Iyengar style Vendakai Mor kuzhambu is a variant to the regular Pooshanikai Mor- Kuzhambu .This type of preparation is something very commonly seen in many Iyengar (a sect of Tambrahms) households. I’d call this as south Indian version of “Bhindi Kadhi”. Our version of kadhi / mor-kuzhambu does not require garam masala or garlic. The specialty in our cuisine is without these ingredients we can prepare an equally flavorful dish.
Vendakai Mor kuzhambu , is typically crispy okra that is cooked in a thick , spicy yogurt based sauce.
Firstly soak 3 tbsps of toor dal in water , add a pinch of turmeric to it and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile chop the vendakaai / okra into big chunks and set it aside. Now take a wok , on medium heat , add 2 tsps of sesame oil and saute fenugreek, green chillies , dry red chillies until aromatic.
Add the roasted ingredients with the soaking toor dal along with a handful of coconut scrapings , jeera/ cumin , 1/2 inch of ginger, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Grind this to a smooth paste. Now in the same wok add 3 tbsps of coconut oil and 2 tbsps of ghee , on medium heat , add the chopped okra with few curry leaves and fry this until crisp(sprinkle little salt) .
Meanwhile take a heavy bottomed vessel , whisk in 250 ml of sour curd , little water and the ground paste. Keep this on medium heat and stir it continuously until you see frothing on the sides of the container and it’ll start boiling vigorously , at this stage add the fried okra to this and stir it well.
Temper mustard seeds , asafoetida and 3 dry red chillies and add it to the mor-kuzhambu. Serve this hot with plain rice.
For the okra fry
- 8 okra / vendakai
- 3 tbsps coconut oil
- 2 tbsps ghee
For roasting and grinding
- 3 tbsps toor dal
- pinch of turmeric
- 2 tsps fenugreek
- 2 tsps cumin
- 1 handful coconut scrapings
- 1/2 inch ginger piece
- 4 green chillies
- 4 dry red chillies
- few tbsps of water for soaking toor dal
For the gravy
- 250 ml Sour curd
- 100 ml water
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 3 dry red chillies
- Soak the toor dal in water , add a little turmeric and leave it in a blender jar for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile take a wok , on medium heat , add 2 tbsps of sesame oil and saute fenugreek , green chillies ,ginger piece and dry red chillies until aromatic , transfer this to the soaking toor dal ,add coconut scrapings , coriander leaves and cumin / jeera. Add the sauted items to the same blender jar with the soaked dals . Grind this to a fine paste.
- In the same wok , on medium heat , add 3 tbsps of coconut oil and 2 tbsps of ghee , fry the chopped okra until crisp , sprinkle little salt over it and saute until the outer skin of the okra turns light brown.
- In a medium sized vessel , add the ground paste and whisk in 250 ml of sour curd and 100 ml of water without any lumps. Keep this on medium heat and stir continuously , do not leave this on heat without stirring , it will burn at the bottom and give smoky taste. Care must be taken. As you stir this , it will start boiling and the liquid will start to thicken. The liquid will froth in the sides.
- Now add the fried okra to this and stir. Switch off the heat. Take a tempering pan or use the same wok that you used to fry the grinding ingredients and the okra , add a tsp of ghee , temper mustard seeds , asafoetida and break the dry red chillies and then add it. Saute this and add it to the mor-kuzhambu.
- Serve this hot with plain rice .