Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vendakkai sambar recipe, Ladies finger sambar, Basic south Indian sambar

Vendakkai sambar recipe, Ladies finger sambar - Basic south Indian sambar recipe as we do in Tamil nadu. Sambar is an everyday staple for Tamil lunch menu. I am a big fan of vendakkai sambar. My mom makes it perfectly and she even says it is perfect for beginners in cooking as it comes out easily tasty, how ever you do small mistakes. I too feel its the easy and never fail sambar recipe. Well but I think it depends on personal taste too. I love this sambar so it comes out well every time without fail. I am a big fan of this sambar mom makes. It will be spicy and mild tangy. And gets ready soon when compared to my MIL’s version. I will post another sambar recipe using her sambar powder and method. I wanted to post basic sambar recipe here in my blog, as it would be helpful to many who are learning to cook south Indian cooking.
And also ladies finger needs special treatment before adding to sambar, so I thought I will post this basic sambar recipe using my mom’s sambar powder with vendakkai. I made this long time back and kept this in draft postponing. Today, while many of you enjoying Biryani (Eid Mubarak! 😊) here is a simple humble sambar recipe.
Since this is basic recipe, I want to share some of the basic details for beginners.

  • Toor dal - split pigeon pea - thuvaram paruppu used mainly in lunch sambar recipes.
  • Vendhayam - fenugreek seeds - adds flavour for sambars. 
  • Few drops of Sesame oil is used while cooking toor dal for making it cook soft, easy and quick.
  • Sesame oil is used to sautee (pre cook ladies finger) to get rid off the slimey nature.
  • Ladies finger - vendakkai - okra - should be added after sauteeing to avoid the smiley nature.
  • I have used my mom's sambar powder:, you can use store bought sambar powder too. 
  • For perfect sambar, dal should be good quality and cooked well. 
  • Using tomato is optional in this recipe.

Vendakkai sambar recipe
Recipe Cuisine: Indian |  Recipe Category: Lunch
Prep Time: 15 mins  Cook time: 20 mins Serves: 4 approx.  | Author:
Click here for cup measurements
Vendakkai sambar recipe, Ladies finger sambar - Basic south Indian sambar recipe as we do in Tamil nadu. Sambar is an everyday staple for Tamil lunch menu.
Vendakkai sambar recipe

Recipe ingredients:

Toor dal (Thuvaram paruppu)  - 1/2 cup
Water (for dal) - 1 cup + 1/4 cup
Tamarind - 1 tbsp tightly packed
Ladies finger - 12
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 2 & 1/4 cup
Onion - 1
Tomato (optional) - 1
Green chilli - 4
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - Few
Asafoetida - 3 generous pinches
Salt - As needed
To temper
Oil/ ghee - 2 tsp
Mustard - 3/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/ vendayam - 1/2 tsp
Jeera (optional) - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


  1. Soak tamarind in hot water. Pressure cook dal with water for 4 whistles. Clean and pat dry ladies finger with a clean kitchen towel. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Cube onion, tomato (if adding) and slit green chillies.
  2. howtostep1
  3. Heat kadai and add the cut ladies finger and fry with sesame oil, until black spots appear over its ridges and the slimy thing disappears. Add more oil if needed. Fry in medium flame, stir occasionally in between to avoid burning.
  4. howtostep2
  5. Once done, keep that aside and add oil or ghee for tempering. Add mustard, after splutter, add fenugreek seeds followed by jeera. Add asafoetida and then curry leaves. Add onion, fry till transparent and then add green chilli.
  6. howtostep3
  7. Add tomatoes and fry for a minute. Transfer to a vessel in which you are going to prepare/ boil sambar. Meanwhile, you can extract tamarind juice and add water so that the tamarind juice is 2 and 1/4 cups. Bring to boil, add fried ladies finger.
  8. howtostep4
  9. Add turmeric, sambar powder, asafoetida and salt. Boil until the ladies finger gets cooked. Roughly mash the cooked dal with a ladle.
  10. howtostep5
  11. Add dal to the boiling sambar and boil for 2 minutes or until the required consistency arrives. Lastly tear some fresh curry leaves and mix.
  12. howtostep6


  • Using white variety tamarind (pudhu puli) is recommended for sambar as its not too tangy and has a mild sweetness.
  • My mom ads a pinch of jaggery for everyday sambar, which enhances the taste.
  • Adding asafoetida at two stages gives more flavour, but you can use just for tempering alone. Sambar mainly depends on the asafoetida flavour, so be generous adding it.
  • Adding ghee to sambar adds more taste and flavour to the sambar.
  • Sambar gets slightly thick when cooled down, so switch off the flame accordingly.
  • Sesame oil is helpful to remove the slimy thing in the ladies finger also its good for health.
Tags:vendakkai sambar, ladies finger, okra, south indian, sambar
Ladies finger sambar ready , top with a tsp of ghee over along with hot steamed rice, perfect for your lunch!


29 Stars(comments):

  1. Yummy and healthy sambhar... wanted to give it a try...

  2. Suresh's fav sambar. Lovely clicks and tempting platter

  3. I make the same way except i add one red chilli while tempering. It adds flavor to the sambar :) Kadai looks cute !

    1. I add only either of one chilli variety in my sambar and for ladies finger sambar green chillies go well with it :)

  4. Yummy sambar recipe..

  5. Love the flavour of bhindi in sambar..perfect with hot rice

  6. yummy sambar....
    Anu's Healthy Kitchen

  7. I love this sambar, especially the sambar soaked ladies fingers, and also do it the same way

  8. super yummy I have ladys finger at home feeling lazy to try but looking at ur pic I am all boosted to go and cook.

  9. Am ur big fan raks :) keep goin gr8 job

  10. one of my favourite sambar..

  11. Perfect clicks raks. My mom also used to make the same way. I always make vendaikkai sambar & beetroot poriyal or curry. Our family's favorite combo. Happy to see your platter as the same.

  12. the first pic is lovely! i made this last weekend too, but following a slightly different method :)

  13. one of my favorite sambar, looks absolutely delicious.

  14. Love this sambhar with hot ghee rice

  15. raks Ladies finger is a super veggies well accompany as a curry , sambhar , more kuzhambu i have deep love with this veggie

  16. my fav sambar...looks super good and yummy

  17. looks really appetizing.... sambar always a comfortable combo for rice....

  18. I do this almost every alternate kids fav.. nice clicks

  19. Lovely presentation .I am fan of vendaikai sambar, i am drooling here .

  20. Simply delicious and mouthwatering to look at sambar.

  21. I made this for lunch today and it was so incredible and just too tasty. The best part is, it's so easy to make even for a beginner like me! Thanks Raks! Another favorite gravy of mine from your website is Potato Kurma for puri! Keep rocking!

  22. I prepared this sambar today. ..its very tasty. .liked it. ..thanks mam :)

  23. Hi,I want to try this recipe,but have no idea what Sambar powder is,please explain,tx

    1. Clivk over sambar powder and it will take to sambar powder recipe link.

  24. It's very useful and clear pictorial explanation. Tamarind measure is very good and also give the onion and tomotto in grams or cup measure.

  25. Lovely recipe and so precise:) Thanks so much!


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