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.
- Set aside
Making the Bendakaya Pulusus
- 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.