Bendakaya Pulusu Recipe – Super easy and delicious Andhra style tamarind-based okra stew. It tastes amazing when served with rice.
What is bendakaya pulusu?
Bendakaya means Okra or ladies finger and Pulusu means tangy stew in Telugu. Bendakaya Pulusu is a traditional stew from Andhra Cusine. There are many versions of making the classic Andhra Pulusu and can be made with a wide range of vegetables.
Okra pulusu is one of the easy and comforting dishes and tastes great with hot steamed rice.
We add more jaggery to our pulusu to make it a sweet and sour kind of gravy.
Ingredients & Substitutions:
Okra: Make sure you chop them into 1-2 inch pieces. You can also use potatoes along with okra. Frozen okra can also be used.
Tomato: I have used fresh tomatoes and they can be replaced with canned ones.
Onion: Any type of onion will work in this recipe. I use shallots sometimes.
Mustard Seeds: Do not skip mustard seeds if possible. The tempered mustard seeds will add a great flavor and taste to the stew.
Fenugreek Seeds: Do not skip adding fenugreek. If you can’t find whole fenugreek seeds, use a pinch of fenugreek powder. You can find them in any Indian store.
Cumin Seeds: You can skip them if you don’t have them handy or add a little bit of cumin powder.
Hing: Hing is Asafoetida. It is a very common ingredient in South Indian cuisine and adds a unique flavor to any dish. Use it if possible.
Tamarind: It is the key ingredient in any kind of Andhra pulusu recipes. You will need to soak them in hot water for a few minutes and extract the juice. Can be replaced with store-bought tamarind paste.
Jaggery: It balances the sourness and adds a wonderful sweet taste. Jaggery can be easily replaced with white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, or palm sugar. Use more or less as per your taste.
Red Chilli Powder: We use chili powder in a lot of recipes such as curries, lentils, and stews. Replace it with cayenne pepper or use more green chillies if you don’t have chilli powder and cayenne.
Green Chilli: Leave it if you don’t have it and replace it with more chilli powder or cayenne pepper.
Rice Flour: It is a thickening agent. You can easily replace it with whatever flour you have in hand.
Curry Leaves & Cilantro: I recommend using both herbs. If not possible, try to add cilantro.
It tastes amazing when served hot with rice. If you are not vegan, add a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter) on top while serving.
Also, serve papads, or potato chips by side for the crunch.
Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Step by step instrucions:
Wash and pat dry okra / bendakaya using a kitchen towel. Chop them into 1-2 inch pieces and set them aside.
Soak tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes and squeeze the extract. Discard the pulp.
Mix rice flour with some water and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them splutter.
Then add curry leaves, slit green chilli, red chilli and hing. Give it a mix.
Add sliced onions to the pan and fry until they are translucent.
Once it is done, add chopped okra or ladies’ fingers and saute everything for 4-5 minutes.
Then add chopped tomato, turmeric powder and one cup of water to the pan. Mix everything well.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook until they are half cooked.
Give it a stir.
Add strained tamarind extract, salt, jaggery and red chilli powder.
Add 1-1.5 cups of water and mix. Add less water if you want it to be on the thicker side.
Let it boil for another 8-10 minutes.
Finally, add chopped cilantro on top and combine it well.
Serve hot with rice.
Few more Andhra recipes:
- Tamarind Rice
- Eggplant Chutney
- Gutti Dondakaya Ulli Karam
- Dosakaya Pappu
- Gutti Vankaya
- Thotakura Pulusu Koora
- Ponnaganti Majjiga Pulusu
How to make bendakaya pulusu recipe video below:
Bendakaya Pulusu Recipe – Andhra Style Okra in Tamarind Gravy
- 1 tbsp tamarind, heaped
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- ½ Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ¼ Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- ¼ Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 Dry Red Chilli
- 1 Slit Green Chilli
- 2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
- A Pinch of Hing / Asafoetida
- 1.5 Cups Sliced Onion 2 medium sized onions
- 3 Cups Chopped Okra (1 inch pieces) approx. 250 grams
- 1 Cup Chopped Tomato 1 large tomato
- ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 4 Tablespoons Jaggery
- ¼ – ½ Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 2-3 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
- Wash and pat dry okra using a kitchen towel. Chop them into 1-2 inch pieces and set them aside.
- Soak tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes and squeeze the extract. Discard the pulp.
- Mix rice flour with some water and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them splutter.
- Then add curry leaves, slit green chilli, red chilli and hing. Give it a mix.
- Add sliced onions to the pan and fry until they are translucent.
- Once it is done, add chopped okra and saute everything for 4-5 minutes.
- Then add chopped tomato, turmeric powder and one cup of water to the pan. Mix everything well.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook until they are half cooked.
- Add strained tamarind extract, salt, jaggery and red chilli powder.
- Add 1-1.5 cups of water and mix. Add less water if you want it to be on the thicker side.
- Let it boil for another 8-10 minutes.
- Finally, add chopped cilantro on top and combine it well.
- Serve with rice and enjoy!
Nutrition values are estimates only.