Monday, 8 October 2007

Vendakkai pachadi (Spicy Okra with lentils)

This is one of my signature dishes, mainly as it meets the elusive balance of being appreciated by S and maintaining a no-protest status from the children. This is from ‘Rs 15 cook book’ (that’s the nickname for my precious book) that I picked up in Chennai road side. S has never been keen on Okra until he tasted this. It is also one of my Veggie camouflage dish. The smaller troops don’t realize what goes down their throat and the battle is won without a war. If only mothers had a say in the decision making process, the world would be a better place. Me and my wishful thinking!

To the recipe now


  • Vendakkai (Okra) - 200 gms (sliced very thinly)
  • Onion medium size – 1 chopped
  • Tomato – 1 chopped
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Sambhar powder – 2 Tbsp (if not using sambhar powder substitute with 1 Tbsp of Corriander powder and 1Tbsp od chilli powder)
  • Tamarind – size of half lemon
  • Garlic – 1 clove (chopped or sliced)
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Mustard seeds – 1 Tbsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Oil for cooking
  • Salt according to taste
  • Paruppu (yellow lentils ) – ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Pressure cook the lentils with some turmeric powder until half cooked. Soak the tamarind in little water and heat it for a minute in microwave (high) and sqeeze the juice out. Heat the oil (sesame oil tends to add a special flavour for this dish) and when hot enough add the mustard seeds. When they start popping add the urad dal. When the dal turns brown add the curry leaves and then the chopped onions and garlic. Fry until the onions are soft. Then add the sliced okra and keep frying. The pan tends to brown rapidly during this process and it is important to turn the veggie. After 5 minutes, add the green chillies (whole) and then the tomato. Add the sambhar powder and some water to avoid the browning of the pan. When the okra is half cooked add the lentils and water if necessary. Close with lid and cook until the okra and the lentils are cooked thru. Add the tamarind juice and let it boil for a few minutes. If the pachadi has too much water, increase the heat to reduce the water. The dish should be semi dry. It is generally meant to be a side dish. As a result of camouflaging, my dish turns out to be gravy that can be mixed with rice. The okra just melts (really my kids have never found out what goes through their mouth and they wolf it down) in your mouth. This is great as an accompaniment for all rice dishes and yummy with chapatti.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the pachadi should be having curds as a main ingredient......

Anonymous said...

That's not necessary. Mango pachidi is a sweet dish, and that is made sugar syrup and mango as the main ingredients.

Atithi said...

Is yellow lentil channa dal[kadala paruppu]?

eyton said...

i also would like to know if those yellow lentils are kadali parappu or pasi parappu?

chick pea or mung dal?

nanri,
e

Anonymous said...

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