Vendakka (okra / ladies' finger) fry is a universal favorite and tastes great with all sour koottaans and curd rice as well as chapathis. I remember making two varieties of okra when my boys were small - my elder one liked it when I made it the regular way; my younger one wouldn't touch it - he wanted it crispy crisp, so I had to deep-fry his portion. Oh yes, I know - I was pampering them, but I didn't mind!
Vendakka fry tastes great when it is prepared well - I mean it should not be mushy! Of course you may be better off if you are deep-frying the okra. Otherwise you have to be cautious not to mess it up! My tips might help you - if you are not already aware of them!
Vendakka (Bhendi) – 600 gms
Green chilli – 2 – slit lengthwise
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Sambar powder / red chilli powder – 1-2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Oil – 3-4 tbsp
Wash the vendakka and keep in a colander for 2-3 hours so that they are dry. (You can wash them and leave them in a colander overnight).
Cut them into thin rings.
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the slit green chillies and stir for a minute.
Add the chopped vendakka, turmeric powder, lime juice, and salt and stir gently.
Cook without the lid on medium flame, stirring occasionally.
Add 1 tbsp of oil if required and continue to cook uncovered till the vendakka is nicely fried and crisp.
Vendakka also shrinks after the dish is ready – so you may add 1 small potato (chopped in small pieces) along with the vendakka – it also adds to the taste.
Add a little bit of oil towards the end, it will add to its taste.
You can make this dish by deep-frying the chopped vendakka and giving a tadka of the mentioned ingredients. But remember not to over-fry it: it will turn chewy; it should be somewhat green when you drain it off from the oil and not brown.