Bendekai Kuzhambu / Okra Gravy

Bendekai or ladies finger kuzhambu is one traditional recipe mainly from South India, Tamil Nadu. I love the way it tastes tangy and spicy with hot rice.I had this fresh and young okra available at home so I cooked kuzhambu with rice. Here is my modified recipe for okra kuzhambu. Freshly ground spices will give brilliant  aroma and taste.

Bendakai Kuzhambu / Okra Gravy


  • Ladies finger/Okra- 15 (serves 2)
  • Mustard- 1 tbs
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tbs
  • Red chilly- 1
  • Onion- 1 small
  • Curry leaves- 1 strand
  • Tomato-1
  • Salt- to taste
  • Turmeric- 1 tbs
  • Tamarind- 1 lemon size

Masala to grind:

  • Coriander seeds- 1/2 tbs
  • Cumin seeds- 1/2 tbs
  • Pepper corns- 5 in number
  • Red chilly- 2
  • Garlic- 2 cloves
  • Curry leaves- 4
  • Onion- 1/4
  • Coconut- 3 to 4 tbs


  1. Wash and wipe the water from ladies finger by using the dry clothes. Cut them into 1 inch long pieces.
  2. Soak tamarind in water  for about 15 minutes and extract the juice into 1 cup
  3. Fry the ingredients under the masala to grind section and grind it into fine paste
  4. In a pan add a spoon of olive oil and fry ladies finger for 5 to 10 minutes
  5. In another pan add oil, mustard, fenugreek seeds upon spluttering add red chilly, curry leaves and chopped onion. Fry till the onion turns translucent.
  6. Now add chopped tomato and let it become soft
  7. Add fried ladies finger, ground masala, turmeric and salt to taste with tamarind juice
  8. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, let it boil properly to blend the spices well
  9. Serve it hot with rice

Note: You can also add kuzhambu powder available at markets to give it  a little extra flavor and aroma. 


10 thoughts on “Bendekai Kuzhambu / Okra Gravy

    • There are few possible substitutes for tamarind paste. You can use lemon juice with a bit of molasses which is bit lighter than tamarind but still it will give the tangy effect. You can also use equal amount of apricot, dates or prunes blended with lemon juice. Good luck 🙂


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