1 to 1.5tablespoonsesame oilor coconut oil or any oil
½teaspoonurad dal(split husked black grams)
2dry red chilies
1sprig 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.