Bendakaya Vepudu is a very easy to make koora that is ready in a jiffy and an absolute delight as a side-dish for pappu pulusu annam, sambhar rice, or simple curd rice.
Bendakaya/Bhindi/Okra – 1/2 Kg
Oil – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to Taste
Wash and dry the bendakaya.
Chop of the ends.
Cut the bhindi into 1/4″pieces.
In a wok/kadai, heat the oil.
Add the bendakaya pieces and mix well.
Turn the heat to medium heat.
Fry the bendakaya till the edges just start to turn brown.
Stir every 2 mins or so.
After the bendakaya is cooked, add the salt and mix well.
Turn off the heat.
Add the red chilli powder and mix well.
Serve hot with rice or rotis.
Do not cover the bhindi while cooking. If you do, it will turn all sticky.
You could add onion to this koora. If you do then, add the onion pieces after the bendakaya is half-fried. This is because the onion cooks faster than the bendakaya. So, if fry the onion before the bendakaya, it will get charred.
Fry the bendakaya over medium heat. Do not turn the heat to high as then the bendakaya pieces will char but not cook.
Vangi Bhaat is one of those classic dishes that is popular at Maharashtrian weddings and religious functions. I have always loved its mild flavour and am tempted to make it every time I see small plump brinjals (vangi = brinjals in Marathi) in the market.
Adding the star anise segment is a secret that one of my Maharashtrian friends told me about and I love the fragrance that star anise lends to the dish!
Ingredients for the Vangi Bhaat Masala
Red Chillies – 3 or 4
Udad Dal – 2 tsp
Chana Dal – 2 tsp
Cinnamon – 2″ pieces
Cloves – 4 or 5
Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
Star Anise – 1 Segment
Oil – 2 tsp
Ingredients for the Rice
Rice – 1.5 Cups
Small/Baby Brinjals – 8 to 10
Onion – 1 Medium sized (optional)
Cashew Nuts – 8 to 10
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Tamarind Pulp – 1/2 tsp
Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (Optional)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Red Chillies – 2 or 3
Curry Leaves – A Few
Salt to Taste
Method for Making Vangi Bhaat Masala
Heat the oil.
Fry udad dal and chana dal till golden brown.
Add the cloves and cinnamon. Fry for a minute.
Add coriander seeds, star anise segment, and red chillies. Fry for a couple of minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Grind to a fine powder.
Method for Making the Vangi Bhaat
Pressure cook the rice with 2.5 Cups of water.
Spread on a plate to cool.
Cut the brinjals into quarters.
Chop the onion finely.
In a kadai/wok, heat the oil.
Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
Add the split cashew nuts and peanuts.
Fry for about 2 minutes or till the peanuts start to pop.
Add the red chillies and fry for a minute.
Add the onion and fry till it is transparent.
Add the brinjal pieces and fry till cooked.
Add the Vangi Bhaat masala and fry for about a minute.
Add the tamarind pulp and jaggery.
Cook till the jaggery melts.
Add the curry leaves.
Add the rice and mix well.
Add salt and mix well.
Serve hot with papad, vadiyalu or vadams.
You can add about 2 tbsp of copra or freshly grated coconut to the Vangi Bhaat masala.
You can add about 1/4 tsp of turmeric to the step 12 when making the rice.
You know the brinjal is cooked when you can cut it with the spoon or ladle.
You could add a splash of water in step 11 to make the brinjals cook faster.