Bendakaya pulusu recipe with step by step photos. Andhra style bhindi or okra in spicy tamarind gravy. Okra (ladies finger) is called as bendakaya in telugu. Pulusu is a stew that is made often in Andhra homes. Today’s recipe is cooking okra in tamarind gravy along with jaggery and chili powder.
Making pulusu is very easy and definitely a comfort food. Bendakaya pulusu is the only kind of pulusu that is made in our home using tomato. If you do not like to use tomatoes, you can skip, but they add taste.
This recipe calls for very little coriander powder and a good red chili powder that yields this bright color. I have not used jaggery in this pulusu but if you like you can use.
I like to use potatoes for most of my Andhra pulusu recipes, since they add taste and meal time is smoother with my kids. Just like most kids, my Kids too love potatoes. You can skip, if you don’t like them.
Benadakaya pulusu recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for bendakaya pulusu
- 250 grams bendakayalu (okra, ladies finger)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- Pinch menthulu (methi seeds or fenugreek seeds)
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1 green chili slit (optional)
- 2 small tomatoes or 1 large tomato (optional)
- 2 potatoes cubed (optional)
- 2 tbsp Tamarind as needed (about a lemon sized ball)
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- Salt as needed
- ½ to 1 tsp coriander powder
- ¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder
- 1 to 2 tbsp jaggery (optional)
- Handful Coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp Oil or as needed
How to make the recipe
Preparation for bendakaya pulusu
- Rinse and soak tamarind in ½ cup hot water. Once cool, squeeze up and filter to remove the pulp.
- Chop onions set aside.
- Rinse ladies finger under running water. Wipe them dry with a clean kitchen cloth.
- Chop them to 1 inch sized pieces. You can use a kitchen tissue in between to wipe off the sticky part from the knife.
- Chop tomatoes and set aside.
Making bendakaya pulusu
- Heat a pan with oil, add mustard and menthulu. When they begin to crackle, add curry leaves and fry till they turn crisp.
- Add onions and green chilies. You can also skip green chilies.
- Fry till the onions turn transparent. You don’t need to fry till golden.
- Add tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Fry till the tomatoes turn completely mushy. This is very important otherwise the pulusu doesn’t taste good.
- Transfer ladies finger and potatoes. Then fry on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add red chili powder, coriander powder and a little more of the salt.
- Mix and fry for another 2 minutes
- Pour the tamarind water and then add jaggery. You can also dissolve the jaggery along with tamarind and fliter both to the pot. Mix well
- Cover and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame or heat.
- Pour 1 ½ to 2 cups water and cook on a low flame till the ladies finger is cooked well soft and tender. If it is too runny, evaporate the excess water by cooking further without a lid.
- Taste the pulusu and add more salt, tamarind water and jaggery if needed. It should typically have different tastes like sweet, sour and hot.
- Serve bendakaya pulusu with rice and plain pappu or mudda pappu.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Preparation for bendakaya pulusu with step by step pictures
1. Rinse tamarind and soak it in ½ cup hot water. Squeeze up and filter the juice, discard the pulp or reuse.
2. Wash okra under running water. Wipe dry with a clean kitchen cloth or tissue.
3. Chop okra to 1 inch sized pieces. I use a kitchen tissue in between to wipe off the sticky part from the knife.
4. Next chop onions and tomatoes. Set aside.
How to make bendakaya pulusu
5. Heat a pan with oil, add mustard and methi seeds, allow them to splutter, add curry leaves.Fry till they turn crisp
6. Add onions and green chilies. I did not use green chilies.
7. Fry till the onions turn pink. We don’t have to fry them golden.
8. Add tomatoes, sprinkle salt and turmeric. Fry till the tomatoes turn soft and should have blended of with onions. This step is important for the pulusu to taste good.
9. Transfer potatoes and okra. Fry on high flame for 2 to 3 minutes.
10. Add red chili powder, coriander powder and a little more of the salt. we have already added salt with tomatoes, so don’t use too much. Mix and fry for another 2 minutes for the raw smell from red chili powder to vanish.
Tamarind and jaggery in bendakaya pulusu
11.Pour the tamarind juice that we extracted evenly. Add jaggery as well. I dissolve the jaggery along with tamarind and filter. Stir well.
12. Cover and cook on a low flame for about 3 to 4 minutes.
13. Pour 1 ½ to 2 cups water and cook till the okra is soft cooked. Pulusu cooked on a low flame tastes the best. So if you have time, once it comes to a boil, simmer for a long time till the okra is soft cooked.
Bendakaya pulusu is ready. It can be served with plain pappu or mudda pappu, ghee and rice.