Okra roast or bendakaya vepudu / Vendakka roast



I received my first Andhra cookbook – Cooking with Pedatha yesterday. It has a green hardcover, pictures in every page, simple instructions – what’s not to like.

In the introduction, the author’s write,

Of course, one thing we never questioned her about was how much time any recipe would take. We already knew her answer tot hat- ” As long as it takes for a good dish to be ready”. ” Don’t look at the time, look at the pan”, she once remarked.

I realized how true it was and how much I had forgotten that concept. Once back home, my grand father’s sister was staying with us for a few days. I remember helping out with sauteing some onions, and I was turning the onions left and right. She came over, took the spoon from me and said,” Not like that, be patient “, and she continued to stir the onions so tenderly and delicately on a low flame. The chicken curry for which the onions were intended turned wonderful, better than the usual. I had forgotten to do that slow stirring for sometime now but this cookbook has reminded me to slow down, and enjoy my cooking.

The recipe is for the lady’s finger roast from the book. Thanks to the many Andhra blogs, some of the terms were already familiar, but there is a list of ingredients in the back page which is a big help for me. The book is a delight!


Okra 1 pound – wash, dry with paper towel. I cut them lenthwise into quarters. The small ones were halved.

Red chilli powder- 2 tsp ( the original recipe needs 1 tbsp, but that was too hot for me)

Oil 2 tbsp+1tbsp

Salt to taste


Ingredients for tempering:

Split black gram dal/ urad dal 1 tsp

Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida powder, Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp each

Curry leaves – 1 sprig


Heat a pan, add about 2 tbsp oil. Add the urad dal, and when it turns golden, add the mustard seeds. Lower the heat, and add the asafoetida, turmeric and curry leaves.

Then add the veggies, allow to roast on slow flame. Stir occasionaly.

After 8-10mins, when the okra starts to turn brown at some spots, add the salt and chilli powder. Stir to combine. Go easy when stirring so as to not turn it mushy. Add one tbsp or less oil at this point to mix well with the chilli powder. Adding the oil makes a nice chilli coating on the okra. Serve warm.


This dish is super hot. I didn’t imagine Andhra cuisine to be this hot.

I had this with rotis and some Kottayam fish curry.

Very satisfying meal, but my tongue was on fire. Cooled off with some lassi.


Can’t wait to try more recipes. Thanks Indira for introducing me to this wonderful cookbook.

40 responses »

  1. Simply beautiful, both your views and the Okras…
    Hope school’s well…


    Thanks, Trupti.. School’s well. Seems like cooking is the most relaxing thing to do these days. Hope everything is going well with you too.

  2. This is easy. I tried stir frying okra with chilli paste before. Maybe the next time I can add some turmric powder.:)

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    It was very easy. Turmeric powder adds flavor unlike any other. But in this dish chili powder rules:)

  3. I got mine too Pedatha book that is.I was dissapointed a little bit bcos most south Indians know half the recipes there.Coconut,BBB,Yoghurt rice and Vangi Bhath etc.But there are some authentic ones there as well.
    Bindi looks good,easy to make.Fish curry looks fab.Enjoy

    Andhra cooking is not familiar to me at all. Actually all the recipes were new to me. But I agree with you that this is a very basic book.

  4. Gini, Andhra cooking is very very spicy!

    The okra looks fantastic! I make it the same way except that I don’t use as much red chilli powder and I slice the okra along its cross-section rather than length. A very nice recipe but what makes it Andhra cooking?

    That Kottayam fish curry looks very interesting. Have a recipe for that? I see whole black pepper and is that whole garlic? Please post that recipe!

    The fish curry has sparked interests. Recipe coming soon…

  5. Dilicious OKra!!!!! Lovely presentation of the book as well!!!! Now I m tempted to get one 😉

    Thanks, Coffee. I really liked the book, but it may be a disappointment as Asha said if you are familiar with Andhra recipes already.

  6. Andhra dishes can be very spicy. I knew this friend from Guntur who used to bring the most tongue burning achar ever.

    That is exactly what Satish said after he read this post. I didn’t have any classmates from Andhra. But the spicier, the merrier.

  7. Beautiful dish with perfect flavour and colors. I love bhindi and make it a lot at home. Now I will try your version sometime.
    Thanks, Nidhi.

    It’s a breeze to make. I am sure you will enjoy this.

