Bendakaya Pulusu: Okra in Tamarind Gravy

This is another delectable dish from the Andhra Kitchen. A friend’s Mom has been generous enough to keep a steady supply of recipes for my appetite as well as for the blog. ‘Pulusu’ (meaning sour in Telugu) is a stew which is generally tamarind based. You can choose to add a variety of vegetables. But I’ve chosen to make the Bandakaya Pulusu, (bendakaya meaning okra/lady’s finger in Telugu) since that’s my favorite.


  • 1/4 kg okra/ lady’s finger
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 green chilies
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • 1 small lemon sized tamarind
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 fenugreek seeds
  • Few curry leaves


  • Chop the okra into 1 inch long pieces and keep it aside
  • Chop the onions, tomato and green chilies finely and keep it aside
  • Heat some oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds
  • Once the mustard crackles, add the chopped onions and green chilies and sauté for a minute.
  • Add the okra pieces and cook on medium flame till the onions and okra turn slightly brown.
  • Add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric and salt and stir well.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the grated jaggery and tamarind pulp along with three cups of water to the okra and bring it to a boil.
  • Adjust salt and cover the pan with a lid so that the okra cooks well
  • Serve hot with rice

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves: 3

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