Bendakaya Pulusu is a dish that my father is inordinately fond of. For him it is an integral part of his childhood memories and the food made by his mother. It is a dish that I learnt from Daddy and so it is dear to me too.
Bendakaya (called Bhindi in Hindi, Okra or Lady’s Finger in English, Vendakka is Tamil) is a popular vegetable in my home. We most commonly make a stir-fry called Bendakaya Vepudu, but in special occasions may indulge in Bendakaya Perugu Pachadi or Vendakka Kichadi. Then there is this recipe for Bendakaya Pulusu.
I like Bendakaya Pulusu because if I am make this tangy, spicy stew all that is needed to complete a meal is steamed rice and some papad. Also, because this Pulusu does not use any dal/pappu, it is very light on the stomach.
How to Make Andhra Bendakaya Pulusu
This Bendakaya Pulusu is a spicy, tangy Okra stew from Andhra Pradesh. Pair it with some steamed rice and papad, and you have a complete meal!
- 2 Cups Chopped Bendakaya, Okra Cut them 1" pieces
- 3/4 Cup Sliced Onions
- 1/2 Cup Cup Finely Chopped Tomato
- 1 tsp Finely Chopped Garlic Optional
- 1.5 tbsp Thick Tamarind Pulp
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 tsp Chilli Powder
- 1/4 tsp Tumeric Powder
- 1 tsp Avalu, Rai, Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Jeelakarra, Jeera, Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Menthulu, Methi Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds
- 2 tbsp Oil Sesame Oil preferred
- Salt to Taste
Dilute the tamarind paste in 2 cups water.
In a kadai, heat the oil.
Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
Add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds.
Stir-fry till the cumin and fenugreek seeds start to change colour.
Add the sliced onions and fry till they are transparent.
If you are using garlic, add it now and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the bendakaya/okra pieces.
Stir-fry till the bendakaya/okra pieces and onion just start to brown.
Add the tomato pieces and stir-fry till the tomato pieces start to stew.
Add the turmeric and chilli powder.
Add the tamarind water.
Cover and cook till the bendakaya/okra pieces are cooked.
Add salt and mix well.
Serve with steamed rice and Saggubiyyam Vadiyalu, Pela Vadiyalu or Aviri Vadiyalu.