Vendakkai sambar or ladies finger sambar is a delicious and healthy sambar that is often prepared in most homes in Tamil Nadu. Everyone at home too likes this Vendakkai sambar and I often prepare it as it goes well with everything be it rice, idli, dosa, pongal, upma or even chapathis. Vendakkai sambar is so flavourful and delicious that my daughter often asks me to prepare this. There are different recipes of making Vendakkai sambar but here, I am going to share the recipe of making Vendakkai sambar the way I make at home. The Vendakkai sambar tastes flavourful, aromatic and delicious.


200 gms ladies finger (washed, then pat dried and finely sliced)
2 cups Toor dal washed and soaked in water for about ½ an hour
2 tomatoes washed and deseeded
2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
5 or 6 cloves of garlic
A large lemon sized ball of tamarind
8 tbsp oil
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 dry red chillies
handful of curry leaves
1 large onion finely sliced
3 tsp sambar powder
¼ tsp asafoetida powder
2 and 1/2 tsp Salt (or to taste)


  • Wash the tamarind a few times with running water to remove the dirt. Then take the tamarind in a pan and add 1 cup of water to it and heat the pan in medium flame.When the water turns hot, switch off the gas and allow it to cool down a little. 
  • Then mash the tamarind nicely and strain using a strainer to extract the tamarind pulp. Discard the residue and keep the tamarind pulp ready.
  • Then take a pressure cooker and add Toor dal, tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, and garlic cloves. 
  • Add 4 to 5 cups of water and close the lid.
  • Pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles.
  • After the steam has escaped, open the lid of the cooker and allow the dal to cool down a bit.
  • We can now grind it to a fine paste. Keep this ready.
  • Next heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan and stir fry the ladies finger for some time till they are cooked. Keep this also ready.
  • Now heat 4 tbsp oil in a large pan or vessel.
  • Add onions, mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies and saute till the onions turn brown.
  • Add sambar powder and mix well.
  • After a minute, add tamarind pulp and bring to  boil.
  • Add the dal and the fried ladies finger along with some water and bring to a boil.
  • Add asafoetida, salt and ghee and mix well. Once it starts boiling, switch off the gas.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot with rice, idlidosa, pongalupma or even chapathis

For more South Indian curry recipes, you can check out the following page

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