Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vendakkai poriyal - Roasted Lady's Finger (Okra) stir fry

All of us have food memories. Some of them are of foods made on special occasions. The others are simple everyday foods that just makes us feel comfortable.

This okra stir fry is an every day affair made without much fanfare. What comes to mind when I think of them are those half days of school on Saturdays. The bus dropped us off around lunch time. We ran inside washed ours hands and sat at the dining table ready to eat. My memory of this lady's finger stir fry is from just such a day and it does not mean it was not cooked on other days. It was cooked often.

The recipe is nothing special but it is one of my most favorite ways of cooking and eating okra. The kids love it too when it is cooked this way. Nutty and sweet it has a taste all its own. If that is not enough incentive okras is supposed to sharpen the brain and improve Math skills!.

The problem with okra bought here is they are not as fresh which means they have to be dried pretty well after washing them so they do not get very slimy. I spread them out on a kitchen towel and lay them out in the sun. The way the okra is chopped also influences the taste of the stir fry as does the amount of oil. Liberal use of oil will result in a crispier result.

Vendakkai Poriyal - Roasted Lady's Finger (Okra) Stir Fry
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 - 45 minutes
  1. 3/4 lb of okra washed and dried completely with a kitchen towel or in the sun
  2. 1/2 red onion chopped fine
  3. 8-10 green chilies slit and shaken to remove the seeds
  4. 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  5. seasonings: curry leaves, split urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds
  6. salt to taste
  7. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  8. 2-3 tsp of oil
  1. Slice the okra into thin rounds, thinner the better.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan heat the oil. When hot add the urad dal, followed by the cumin and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the curry leave followed by the onions and green chilies.
  3. Saute till the onions turns translucent. Add the turmeric powder and the sliced okra.
  4. Now it is time for some endurance, keep sauteing the okra, add the lemon juice if there is a lot of slime. Add a bit of oil in intervals. Add salt and continue to saute till the okra is completely cooked and as crispy as you want it to be.
This is a perfect side dish for chapathis but we usually have it with rice as as side.


  1. My all time favourite poriyal.Love very much with curd rice.

  2. I love okras and this bhaja/fry is very common with plain rice and dal. I do not add onions. Will try this tempering the next time. :-)

  3. this is one of my favorite ways to eat okra :)

  4. I love this fry... I mw the okras after slicing them and it helps reduce the stickiness. My kids love this too and can eat it plain :) So right abt the endurance part but i guess that's what makes it all the more tasty.


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