Category Archives: Okra/ Vendakka/ Lady’s Finger

Crispy Baked Okra Salad



If you like spicy and tangy flavors in a dish, this recipe is for you.

Recipe source: Adapted from Suvir Saran’s Crispy Okra Salad


Preheat the oven to 350degrees.

Clean and pat dry the okra. Don’t spend much time drying, just a quick pat and dry will do.

Cut the okra into juliennes. I slice the okra into two along the middle. Hold the two halves and make long slices.

Spread the okra onto a baking sheet. I spread them onto my cast iron pizza stone.


To this, add turmeric powder (1/4tsp) and red chili powder ( 1/4 to 1/2 tsp), and salt to taste. I added some fresh crushed black pepper too. Drizzle some olive oil on top.

Mix everything together and spread onto a single layer.

Cook in the oven till the okra is cooked and starts to attain a brown shade. It took me about 20 minutes or so to get to this stage.

Remove from oven, and to this add some thinly sliced red onions and julienned tomato.

Add the juice of half a lemon, sprinkle with chaat masala. Mix well and serve.


One more okra dish in my efforts to win Satish over to the okra loving side.

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.

Okra- I miss you!


Okra was one of my all time favorite veggies. But seems like I don’t have them enought these days, mostly because my husband doesn’t like it much. It is no fun eating something by yourself, but whenever this dish is cooked it is finished off almost entirely by me.


One of the special requests of my mother when I was a kid was the ‘vendakka chaaru kari’, which is okra cooked in coconut milk and spices. I don’t think anyone else at my house showed the same enthusiasm for okra. The other favorite way to eat okra was a quick saute, on high fire so that they don’t get slimy. I liked it more when my mother used to cut the okra into long strips. I used to make this for my roommates in college and drove them crazy with my insistence to cut them into these long strips. It takes much longer, but I believe they taste much better this way. My husband hates okra, and these days it is not that common on our menu, but anytime I see tender green okra I buy them. This has become a special treat for me. I do miss eating okra every week. Satish has gotten over his extreme dislike to them over the years, and this non slimy dish had a big role to play in changing his opinion.

Recipe method

The key is high heat, and okra that is dried after washing using a paper towel.
Slice the okra into rounds or into strips as shown in the picture.

Slice an onion into thin slices, and few green chillies split lengthwise.

When the pan gets hot, add some oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter add the onion and green chillies, saute for 2 min. Once the onion wilts slightly, add the okra on high heat.

Don’t sir too much and use a lid to get the cooking faster. I usually just grab the pan by the handle and give a slight toss. Over medium-high heat, give it a few quick tosses and remove from fire after about 8 mins.

The time to cook the okra might change depending on the tenderness of the okra. Halfway through, add some curry leaves, torn into pieces. Adjust salt. Serve hot.
The okra cooked this way retains its color and the onions will be kind of sweet and crunchy.

This is my entry for ARF Tuesday hosted by Sweetnicks.

For a triple-powered punch against heart disease, eat some okra. It strikes first with an antioxidant job to atherosclerosis – that dangerous hardening and clogging of your blood vessels. The top antioxidant in okra’s arsenal is vitamin C which the World Health Organization has linked to a reduced risk of fatal heart disease. One cup of sliced okra has more vitamin C than a whole tomato. Although you cannot rely on okra as a single source of this important vitamin, it makes an interesting and nutritious addition to your diet. ( Link)