Vendakkai Sambar / Ladies Finger Sambar / Okra Sambar

Sambar is the most popular south Indian recipe. Sambar is a lentil based stew cooked with vegetables and spices, simmered with tamarind juice. Vendakkai (Ladies Finger) Sambar is one of the tastiest recipes. You can also use other vegetables like Pumpkin, Drumstick, Vellai poosanikai(also known as white pumpkin / winter melon) instead of Ladies Finger(Okra) for this recipe.  Here I have used freshly ground masala instead of sambar powder, which gives it a unique taste. 

  • Toor Dhal - 3/4th cup
  • Pearl onions /Shallots - 5
  • Vendakkai /Okra - 1/4th cup (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • Tomato - 1 (chopped)
  • Tamarind -  a small ball (Soak tamarind in hot water and extract tamarind juice and discard the pulp)
  • Fenugreek / Vendhayam - 1/4 tbsp
  • Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds ( for seasoning)
  • Jaggery - a pinch
  • Coriander leaves
  • Oil
  • Curry leaves 4 to 5 leaves
  • Salt to taste.
  • Ghee - 2 tbsp
   To Grind:
  • Red chillies - 3
  • Channa dhal - 2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek /Vendhayam -1/2 tbsp
  • Grated Coconut - 1/3 cup
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
   Pour Oil in a pan, roast red chillies,channa dhal, fenugreek, grated coconut and coriander seeds until they become slightly brown. Cool the above roasted ingredients and grind them.

  1. Cook toor dhal in a cooker along with turmeric powder.
  2. Take oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
  3. Now add onions and vendakkai(okra) , fry well till the stickiness in the okra goes off and becomes tender.
  4. Add tomatoes and saute well. Now add the grounded paste and saute. 
  5. Add tamarind juice and mix well.
  6. Add the above mixture into the cooked dhal, add salt, 1/2 cup water and stir well, allow to cook for 3 minutes in slow flame. (Adjust water according to the thickness you need)
  7. Add a pinch of jaggery, ghee and add chopped coriander leaves and turn off the flame.
  8. Serve hot with rice,idly or dosa.