  8. Looks good and hot…But i love that color..Nice presentation..Hope to see more recipes from this cookbook..:))

    Yes, Annita. Hope I will be cooking more. Right now I am really into this book.

  9. Wow! that must be some fiery food. Nice recipe and I think most of Andhra cuisine is very compatible with our kerala food.Have u blogged abt the fish curry? please can u post that too/?

    Fish curry will be blogged about soon. Need to make another batch to get the measurements. All these demands!! 🙂

  10. Great post…I love okra…make it atleast once a week…thanks for the recipe…looks devine…thanks for sharing…~smile~…take care

    Once a week! Lucky you! I am lucky if we make it once a month.

  11. I love the way the okra has retained its green colour!

    I think the red chilly powder really brought out the green color. I didn’t let the okra turn mushy, took it off the flames as soon as it was just cooked.

  12. Love the color of the cooked okra – gorgeous presentation and pictures. Actually, Gini, I don’t think Andhra food is as spicy as its made out to be. Maybe a few recipes call for a wee bit more spice. But otherwise most recipes are moderately spiced.

    Sailu, I totally believe you. Just like all Kerala food don’t contain coconut.

  13. beautiful pic gini… loved the way red masala complimenting green okras. sometimes we r so busy that we forget to slow down and look back:) i thing same thing applies to cooking also as u have put rightly in ur post:)

    You are right, cooking sometimes gets to be another chore that needs to be done. Life demands that.
    But if you get a chance to slow down to cook, it is really worth it.

  14. Now you made me hungry, I love okra in all forms (not raw) and yours looks beautiful, the green is very vibrant
    You are so right you need “time” to cook good

    Have you ever had a fresh picked tender okra? I haven’t had one in a long time, but I used to like them raw.
    Nice to meet a fellow okra lover. Time is scarce, but thankfully this one doesn’t take much time to cook.

  15. gini,

    i have pedatha’s book too, and to prevent my tongue from being set on fire, wherever she says ‘chilli powder’, i use kashmiri chilli powder. it gives a beautiful colour to the dish, and it isn’t as hot.

    great pictures.


    That’s a great idea, Bee. Will definitely remember that. Thanks!

  16. hi
    i roast the papad directly on the gas stove by swiftly moving it on both the sides.

    Thanks Akshata for sharing the papad roasting tip. I will try to do this next time. Will let you know if it works.

  17. You made a very beautiful dish. And it it so simple also. Will try it sometimes.. Thanks for sharing.

    by the way, love the fist photo very much.

    Thanks, Lisa. Good to see you here.

  18. Gini – the okra roast looks delicious. The original okra recipe sounds really spicy and hot. Will try your version soon.

    Pedatha’s version. All ready to host the Winter GBP?

  19. Hi Gini,

    Silly question, but I need to know.. is your urad dal raw in this recipe? Won’t they be kind of hard in that case?

    Thanks for leaving me a note on my blog today! 🙂


  20. Hi Gini,
    Inspired by u guys i have started my own blog, though it wont even come near by urs. Im bit ignorant about how to list other blogs on my side bar. Hope you all would help me regarding this. Im trying adding you by add link option, although its not showing up.
    Also your recipes are phenomenal!!


  21. Wow,
    The okra dish looks just picture perfect. Altho’ the recipe sounds very easy not all can get okra just as perfect as you were able to get. Loved the presentation.

    Thanks for those nice words, Seema. Me and okra get along pretty well 🙂

  22. Pingback: Kottayam fish curry- Fish in fiery red sauce « Salt and Pepper.

  23. Pingback: Pedatha – Nandan’s ‘Naamapoo’ & Blog Awards « whose food we eat, their song we sing

  24. gini, i was totally impressed with your kottayam fish curry….v tasty. i was looking for such a recipe for years.thanks a million. i have become a big fan of ur recipes just with that one.now i am going to try your okra recipe.

  25. Kerala cooking is simply superb.Being a keralite,but born & brought up outside Kerala
    We all relish Kerala food.I really like cooking and i try various receipes of other states,
    but nothing compared to kerala cooking i just made the fish curry and going to try your
    okra receipe fish curry is fantastic
    Thank you

  26. Pingback: Pedatha – Nandan’s ‘Naamapoo’ & Blog Awards | whose food we eat, their song we sing

  27. Pingback: Pedatha – Nandan’s ‘Naamapoo’ & Blog Awards | Pritya

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