Okra, also known as bhindi, ladyfinger and Bende in kannada, is used in preparing curry as well. It is a popular curry made in Udupi which is my native place. The summer vacation visits to Udupi were always awaited because it introduced me to a different world of food and I started developed a liking for it. Grandma’s kitchen was where all the magic happened. Different types of curries, chutneys, rice and payasams were relished by us kids and more importantly it was the love that enhanced the taste of every dish.
South Indian cuisine is one of my favorites, not because I belong to that place but the warmth, love and satisfaction experienced upon eating each morsel of hot steaming rice and sambhar with your hands cannot be expressed, only experienced. Food does wonders and having this hot steaming rice with bende koddel/ Okra curry will definitely make you happy. Meals like these are my favorite any day of the year. I use sambhar powder, specially made in Udupi, which makes this curry all the more delicious. If you do not have this udupi sambhar masala then you can use whichever is available. Also without sambhar masala this curry still tastes good. I prepare the okra curry as mentioned below but there is also another method. The okra pieces are boiled in tamarind water to prevent it from being sticky, later all the spices, cooked dal are added and boiled. You can use either method as the end result is just going to be delicious.
Okra Curry/ Ladyfinger Curry/ Bende Koddel
Author: The Cooking Soul
- 15 to 20 okra/ lady’s finger/ bende
- 1 cup toor dal
- 2 tbsp tamarind (medium lemon size)
- 2-3 tbsp jaggery
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2-3 tsp sambhar powder
- 3-4 green chillies
- 1-2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 1-2 tsp salt as per taste
- 3 tsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 2 red chillies
- a pinch of hing/ asafoetida
- 2 strand of curry leaves
- Wash the okras, wipe them and cut into medium sized pieces.
- Pressure cook the toor dal/ split pigeon peas till mushy. For 4-5 whistles.
- Soak tamarind in water for 15 minutes, extract the juice.
- To the cooked dal, add tamarind juice, jaggery, slit green chillies, sambhar powder, salt and turmeric powder.
- Lastly add the okras. Let it boil till the okras become soft. Add water as required for the consistency.
- In a seasoning pan, add oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, hing, red chillies, hing and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to splutter add the seasoning to the curry. Add coriander leaves.
- Okra curry/ Ladyfinger curry/ Bende Koddel is ready. Serve it with hot steamed rice.