Okra Curry With Tomatoes - Vendakka Curry Kerala Style
This easy okra curry or vendakka curry is prepared using fresh okra (lady finger known as vendakka in Kerala, South India), tomatoes and spices and it makes a very delicious curry with rice for lunch or dinner for those who love lady fingers.
Wash the okra. Dry each okra with a paper towel and keep aside for drying. Make sure the okra is completely dry before yo do anything with it.
Cut both ends of each okra. You can cut them even smaller if your okra is long in size. If using very small okras (which are the best), you just have to cut the ends. You can also slice them once lengthwise if you like.
Transfer the cut okra pieces to a large bowl, add the spices and 2 tablespoons of oil, mix well so all the okra get coated in spices and oil. (We add salt only at the end of the preparation for best results).
Let it sit there for about 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan and when the oil is hot, add the okra little by little to deep fry. Make sure you don't overcrowd the pan. You can deep fry all the okra in different batches if needed.
While frying the okra, you will notice that the slimy liquid from okra is coming out, which is okay, you should just wait for it to evaporate and you get the nicely fried okra (with the slimy substance gone). This will take a few minutes, so make sure to keep the heat medium and adjust as need so the okras won't get burnt.
Sprinkle salt towards the end of frying (each batch).
Transfer the fried okras to a bowl or plate (which can handle heat, don't use plastic plates or bowls). You may also transfer them to an aluminium foil.
Now your okra is ready to be used for the curry. So let us go on to prepare the curry gravy for the dish.
To Make The Curry
Slice the onions finely, keep it aside.
Chop the tomatoes and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions and little salt.
Saute the onions until the onions are transparent or lightly browned.
Transfer the sauteed onions to a bowl and once it is cool, process it in the food processor to make the onion paste(don't add water).
Add the chopped tomatoes to the same pan and saute for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the oil has started to separate from it.
Add the onion paste, ginger garlic paste and saute for another 2 minutes.
Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
Add all the spices and reduce the heat and cook the gravy for another 2 minutes. By this time, thegravy mixture would have nicely blended with all the spices.
Now the gravy for the vendakka curry (okra curry) is ready. If you want a creamy texture, add the coconut milk (thick) or heavy cream and stir in to combine with the curry.
Switch off the stove and add the fried okra to the gravy. Mix everything well. Delicious okra/lady finger curry in onion tomato gravy with spices is ready to serve!
Serve the hot vendakka curry or lady finger curry with rice for lunch or dinner.