Vendakkai Sambar (Ladyfinger sauted in tamarind gravy cooked with spice powders)
This is a variety of “Sambar” that does not have the ground coconut and spices in it so its pretty straightforward. There are two kinds of basic sambars that we make – the variety that has spices roasted and ground with coconut and the other variety that is spiced only with the sambar powder. This is a part of the latter and hence very easy to make. This sambar is excellent also as a side for Pongal, Idlis and the like. It`s also great with Dosa, adai etc.
1 1/2 cups of Tamarind Extract.
1 spoon of heaped Sambar Powder.
1/2 cup cooked Toor Dhal.
3/4 spoon of rice flour dissolved in 4 spoons of water.
Mustard, Curry Leaves.
- Take the washed and cleaned Okras and chop off the tips and the top so you have slightly longer pieces. Set aside.
- Take a copper bottomed vessel and pour oil and season with mustard, curry leaves and hing. Immediately add the chopped pieces of okra and stir in well.
- Allow the ladysfinger pieces to saute well in the seasoning and when its done, add the prepared tamarind extract water.
- Add salt, hing, turmeric, sambar powder, cilantro and sir in well. Allow the gravy to boil and lose all the raw flavours and smells.
- After about 20 minutes, the gravy would have reduced and the spices would be well entrenched in the Okra pieces.
- Take the cooked toor dhal and slightly dilute with a little water and add to the reduced sambar gravy and stir in well.
- If you feel that the consistency is a little too watery, add the rice flour dissolved in the water to this and stir to see instant thickening.
- Allow to boil and immediately switch off the heat. Garnish with torn curry leaves and chopped cilantro.
- Serve with rice and Kovakkai Curry or Kathirikkai Podimas.