This one is again an easy South Indian style okra or bhindi preparation, more aptly known as the Vendakkai Poriyal. The particular poriyal preparations from the South Indian cuisine really amazes me with the fact that a dish can be all things delicious, comforting, nutritious as well as soul-soothing, inspite of being so simple. This one made with bhindi is also a no onion, no garlic recipe as well as vegan-friendly too. Looking for a different kind of bhindi dish to pair with your dal-chawal? This ladies finger poriyal is surely the one for you!
About Vendakkai Poriyal
‘Vendakkai’ is the Tamil name for ‘okra’ or ‘lady’s finger,’ which is ‘bhindi’ in Hindi. Also, a ‘poriyal’ is a simple, yet tasty and hearty dish of a dry vegetable sauté or stir-fry, typically done in a South Indian style. Hence, the name Vendakkai Poriyal.
Every poriyal recipe is wholesome in its preparation because it usually is a vegetable stir-fry, made the South Indian way. The spices and other ingredients that go in the making are mostly similar and are quite healthy. I have already shared a few healthy variations of poriyals like:
This is one of those recipes of mine, which is easy and fuss-free to cook and yet tastes great. Along with the vendakkai or bhindi (okra), rest of the other ingredients that make up this poriyal dish are just as basic and common.
You really won’t have a trouble in sourcing them or even getting them together, as most of it is always available in an Indian home kitchen. Since okra is the hero ingredient in the recipe, make sure to use fresh, tender and bright green okra pods.
So, for this Vendakkai Poriyal, you require mustard seeds, split and husked black gram (urad dal), curry leaves, green chilies, asafoetida (hing), turmeric powder and coriander leaves. You can cook the dish in sesame oil, coconut oil or any other neutral flavored oil.
I make this super easy no onion, no garlic recipe of okra poriyal on a regular basis. Most of the times, as a side dish with sambar-rice or rasam-rice. Sometimes, with chapatis and phulkas too. Do try this recipe and you will surely like it for its simple flavors.
If you are accustomed to having more of the North Indian style bhindi masala or sabji or dishes, then this South Indian Vendakkai fry is a refreshing change. After all, change is what was, is and will always be inevitable!
How to make Vendakkai Poriyal
1. Rinse 250 grams lady’s finger (vendakkai, okra or bhindi) in fresh water a couple of times. Then wipe dry each okra pods with a clean kitchen towel.
Ensure that they are thoroughly dried before you begin to chop them. Slice them into thin rounds of 0.25 to 0.5 inches. Keep aside.
2. In a shallow frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil (gingelly oil) or any neutral flavored oil.
Make sure to use a well seasoned pan with a heavy base. Or else the okra may stick to the pan.
Lower the heat, add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon urad dal (split and husked black gram).
3. Sauté stirring often till the mustard seeds crackle and the urad dal turns golden.
4. Then, add the following ingredients:
- 8 to 10 curry leaves
- 1 to 2 chopped green chilies or 1 to 2 dried red chilies (broken and deseeded)
- a pinch asafoetida (hing)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder
5. Stir and mix well.
Making Vendakkai Poriyal
6. Add all of the sliced lady’s finger.
7. Stir and mix to combine.
8. Season with salt as required.
9. Stir and mix well. Sauté or stir-fry the poriyal on low heat without covering the pan with a lid. Keep stirring at intervals of 3 to 4 minutes for uniform and even cooking.
Do not cover the pan with any lid as this can lead to the okra becoming slimy.
10. Switch off the heat when the okra is softened and cooked well. This takes about 12 to 14 minutes on low heat.
11. Lastly, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. At this stage, you can also add 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated fresh coconut, if you like.
12. Stir and then serve Vendakkai Poriyal hot or warm as a side dish with Curd Rice, sambar-rice or rasam-rice.
You can also serve it as a side dish with your everyday dal-rice. You want to make the dal, North Indian, Maharashtrian or any other regional style, completely your wish. This poriyal will taste good with everything.
If you are a flatbread fanatic, then you can easily pair this vendakkai fry with your rotis, phulkas, chapatis or even plain parathas. You can also pack it in your lunch box.
- For best results, use tender okra or bhindi for this recipe. If the vendakkai is mature, then you might get a fibrous mouth-feel while eating it.
- This poriyal can be cooked in coconut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil or any other neutral flavored oil.
- You can add 1 to 2 dried red chilies, broken and deseeded, if you don’t have green chilies.
- If you want to make the poriyal spicier, you can increase the quantity of chilies in it.
- Once the okra is softened and cooked, you can opt to add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated fresh coconut if you prefer.
- Use a heavy and well seasoned frying pan or saute pan to make this dish.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Vendakkai Poriyal | Ladies Finger Poriyal
- 250 grams bhindi (vendakkai or okra or lady finger)
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil or any neutral flavored oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon urad dal (split and husked black gram)
- 8 to 10 curry leaves
- 1 to 2 green chilies – chopped or 1 to 2 dry red chilies, broken and deseeded
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- salt as required
- Rinse the okra a few times in fresh water and wipe dry all the okra with a clean kitchen towel. Make sure that there is no water or moisture on the okra pods before chopping them.
- Then slice the bhindi into thin rounds of 0.25 to 0.5 inches. Keep aside.
- Also chop 1 to 2 green chillies and coriander leaves. Keep aside.
Making vendakkai poriyal
- In a shallow frying pan, heat sesame oil. Lower the heat. Add mustard seeds and urad dal.
- On low heat saute till the mustard seeds crackle and the urad dal turns golden.
- Then add the curry leaves and chopped green chilies or dry red chilies (broken & deseeded). Also add a pinch of asafoetida and turmeric powder. Stir to mix.
- Add all of the sliced okra. Stir well.
- Season with salt according to taste. Stir well again and saute the poriyal on a low heat without covering the pan with a lid. Keep on stirring at intervals of 3 to 4 minutes for uniform even cooking. Do not cover the pan with any lid.
- Switch off the heat when the ladies finger is done and cooked well. This takes about 12 to 14 minutes on a low heat.
- Lastly sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.
- At this stage you can also add grated fresh coconut if you want.
- Stir and then serve vendakkai poriyal hot or warm as a side dish with curd-rice, sambar-rice or rasam-rice.
- You can also pack this vendakkai fry in your tiffin box with a side of roti, paratha or whole wheat bread.
- This vendakkai fry recipe can be scaled as per your needs.
- Use a well seasoned heavy pan or frying pan to make the dish.
- Use tender and fresh okra.
- Don’t cover the pan while sauteing the okra as it can make the okra slimy.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Vendakkai Poriyal Post from the blog archives, first published in September 2015 has been republished and updated on December 2022.