This is an Andhra style dish, a poriyal that is deliciously sesame flavoured using powdered sesame seeds (Nuvala Podi). The dish is also called Bendaikaya Nuvvala Podi, and Lady Fingers Fry. You may also see it under different names.
Firstly, the Sesame Seed Podi is made by toasting and powdering sesame seeds with spices. Then the okra is fried with more spices and optionally onions, and finally the sesame podi is added to the dish. It is served hot as a side dish. It goes well with sambar, rasam and dal. It is also good as a tiffin brunch or lunch.
Stir Fried Okra with Sesame Seed | Okra Fry with Sesame | Vendakkai Nuvala Podi
small piece of tamarind
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
salt to taste
3 Tblspn white sesame seeds
1 Indian dried red chillies (or to taste)
0.5 Tblspn channa dal (bengal gram)
2 tspn cumin seeds
2 Tblspn ghee
1 tspn mustard seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
0.25 asafoetida powder
1 dry chilli, halved
1 tspn urad dal
1 sprig curry leaves
Soak the tamarind in 2 Tblspn hot water for 30 mins, then strain and push the pulp through the sieve. Discard the seeds and fibres and reserve the water and pulp.
To make the sesame powder, dry roast all the ingredients for 5 min and grind into fine powder. Store in a air tight container (you can use for up to 1 month).
Wash the okra and dry individually with a kitchen towel. Top and tail and cut into 1 cm pieces.
Heat the ghee in a kadhai or heavy frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Then add the cumin seeds. As they begin to darken add the asafoetida, chilli and urad dal. After a few moments add the curry leaves.
After their spluttering has died down, add the okra and turmeric. Stir well and fry the okra for a minute or two. Then add the tamarind juice.
Cover and cook until okra are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Add 3 Tblspn of the powdered sesame seed podi and some salt, and stir-fry until well mixed and dry.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add some chopped onion and sauté before adding the okra.
The Sesame Podi can be made with only sesame seeds – very nice this way too.