Vendakkai Puli Kootu | Okra Tamarind Kootu

Vendakkai Puli Kootu | Okra Tamarind Kootu

Okra is so very good in the shops right now, as I write, so I grabbed some from the Asian market in my last shopping trip. Lovely thin, tender, long spears of goodness – how we love them.

You will love this recipe. It is as simple as Indian cooking can get. The okra is sliced and cooked with tamarind, green chillies and a little toor dal. Other recipes will add tomatoes, onions, garlic, sambar powder or other spices, coconut, etc, but I prefer this simple, honest preparation from the Palghat (Palakkad) area of Kerala. I have made it quite thick, as you can see, as I prefer it that way, but you can have more sauce if you prefer. I found this approach in the book Classic Tamil Brahman Cuisine by Viji Varadarajan.

Similar recipes include Pumpkin Kootu with Coconut, Cluster Bean Kootu, Okra Patia, Bhindi Bhaji, and Okra Kuzhambu.

Browse all of our Okra dishes and all of our Kerala recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Vendakkai Puli Kootu | Okra Tamarind Kootu

Vendakkai Puli Kootu | Okra Tamarind Kootu

500g okra, trimmed and chopped into 0.5cm rounds
0.5 cups toor dal
2 Tblspn thick tamarind pulp
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
pinch asafoetida powder
2 – 4 green chillies, split almost into 2
sea salt to taste

1 tspn brown mustard seeds
2 tspn ghee

Cook the dal in 2.5 cups water until very soft and disintegrating.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a kadhai and pop the mustard seeds. As the popping subsides, add the okra and saute for a few moments. Add the green chillies, turmeric and asafoetida, and saute on a medium flame for 2 minutes. Sprinkle water as needed.

Add a few Tblspns water, cover, and allow to cook over a low heat for 2 minutes, stir again, and continue to cook until the okra is tender.

Add sea salt to taste and the tamarind water, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Then add the dal, mix well, and simmer until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

Serve with rice. Delicious.

recipe notes and alternatives
The okra can be fried in ghee until crispy, then added to the gravy.




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