Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Vendakkai Pulikulambu (Okra Curry)

 Published 2008-Sep-06   Updated 2022-Jul-25

- Submitted by Eliza

(Okra in tamarind gravy, Ladiesfinger Curry, Bendakaya Pulusu)

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Vendakkai Pulikumabu is a simple ladies finger curry that goes well with white rice and some papad. Ladies finger, also known as okra is a very healthy vegetable. It has a sliminess when cooked which many people do not like. In this okra curry, this sliminess would not bother you. The okra pieces are sauteed and then cooked in tamarind water. The tanginess seeps into the okra pieces making it super delicious. This curry tastes extremely good with some hot white rice and some papad. 

This okra curry can be made with or without the coconut paste. It is added to give some additional thickness. The kulambu milagai thool which is added gives that wonderful aroma and thickness too. Homemade powder is preferable. Without further delay, let me get into the recipe.

Recipe For Vendakkai Pulikulambu

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 35 minutes
Serves : 4 - 6


  • Okra - 250 gms (cubed)
  • Small Onions - 15 (Sliced)
  • Tomato - 1 big (chopped)
  • Garlic - 4 pods (sliced)
  • Tamarind water - ½ cup
  • Kuzhambu Milagai Powder (or Sambar Powder) - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup 
  • Salt - to taste

For Tempering

  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek (Methi) seeds - ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 string
  • Oil - 2 tbsp (preferably sesame oil or peanut oil)


  1. Warm the kadai with oil. Add thalippu (tempering) ingredients to the hot oil - mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. 
  2. Add the sliced onions, okra and garlic pieces. Sauté it to remove the stickiness of the okra pieces. 
  3. Add the chopped tomato and sauté it with salt, turmeric and kulambu milagai powder.(or sambar powder). 
  4. Add the tamarind water. 
  5. Let it cook for 10- 15 minutes on medium heat till the vegetable is cooked.
  6. You can serve it at this stage without the coconut paste but I like to add it to get some thickness. Grind the coconut with some water to make a smooth paste.
  7. Cook on low flame for another 10 minutes until oil separates. 
  8. Serve it with steamed rice and appalam.


  • Same recipe can be followed just with pearl onions, just garlic, with any vathal, with drumstick, brinjal etc.
  • Pulikulambu can be cooked without the ground coconut paste also (another variation).
  • Wash and dry the okra pieces completely before frying to avoid stickiness.

Serving Suggestion

  • As I mentioned before, this curry tastes great with white rice. A simple sutta appalam is enough for accompaniment. You can make it special with some poriyal, varuval etc.
  • This okra curry can also be served with curd rice, khichadi, chapatti, idli or dosa.

More Okra Recipes

Bhendi Bhaja Bhendi Bhaja Mour Kulambu Mour Kulambu Bhindi Raita Bhindi Raita Bhindi Fry Bhindi Fry
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (10)

Person   ()
How many thalippu? It's not on the list of ingredients but it's in the directions. I know it's a spice dal ball thing that is used in Tamil Nadu. Do I make a thalippu and then add one?
Person   ()
Hi Kevin, Thalippu is the tempering that we do for any Indian dish. Sometimes thalippu vadam is used which is the round ball thing that you are referring to. In this case tempering is done with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.

Thanks for letting me know. I will make the description more clear.
Person   ()
This was excellent... :-))
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
Thank u... recipie came out very well !!!
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
Person   ()
u r welcome..
Person   ()
Isn't needed to add chillies ?
Person   ()
You could add if your wish.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2022-07-25.