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Vendakkai Sambar | Ladies Finger Sambar

Sambar can be made with a variety of vegetables and each vegetable gives a unique flavor to the sambar.  Vendakkai / ladies finger sambar is one of my all time favorites. I have already posted some other easy sambar recipes - radish sambarpumpkin sambar and vendhaya keerai sambar, check them out too. 

Ladies finger is quite expensive here and not available all-year around. So whenever I see good ones, I buy few to make pachadi or sambar. This is an easy and no-grind sambar recipe, perfect for beginners and bachelors. It goes well with any thoran/poriyal or vegetable stir-fry and with idli/dosa too. We totally enjoyed this vendakkai sambar with rice and kathrikai kara curry. Let's see how to make this simple and flavorful sambar.


{ South Indian lentil and ladies finger (okra) curry }
Serves 2-3


½ cup toor dal / yellow pigeon peas
2 tsp coconut oil
12-15 vendakkai / bhindi
8-10 shallots / chinna vengayam
½ tbsp tamarind paste / gooseberry-sized tamarind
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp sambar powder
½ red chilly powder
Salt to taste

To temper:
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
Few curry leaves


1. Wash and pressure cook the dal with 1 ½ cup water and a pinch of turmeric powder for 3 whistles. Mash well and set aside.

2. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup warm water and extract the tamarind juice. If using tamarind paste, dissolve in 1 cup warm water.

3. Wash the ladies finger well, put on a towel or tissue paper and dry it completely. Trim the end and cut into 1 inch long pieces.

4. Heat a kadai and add 1 tsp coconut oil and ladies finger. Fry in medium-high flame until brown spots appear. Set aside.

5. In the same kadai, add 1 tsp oil and fry the shallots for 3-4 minutes. Add the fried ladies finger, tamarind extract, turmeric powder, sambar powder, red chilly powder and salt.

6. Bring to boil and boil until raw smell of tamarind goes. Then add the mashed dal, water if required and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

7. In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add dry chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour over the sambar.

Serving Suggestion ~ Rice and thoran/poriyal, or idli/dosa.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any oil but I recommend using coconut oil as it adds a nice flavor.
  • You can also add a small tomato after frying the shallots.
  • Adding red chilly powder is optional.
  • Frying ladies finger removes the sliminess, so do not skip it.


  1. perfect for steamed rice and dosa

  2. adipoli sambar,yummy

  3. flavourful sambar!! comforting meal with rice!!

  4. Tasty & tempting too.....

  5. simple yet satisfying meal..

  6. This is one of my favorites too.. Looks very nice.

  7. Vendakka sambar looks delicious and tempting.. Nice pics.

  8. my fav sambar..ur pictures is making me drool..

  9. I feel hungry seeing the pics.. Delicious sambar..

  10. This sambar is perfect with rice and poriyal, makes a superb meal. Nicely pictured.

  11. Really tempting sambar....... I love to have this with rice and pappadam...... :)

  12. Vendkkai sambar looks delicious.

  13. Shreya's favourite..Lovely Vendakkai sambhar

  14. Sambar looks delicious:-) makes a grt rice accompaniment

  15. Delicious looking sambar dear... with one of my favorite veggies!

  16. I am going to try this, combinations sound amazing and okra is going to be in season now, definitely on my list..!! :)

  17. Never tried okra in sambhar, definitely on my list now..!! :)

  18. Love to dig with crispy dosa!! Yumm!!

  19. love this thick sambar. looks yummy.

  20. This sambar looks so delicious. I like the idea of stir frying the lady fingers before adding them to the sambar.

  21. my fav sambar..sambar looks mouthwatering...neat presentation sona

  22. Mouthwatering Sambar...Looks totally irresistible!! Beautiful presentation

  23. Spicy n tasty luking sambar


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