April 15 was Vishu, the Malayalee New Year. I had planned an elaborate set of posts but did not get around to doing anything because work was very hectic as was my social life with engagements, weddings, and plays on the list. However, I am not the one to give in so easily and I made Vendakka Kichadi; quite simply because it gets done in a jiffy and is perfect for the sultry weather that we are suffering in Mumbai.
Vendakka Kichadi is a more elaborate cousin of the simple Bendakaya Perugu Pachadi (Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi or Bhindi Raita) and is often found to be a part of Onam or Vishu Sadya. The coconut, cumin and green chillies that are added to the yoghurt elevate the simple raita to a new level. 🙂
How to Make Vendakka Kichadi for Onam Sadya or Vishu Sadya
Time: 45 Minutes
- Bendakaya, Vendakka, Bhindi or Okra – 12 to 15
- Yogurt or Dahi – 2 Cups
- Grated Coconut – 1/3 Cup
- Green Chillies – 3
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chillies – 2
- Curry Leaves – 6 to 8
- Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt to Taste
- Wash the okra and pat dry.
- Chop off the ends.
- Cut each okra into 1/4″ thick pieces.
- Heat 1.5 tbsp oil.
- Add the okra to it.
- Over medium flame, stir-fry the okra till the pieces are crisp.
- While the okra is frying:
- Beat the yogurt till it is smooth.
- Grind the coconut, cumin, and green chillies into a coarse paste along with a little water.
- Add the paste to the yogurt and mix well.
- Add salt and mix well.
- When the okra pieces are fried, turn the heat to low.
- Add the spiced yogurt and mix well.
- Cook over low heat for a few minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
- To temper:
- Heat 1/2 tbsp oil.
- Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add the split red chillies and curry leaves.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the tempering to the Vendakka Pachadi.
- Serve as a side-dish during a regular meal.
- Use coconut oil, if possible; it lends a beautiful flavour to the Kichadi.
- If you like your bhindi to be crisp, add the yogurt just before eating.