to taste
To grind :- 
 Roasted gram | Pottukadalai     1 tbsp  
 Green chillies    6
 Turmeric powder    ¼ tsp  
 Cumin    1 tsp
 Grated coconut   ½ cup
 Tamarind    marble size 

Method :-
1). Make a smooth paste with the ingredients mentioned under "to grind". Keep aside. Wash and wipe* the okra. Make sure there is no moisture, otherwise it will become sticky and slimy while cooking.
 2*). Cut the okra into 1.5" pieces. Okra's has a sticky slime that oozes out of the pod when cut. You should fry away the sticky slime before proceeding to the recipe. Stir-fry the pieces without adding oil  for 3-5 minutes. (or) Microwave it for a minute. It helps to remove stickiness from the veggie. Remove and set aside. 
3). Heat Oil in a pan,  add mustard. Once it splutters add Onions, curry leaves and saute till they turn translucent. Add tomatoes and saute till tomatoes becomes mushy.
4). Add the sauteed Okra and fry for a minute.  Then add the grounded paste with 1.5cups of water and combine well.
5). Cook on a medium flame until okra is cooked and the gravy reaches thick consistency. Remove from stove and garnish with coriander leaves. 
Yummy Okra gravy is ready to serve !! Serve hot with steamed rice and appalam/boiled egg.  Notes :-
# Before chopping, wash and pat dry the okra's doubly well with clean cloth or paper towel. This is an important step to avoid the stickiness later on. 
# (step-2) The purpose is to burn-off the sticky slime, but not to burn the Okra. If Okra turns slightly brown on edges its okay.  

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 Related Posts :-
Click here for more :- Okra Recipes

Click here for more :- Rice Accompaniments
Click here for more :- Kuzhambu Recipes


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