Vendakkai or Ladies Finger or Bhindi or Okra is a common vegetable in Indian cooking. Bhindi Kurkure, Bhindi Masala are dishes that find their place in most of the restaurant menus. This vegetable when cooked takes different names depending on the ingredients used and the form it is transformed – Masala, Stir Fry, Sukhi Bhaji, Sambar, Poriyal, Thokku and the list goes on.
All through my childhood, I have grown up with my mom telling me that consuming ladies finger would boost your memory power so your Maths skills will improve remarkably and also your thinking.
Ladies finger is one vegetable which is liked by everyone in my family. They love to have it as a stir fry or in tangy gravy called kuzhambu or sambar or thokku.
Ladies finger poriyal tastes excellent when made with tender ones. Aged or mature ladies finger will be hard and difficult to cut and bite on. Always ensure that you buy tender okras. To check if the okras are tender or aged, pick one and snap the tail. If the tail breaks easily, it is tender. If it doesn’t, the okras are mature and would not taste good.
Ladies finger turn into a delectable side dish when made with tender ones, sliced/chopped suitably with just the right amount of spices and the end dish made perfectly with the white seeds intact encapsulated in the green roundels.
Ladies finger aids in better digestion due to high fiber content and promotes healthy bowel movements. It contains folate or folic acid, which is very good for pregnant women. It also helps in lowering bad cholesterol. Ladies finger contains high level of vitamins B1, B2 and B6. Also contains Vitamin C, which helps in building immunity and Vitamin A, which helps in improving eyesight. It is also said to control blood sugar levels and aid weight loss.
Ladies Finger – 250 gms
Onion – 1 medium sized
Red Chillies – 2 or 3
Oil – 3 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – a big pinch
Salt to taste
Preparation time – 10 mins
Cooking time – 10-15 mins
Total time – 25 mins
Serves -2 persons
- Wash the ladies finger and pat them dry using a kitchen towel.
- Cut them into ½ cm roundels. Chop the onion.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, let it crackle. Add the urad dal. Turn the heat to medium or low. Once the dal turns golden brown, add onions and red chillies.
- Saute till onion turns translucent.
- Add in the ladies finger along with salt and turmeric powder.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 5 mins.
- Remove the lid and sauté well.
- Cook uncovered for another 7-10 mins until the okra is done and still crunchy.
Serve as a side dish for rice or roti.
- I wipe dry the ladies finger completely before cutting them. This ensures the stickiness is less while cooking.
- I used a non-stick pan and hence used around 3 teaspoons of oil. If you feel, the bhindi is sticking to the bottom of the pan; add in one or two teaspoons of oil.
- Instead of red chillies, you can even add chilli powder.
- Do not add water at all while sautéing.