Okra is so very healthy for us, unbelievably so, so it is said that Okra Sambar is an instant pick-me-up. This sambar recipe is easily and quickly made – even more so if you have some cooked toor dal in the freezer (HINT). It will be all made in 12 – 15 minutes. Surely that is enough to pick you up!
Vendakkai Sambar | Okra Sambar
0.5 cups toor dal (red gram dal)
0.25 tspn tamarind concentrate or 2 tspns thick tamarind pulp
10 medium okra
pinch asafoetida (hing)
1.5 tspns sambar powder
6 curry leaves
0.5 tspn brown mustard seeds
0.25 tspn fenugreek seeds
2 Indian dried red chillies
6 curry leaves
1 tspn ghee or Indian Sesame Oil
chickpea flour (gram flour), optional
coriander leaves, to garnish
sea salt (if required)
Soak the toor day for 2 or 3 hours, and cook until very tender and mushy. Mash the dal a little or pulse with an immersion blender.
Heat the oil in a kadhai and pop the mustard seeds. Then add the fenugreek and dried red chillies. When the fenugreek darkens, add the curry leaves and allow them to splutter.
Now add the okra and saute for a minute or two until bright green. Stir in the sambar powder and a cup of water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. The okra needs to be tender but still crisp.
Remove the lid and add the tamarind and asafoetida. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cooked dal and make up to 3 – 4 cups of sambar with extra water.
If the sambar is too thin, make a paste of gram flour and stir into the simmering dish. While stirring, allow it to thicken. Taste and add salt if needed. Add wet, crushed curry leaves, stir and remove from the heat.
Garnish with coriander leaves, serve with rice, and enjoy!