How to Make Vendakkai Mor Kuzhambu: A Flavorful South Indian Okra Curry Recipe

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

If you’re craving a comforting South Indian dish that’s both tangy and creamy, look no further than vendakkai mor kuzhambu. This delightful yogurt-based curry, infused with the goodness of okra (vendakkai), offers a perfect balance of flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing. It’s a beloved staple in Tamil Nadu cuisine, often enjoyed with steamed rice for a satisfying meal.

Ingredients

Gather the following ingredients to prepare the flavorful vendakkai mor kuzhambu.

For Roasting and Grinding

  • 1 tablespoon chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • Water, as needed for grinding

For the Curry

  • 200 grams okra (vendakkai), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup thick yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • Salt, to taste
  • Turmeric powder, a pinch
  • Water, as needed for consistency

For Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • Few curry leaves

Tools and Equipment Needed

To make vendakkai mor kuzhambu, you will need a few essential tools and equipment to ensure a smooth cooking process. Gather the following items before you start:

  • Cutting Board: For chopping the okra.
  • Sharp Knife: To neatly slice the okra.
  • Mixing Bowls: For preparing and mixing ingredients.
  • Heavy-Bottomed Pan or Kadai: Ideal for roasting spices and cooking the curry to distribute heat evenly.
  • Spice Grinder or Mortar and Pestle: To grind roasted spices into a fine powder.
  • Whisk or Hand Blender: Useful for blending yogurt until smooth.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure ingredients.
  • Ladle or Wooden Spoon: For stirring the curry while it cooks.

Having these tools ready will streamline your preparation, making it easier to focus on creating an authentic, flavorful vendakkai mor kuzhambu.

Preparation

In this section, you will learn how to prepare vendakkai mor kuzhambu step-by-step. Follow these instructions for best results.

Clean and Cut Vendakkai

  1. Rinse 200 grams of fresh okra under running water.
  2. Pat dry each okra with a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
  3. Trim the ends and cut the okra into 1-inch pieces.

Making the Curry Paste

  1. Heat a small pan over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.
  3. Once hot, add:
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  1. Roast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Transfer roasted spices to a spice grinder or blender.
  3. Add:
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • A small piece (about half an inch) of ginger
  1. Grind into a smooth paste using a few tablespoons of water as needed.

Continue following these steps meticulously to ensure your vendakkai mor kuzhambu is rich in flavor and texture.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you have your ingredients and tools ready, follow these steps to cook the vendakkai mor kuzhambu perfectly.

Cook the Vendakkai

  1. Heat Oil: In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium flame.
  2. Add Okra: Add the chopped okra (vendakkai) to the pan.
  3. Sauté Okra: Sauté for about 7-10 minutes until they turn golden brown and lose their sliminess. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  4. Set Aside: Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.

Prepare the Mor Kuzhambu Base

  1. Whisk Yogurt: In a mixing bowl, whisk 2 cups of yogurt until smooth.
  2. Add Paste: Add the ground spice paste prepared earlier to the yogurt and mix well.
  3. Dilute Mixture: Add 2 cups of water to dilute the mixture to your desired consistency.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Pour this mixture back into the heavy-bottomed pan used for cooking okra.
  5. Simmer Curry: Bring it to a gentle boil over low-medium flame, stirring occasionally to prevent curdling.
  6. Cook Thoroughly: Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until raw smell disappears.

Tempering the Mor Kuzhambu

  1. Heat Oil Again: In a small tempering pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium flame.
  2. Add Mustard Seeds & Spices:
  • Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, allowing them to turn golden brown.
  1. Include Aromatics:
  • Toss in a few curry leaves and two dried red chilies broken into halves.
  • Fry for another minute till aromatic but not burnt.
  1. Mix with Curry:
  • Pour this seasoned oil over the simmering mor kuzhambu base immediately after removing from stove top stir gently.

Assembly

In this section, you will combine the ingredients to bring together the flavorful vendakkai mor kuzhambu. Follow these steps meticulously for a rich and delicious curry.

  1. Add Cooked Okra:
  • Gently add the cooked okra into the simmering yogurt mixture.
  • Stir gently to ensure the okra is well-coated with the yogurt base.
  1. Simmer:
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Allow it to simmer for 5-7 minutes until all flavors meld together.
  1. Temper Oil Mixture:
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan over medium heat.
  • Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 10-12 curry leaves, and a pinch of asafoetida (hing).
  • Sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  1. Finish With Tempering:
  • Pour this tempered oil mixture over the simmering kuzhambu.
  • Mix gently to incorporate all flavors evenly.

Your vendakkai mor kuzhambu is now ready to serve! Enjoy it hot with steamed rice for an authentic South Indian meal experience.

Conclusion

Creating vendakkai mor kuzhambu is a rewarding culinary experience that brings the authentic flavors of Tamil Nadu to your kitchen. By following the detailed steps and using fresh ingredients, you can achieve a richly flavored dish that’s sure to impress. Whether you’re an experienced cook or new to South Indian cuisine, this yogurt-based curry with okra will become a favorite in your repertoire. Serve it with steamed rice for a satisfying meal that captures the essence of traditional South Indian cooking. So, gather your ingredients and tools, and savor every bite of this delicious vendakkai mor kuzhambu!

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