Okra in Yoghurt is popular across South India, and it is surprisingly good – more than might be expected if you are used to okra cooked with tomatoes as is common in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the US. This recipe is a Tamil version – the Kerala version is similar but also contains coconut.
This is usually made for festival days or other special occasions, although it is wonderful to eat on any day. It is easy to make, taking no more than 20 mins. You will love it.
Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi | Okra in Yoghurt
salt to taste
1.5 cups Indian yoghurt
3 tspn ghee
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn urad dal
1 tspn channa dal (Bengal gram dal)
1 dried Indian red chilli
pinch asafoetida powder
8 – 10 curry leaves
Rinse the okra and pat each one dry. Remove the stem and slice them into 0.5 cm slices.
Make the tadka. Heat the ghee in a kadhai or frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. Then add the cumin seeds, urad dal, and channa dal. As they turn golden add the chilli and asafoetida powder and after a moment, add the curry leaves.
Then add the okra and cook on a low heat until they are tender – only stir gently once or twice. Cook until the okra is tender but still crisp. Add the salt to taste, and then cook for another minute. Cool.
Mix the okra with the yoghurt and serve cold or at room temperature.
recipe notes and alternatives
Make an Okra Poriyal by leaving out the yoghurt and just sauteing the okra with the tadka.
Instead of the okra, use Snake Gourd, Bottle Gourd, Ash Gourd, White Pumpkin, Red Capsicum or cooked potatoes.