No Need of Onions!!! · Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Vendakkai Sambar (Ladyfinger sauted in tamarind gravy cooked with spice powders)

Vendekkai Sambar
Vendekkai Sambar

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.


8-10 ladysfinger.

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.


Curry Leaves.



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.

11 thoughts on “Vendakkai Sambar (Ladyfinger sauted in tamarind gravy cooked with spice powders)

  1. You make me drool at your daily menu…wish I could whip up so many dishes per day…sambar in any form is always a hit at my house…love ur pic

  2. Hi, Was surprised to see a sambhar recipe without onions. It looks yummy!!! Really interesting blog.
    Have you avoided onion due to some religious customary reasons? I would just like to know, if adding onions to this recipe would make it any better?

  3. Hi Anubhavati, I made this sambhar today and it came out sooo well. First time, my vendakkai sambar has come out so tasty… am so excited 🙂 Thank you very much!

  4. Dear NithyaVeera,
    Thanks for the comments. Please do keep visiting nad leaving your feedback.


  5. Dear Hema,

    I make my own sambar powder at home. But hte closeset VethalKuzhambu powder at Grand Sweets and Snacks.


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