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Vendakkai Sadam | Bhindi Rice | Spicy Okra Rice

Packing lunch for kids and adults can sometimes be a dilemma. We have to come up with something tasty but at the same time it should be filling and healthy too. I usually make pulao and other variety rice like tomato rice, lemon rice for lunch box. I like to experiment with different vegetables and spices, so that it does not taste the same each time. 

Sambar powder is a versatile spice powder, it can be used for curries, stir fry's and even to make variety rice dishes. I tried making rice dishes with different vegetables and the sambar powder adds a unique and good flavor. This spicy okra / lady's finger rice is easy for beginners and bachelors to try. It's so simple yet packed with flavors. It needs very few ingredients and takes very less time too. If you have leftover rice, this bhindi rice dish can be done in 15 minutes! You can also try with other vegetables like brinjal, capsicum, ivygourd (kovakkai) and bittergourd (pavakkai). Serve this vendakkai saadam hot with any vegetable stir-fry and papad or potato chips.


{ Rice with okra (lady's finger), sambar powder and spices }
Serves 2


½ cup basmati rice
1 tbsp sesame oil / nallennai
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
Pinch of asafoetida / hing / perugayam
Few curry leaves
½ medium onion, chopped
½ tsp tamarind paste / marble-size tamarind
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
3 tsp sambar powder
10-12 vendakkai / bhindi / okra
Salt to taste


1. Wash the okra and path them dry completely. Trim the ends and cut them into thin rounds.

2. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Add ¾ cup water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Spread the rice on a plate and allow to cool.

3. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add asafoetida, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add onion and fry till they turn soft.

4. Dilute tamarind in 1 tbsp warm water. Add tamarind extract, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, sambar powder and fry for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the okra and lightly saute in low-medium heat until its cooked. Then add cooked rice, salt and mix well.

Notes and Tips
  • If you prefer less spice, then add only 2 tsp of sambar powder or adjust according to your preference.
  • Sesame oil adds a nice flavor, but you can use any cooking oil.
  • Take care not to over cook the okra, it should not become mushy.


  1. Very unique rice variety!! Awesome!!

  2. nice idea to pack veggies for kids,yumm

  3. Rice looks so delicious..

  4. that's totally a different rice bowl! So yummy..

  5. I liked this one pot meal with goodness of lady's finger

  6. A different style of meal...... interesting recipe n looks delicious.... :)

  7. Innovative and unique rice recipe. Looks delicious and good for packing to kids lunch box. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Nice lunch box recipe, looks delicious.. Kids and adults will love it.. Loved your pics dear..

  9. Innovative! Rice is cooked to perfection. Looks so yummy

  10. Wow vendakkai rice sounds so unique and looks inviting dear.. you got perfectly separated grains too wonderful!!!!

  11. Nice variety rice recipe. Looks delicious..

  12. Oh... just too good, dear... love the way the rice is totally separate from each other...

  13. Of course a different style of preparing rice....... healthy and delicious .... :)

  14. Your rice looks so tasty, I really want to try this Sambar powder now!

  15. Delicious sadam.. Got some bhindi in the fridge .. will make it too :)

  16. Healthy variety rice. Good one sona


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