vendakkai sambar recipe, okra sambar recipe, bhindi sambar recipe
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4.84 from 6 votes

Vendakkai Sambar

Vendakkai sambar is a delicious sambar variety made with okra.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 3 to 4
Author: Dassana Amit


For cooking lentils

  • cup Tuvar dal (arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils)
  • 1 Medium onion - diced
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1.5 cups Water for pressure cooking

Other ingredients

  • 10 to 12 Medium sized okra (bhindi or lady finger)
  • 1 Medium tomato - diced
  • ¾ to 1 cup Water To be added later or add required
  • 3 teaspoon Sambar powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • Salt as required
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil Or coconut oil or any oil

For tamarind pulp

  • ½ tablespoon Tightly packed tamarind
  • ½ cup Water

For tempering

  • 1 to 1.5 tablespoon Sesame oil Or coconut oil or any oil
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Urad dal (split husked black grams)
  • 2 Dry red chilies
  • 1 Sprig of curry leaves
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)


preparing tamarind pulp

  • First soak 1/2 tbsp tightly packed tamarind in 1/2 cup hot water for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes squeeze the soaked tamarind pulp. Filter and keep aside.

cooking lentils for bhindi sambar

  • Meanwhile when the tamarind is soaking, rinse 1/3 cup tuvar dal and add them in a pressure cooker.
  • Then add 1 medium onion, which has been diced.
  • Add 1.5 cups water. Pressure cook the lentils for 6 to 7 whistles or 10 to 12 minutes on high flame.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own in the cooker, open the lid of the cooker.
  • Mash the cooked lentils with a spoon and keep aside.

making vendakkai sambar

  • In a pan heat 1 tbsp sesame or coconut oil. Add chopped okra.
  • Stir and saute for 2 minutes on a low flame.
  • Then add 1 medium tomato (diced). Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the mashed lentils.
  • Then add 1/2 cup water, tamarind pulp, 1/4 tsp red chili powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 3 tsp sambar powder and salt. Stir very well.
  • Simmer on a medium flame for 9 to 10 minutes or till the okra has become tender. Don't overdo as then the bhindi will cook too much. Cover and keep aside.

preparing tempering for vendakkai sambar

  • Heat 1 to 1.5 tbsp sesame oil or coconut oil in a small pan. Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and 1/2 tsp urad dal. Let the mustard seeds crackle and the urad dal turn into a maroonish color. Keep the flame on low while tempering.
  • Then add 2 dry red chilies, 1 sprig of curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida. Saute till the red chilies change color and the curry leaves become crisp.
  • Pour the tempering in the sambar. Cover and keep aside for 5 minutes for the tempering flavors to infuse with the sambar.
  • Serve vendakkai sambar hot with steamed rice or with idlis.