Vendakka Khichdi is a delicious and common side-dish from Kerala. It is crispy fried okra in yoghurt flavoured with a green chilli-cumin-coconut sauce. It is often included as a part of Onam or Vishu Sadya. Otherwise, it is often served with Sambar and beautiful Indian pickles.
The okra is sliced and fried and then mixed into a yoghurt base flavoured with mustard seeds, cumin, green chill and coconut. It is one delicious dish, served warm.
Vendakka Khichdi | Okra in a Coconut Yoghurt Sauce | Ladyfinger Pachadi
20 – 25 medium sized okra
1 Tblspn coconut oil or ghee
0.25 cup freshly grated coconut or use frozen coconut
2 green chillies, or to taste
1 tspn cumin seeds
1.5 cups Indian or Greek yoghurt
salt, to taste
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 Indian dried red chilli, broken into two pieces
2 Tblspn ghee or coconut oil
12-15 fresh curry leaves
Rinse the okra and dry each one. Trim the top and tail, and cut into 0.25 – 0.5 cm slices crosswise.
Heat 1 Tblspn or so of ghee or coconut oil in a kadhai or heavy pan. Add chopped okra and cook on medium-high until the okra is crisp and slightly coloured.
While the okra is cooking, grind the green chillies, cumin seeds and coconut to a smooth paste, adding a little water if necessary. Add the paste to the yoghurt and beat it well. Add the salt and mix well. Set aside.
When the okra is cooked, remove to a bowl and leave, uncovered, until needed.
Make the tadka by heating the ghee or coconut oil in a small pan, and add the mustard seeds. As they pop, add the red chilli pieces, and then the curry leaves. Turn the heat to very low.
When the pan has cooled a little, add the yoghurt and stir it until it warms through. Add the okra and stir lightly. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to blend.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
recipe notes and alternatives
Serve with rice and accompany with sambar if desired.
The coconut can be left out.