April 28, 2012

Okra Stir fry (Vendakai dry curry), and a journey of a Satvic South Indian Thali

We are what we eat, isnt it ? Satvic food, amongst others counts as one of the ways to cleanse our body-mind-spirit on a continual basis. While food is mostly need based or even based on what is grown regionally, its the conditioning that one needs to get used to, that spices be used in moderation, and that we eat according to our body type and weather conditions. Thus we have the Simple or Pure Foods (Satvic), Rajasic (stimulating) or Tamasic (the base foods) in Indian Cooking. I am sure Indian Thalis (that have been designed over the ages keeping these things in mind) are more balanced, nutritious and recommended for everyday dining too :)

Ok, before I manage to fully put you to sleep with these trivia, I present today's dish, nee a pure Saatvic South Indian Thali (Thali in Hindi means platter). It is everyday dishes out together without any ginger / garlic/ onions and is also prepared with just 1 tsp of oil !! Yes, just 1 tsp of oil is used for the entire thali, and I must admit this was one of the most satisfying meals I have had in a longggg time :) Thanks to Valli's Thali Mela (to which this also goes to), I managed to cook an entire meal for myself (for lunch - something that I rustle up rarely as its cooking for only one person :)), and loved it. Also sending the Okra Stir fry (which was actually the star of this dish, and my personal personal favourite stir fry) to Blogging Marathon and my event Heirloom Recipes hosted by Saras

Lets get to the spread now :

Rice & Bread - Plain steamed rice & Phulkas (puffed Indian bread)
Accompaniments - Okra Stir fry (recipe below) & Tomato Rasam
Proteins - Sprouts Salad
Calcium / Dairy - Curd
Dips - Pudina Thogayal & Cucumber Pickle (recipe soon).
For Entire Thali:
Total prep time - 15 mins
Total cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 2 (I have shown one portion here)

For Okra Stir Fry:
Prep time - 10 mins. 
Cook time - 8 - 10 mins
Difficulty level - Easy
Spice level - medium
Serves - 2

Ingredients for Okra Stir Fry:

  • Okra (Lady's finger) - 150 gms
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Amchur Powder - 1/2 tsp (or 1/2 tsp of tamarind juice)
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
  • Grated coconut for garnish
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds , curry leaves, hing (asafoetida)

Wash, pat dry and trim the Okra. Cut into 1/2 inch bits.
In a pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Splutter mustard, curry leaves and asafoetida. Add turmeric and chopped okra. Saute for 2 mins. Add salt and cover and cook for 6-7 mins till done (but not mushy). 
Add amchur powder, red chilli powder, jaggery. Stir once and cook for further 2 mins (without cover).
Finish with grated coconut and serve with Rasam and Rice.


  1. Kalyani,
    I don't think I have seen that tender okra after leaving India. Even when I grew them last year, they used to always be fat.

  2. wow this is one thali which I wud relish..two of my favorites...rasam and okra..simple yet delicious food is what I enjoy the most.

  3. Loved the thali!!delicious rasam and crunchy okra..nice recipe dear..

  4. An awesome thali. Must accept champ's view that I have not seen this quality of okra here. I love okra and this is the best picture I have seen of it that is closest to what I used to eat in India.Hope you enjoyed your meal.

  5. amazing Kalyani...1 tspn oil for entire meal..you are mind blowing...i love these kind of ideas..bhindi is my favorite veggie

  6. Great looking thali Kalyani..seriously makes me hungry.

  7. Love okra fry anytime! fortunately my kid are okra fans too!

  8. Thali looks fabulous,okra fry looks so tempting...drooling here...

  9. Great platter! Okra fry looks amazing! Brain food. :)

  10. The thaali looks awesome and absolutely inviting. My all time favorite comfort food is okra and rasam and seeing it in your platter is just making me miss my mom. Good one Kalyani.

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  12. Kalyani, that thali looks stunning!..love those bhindi looking so inviting!

  13. i love okra stir-fry and make it quite often..yours looks yummy

  14. Lovely thali and okra is our favorite.


  15. The thali looks very nice and the vendakka looks good. Thats what I cooked yesterday for lunch :)

  16. Really tongue tickling...

  17. Love this veggies in any form but this way is my favourite.

  18. Saatvic thali looks so inviting. The stir fry looks delicious too...

  19. Saatvic thali looks so inviting. The stir fry looks delicious too...

  20. Yummy thali and love okra curry...

  21. Love the platter. Okra is one of our favorite veggies and so any varaition is welcome.

  22. All About okra nutrition. Okra is a popular vegetable of the housewives. The interesting thing is that it contains more nutrients for good health, such as fiber, mucilage, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, niacin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, iron.Very good for health.

  23. I love this simple okra preparation. Makes a nice side dish with dal chawal.


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