457: Vendakkai Sambhar/ Ladyfingers Sambhar/Okra Sambhar

South Indian meal is incomplete without Sāmbhar. Though I already posted few Sāmbhar recipes, I want to post one more Sāmbhar recipe.   Make delicious Vendakkai /Lady Finger Sambhar using this simple recipe from Madappalli.


 Chopped Lady Finger            1 ½  cups
Toovar dhal/ Pigeon Peas          1/2 cup
Chopped Green chilies           2 Nos
Tamarind                             gooseberry sized
Curry leaves                         few
Tomato                                1 No.
Salt                                     to Taste.

Spice Powders
Coriander Powder                  1 Tbsp.
Red chili Powder                    1-2  Tsp.(Adjust to your spice level)
Sambhar Powder                   2 Tbsp.
Asafetida Powder                  ¼ Tsp.
For Seasoning    
Coconut Oil                           1 Tbsp.
Mustard seeds                       1 Tbsp.
Methi seeds                           1/8 tsp.         
Dry red chilies                       4 no. (Split)


  • Pressure cook the dal with tomato, green chilies and turmeric powder with 1 ½ cup of water until dal is soft for 2-3 whistles. Mash is gently and set aside.
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and pureed the juice throwing out the fiber and keep aside.
  • Wash the okra using a colander drain the excess water. Place it on a kitchen towel pat dry.
  • Chop the okra into 1 inch pieces please check it there is any bug inside use a dry chopping board and knife.
  • Heat the 1 Tsp of coconut oil in  a pan , add chopped okra fry for 3 mins in medium flame.When its thoroughly fried, add all spice Powder  and fry for a minute.
  • Now add the tamarind water and salt and cook for 8 to 10 mins , until its cooks well and leaves out nice aroma.
  • Once it cooks well, add the cooked dal to the mixture and bring it to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the dry red chilies and curry leaves. Fry well.
  • Add this tempering to the sambhar. Now Tasty Sambhar is ready to serve.
  • We can also pair this sambar with simple and delicious potato fry, plantain fry (varuval), just any easy dry side dish makes a great complete meal.

Some Simple Tips

  • Toovar dal must be cooked very well and mashed well while it is hot itself.
  • Tamarind proportion should be correct. (not more and not less than required).
  • Sambar powder(click the link to see the recipe) is the main thing which decides the taste (I have posted recipe of sambar powder which my mother has been making all these years and praised by all)
  • Using Coconut oil for tempering and adding very little Methi seeds along with mustard makes a lot of difference.
  • Don’t allow to boil the sambar after adding dal water.
  • Just have these points in mind, prepare sambar, you will end up with an excellent one.
  • Taste differs from home to home or even person to person. The quantity of ingredients such as Sambhar powders, chili powders, salt can be varied according to individual taste.

You can also check other Sambhar Recipes here:

Hotel Sambhar                                    Udipi Sambhar             


Milaghai Sambhar                                           Sambhar