Vendakkai Kara Kuzhambu / Kulambu – Ladies Finger in Tamarind Curry

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe

Kara Kuzhambu / kulambu is an everyday curry made for lunch. Its usually served with rice. Kara Kuzhambu is generally made with a choice of veggies like drumstick, brinjal etc… but I heavily fall for kara kuzhambu made with vendakkai – ladies finger. The juicy bite of the ladies finger soaked in tamarind gravy is so delicious. Here is how to do Vendakkai Kara Kuzhambu.

Wash and dry the ladies finger on a towel. Drying them will remove the excess moisture and help in faster browning while cooking. Snap off the ends of the ladies finger. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe-chop

Add a teaspoon of oil to a pan (preferably non-stick) and add in the ladies finger. Wider the pan – the better, as it will have more surface area and the ladies finger will brown faster and better without being slimy. Saute on a low flame. Add in a little bit of salt to the ladies finger while frying. It will brown evenly. Once the ladies finger is cooked, remove from heat and set aside. Many people ask me why not use an iron pan for frying. How did they do it in olden days etc… You can use whatever pan you want. But you will need to add a little bit more oil and fry continuously if using conventional pans. Its just a matter of choice. End of the day, its your food – your way!

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe-fry

We will now make a masala for the kara kuzhambu.

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe-masala

Dry roast all the ingredients together except coconut. Dry roast on a low flame until the seeds slowly start to brown and the aroma wafts in the kitchen. Remove and set aside to cool. In the same pan, add in the fresh shredded coconut. Fry for a couple of minutes till its completely dry. Note : Do not roast spices on high heat. They will burn and ruin the flavour of the dish. Grind the roasted masala with 1/2 a cup of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe-roast

Heat oil in a pan and add in a teaspoon of sesame oil (gingely oil / nallennai). When the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves and the dried red chillies. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add in the onions and fry for a minute. No need to brown the onions. You can use Indian shallots (small onion / chinna vengayam ) for a more robust flavour. Add in the chopped tomatoes (preferably country-naati tomatoes), turmeric powder, little salt and sambar powder.  Fry for a minute more. Be cautious while adding salt. Remember that we already salted the ladies finger while frying.

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe-tempering

Add in the ground masala and the tamarind paste. I like to use home made tamarind paste. Having tamarind paste is such a time saver. Here is the recipe for making home made tamarind paste.

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe-add-water

Add in a cup of hot water and the fried ladies finger. Simmer for 5 minutes. We do not need to cook this for a long time as all the ingredients are already cooked.

vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu-recipe-simmer

Remove from heat and serve hot with rice.

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vendakkai-kara-kuzhambu

Vendakkai Kara Kuzhambu / Kulambu – Ladies Finger in Tamarind Curry

Vendakkai Kara Kuzhambu Recipe Chettinad style with coconut . Tamilnadu style spicy kara kuzhambu recipe.

  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For frying ladies finger

  • 500 grams ladies finger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame – gingely oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the masala

  • 1/3 cup fresh shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (vendayam)

Final Tempering and Gravy

  • 1 teaspoon sesame – gingely oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 3 dried red chillies
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon sambar powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon tamarind paste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add in the chopped ladies finger and salt. Cook until evenly browned and its not slimy anymore. Set aside.
  2. Dry roast all the ingredients listed under “masala” together except coconut. Dry roast on a low flame until the seeds slowly start to brown and the aroma wafts in the kitchen. Remove and set aside to cool. In the same pan, add in the fresh shredded coconut. fry for a couple of minutes till its completely dry. Grind the roasted masala with 1/2 a cup of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add in a teaspoon of sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves and the dried red chillies. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add in the onions and fry for a minute. Add in the chopped tomatoes (preferably country-naati tomatoes), turmeric powder, salt and sambar powder. Fry for a minute more.
  4. Add in the ground masala and the tamarind paste.
  5. Add in a cup of hot water and the fried ladies finger. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: lunch
  • Cuisine: Tamilnadu

vendai-kara-kuzhambu

19 thoughts on “Vendakkai Kara Kuzhambu / Kulambu – Ladies Finger in Tamarind Curry”

  1. Hi,
    I made this recipe today. It was so good and my 7 year old loved it. Just reduced the sambar powder to 1/2 tsp to adjust the spice level.

    Thank you for sharing it.






  2. Sarala Vijay

    I tried but it didn’t come out well, will try Next time. I didn’t t use Onion. As I don’t use Onion and garlic.

    Thank you






  3. Hi Suguna, I trid your Vendaikkai Karakuzhambu and it came out excellent. Thanks so much for the recipe.
    Usha.






  4. Suguna, I wish to try this recipe.
    I would be using tamarind in place of the tamarind paste mentioned by you.
    Would a medium lemon-sized ball of tamarind be the right size ?
    Also, would desiccated coconut work for this recipe ?
    Thank you !

  5. Amazing recipe…. just made it and loved the aroma filled inside the house…..thank you very much Suguna…for sharing such good recipes….

  6. Looks so yummy…wanted to try a recipe like this but didn’t know how to do..I will make this soon and post the commets 🙂

  7. I might sound repetitive. Your website is my go to and they are all a hit. Thanks again for sharing your recipes, snippets and knowledge with us.

    This and beet burger will be featured in our weekend menu.

    Best wishes,
    Madhavi.






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