My 140th recipe, “Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu (Okra Tamarind Gravy)”, a tangy South Indian gravy. Perfect to have along with steamed white rice or as a side of idli/dosa.
When it comes to lunch, I generally get bored of preparing the same south Indian gravies daily. So frequently I try to mix and match ingredients from an existing recipe to bring out new flavors. This Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu is one such variation from the kuzhambu I generally prepare.
While Puli kuzhambu is a famous gravy in South India, neither my mom nor my MIL make it. They generally make all other types of kuzhambu I have posted so far. However RK said that he has tasted puli kuzhambu in Hotels as part of the traditional South Indian meals and said that it would be delicious. So when I decided to make it today, I drew inspiration from the kara kuzhambu I usually make and had to come up with my own recipe for this puli kuzhambu.
I am happy that I gave it a try, since the kuzhambu turned our delicious. It was spicy n tangy and a wonderful gravy to have along with rice. With a drop of ghee and a side of kootu it was simply amazing, just what any South Indian would want for lunch. Since this kuzhambu doesn’t use tomatoes, it best helps those who are trying to avoid tomatoes from their diet for reasons like kidney stones, etc. etc 🙂
- Tamarind - 1 Small lemon size
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Oil - 1/4 tsp
- Ladies finger/ Okra/ vendakkai - 10 (Chopped into larger sized pieces)
- Garlic - 5 Cloves
- Shallots/ Small red onion/ Pearl onion - 10 (Peeled)
- Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
- Sambar powder - 2 tsp (Red chilli powder - 1 tsp + Coriander powder - 1 tsp)
- Sesame oil - 2 Tbsp
- Mustard - 1/4 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Dry red chilli - 2
- Curry leaves - 1 Sprig
- Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
- First soak the tamarind in 1 Cup of warm water along with salt for about 5 minutes and prepare the tamarind extract. Make it to measure 2 cups by adding sufficient water. Keep aside. Mean while heat a pan with 1/4 tsp oil, and saute the okra till they are no more sticky and keep aside.
- Now again heat the same pan with sesame oil, add the mustard and once it splutters add the other ingredients listed under "To temper" in given order. Give a quick stir. Now add the garlic and saute until they start to change color.
- Immediately, add in the shallots and continue to saute until the onions turn golden brown. Now add the okra and saute for few more secs. Then add the tamarind extract, turmeric, sambar powder and mix well to combine.
- Once the kuzhambhu starts to boil turn the flame to low-medium and cook until the okra is fully done. By this time the oil would get separated at the top, the kuzhambhu would get thickened slightly and the raw smell of the ingredients added would have gone. Turn off the flame and transfer to serving bowl.
- Serve hot with rice / idli / dosa / chappati and enjoy.
- - You can even use red onions instead of shallots. In case of using, do slice them and caramelize them to achieve the best taste.
- - You can also add a little bit of jaggery/sugar at the end and stir until dissolved. It will add a slight sweetness and round out all the flavors of the dish.
- - Adding sesame oil will give the best flavor to the kuzhambhu. But you can also use any other cooking oil.
- - While tempering make sure you don't burn the fenugreek seeds, which may lead to bitter taste of kuzhambu.