Vendakka kichadi is okra curry with yogurt and coconut base. Crispy okra against the creamy mildly spiced curry is very delicious. It is a traditional sadhya special thodu curry served in South Kerala along with pachadi varieties.
The dish typically involves cooking okra until it's tender and then mixing it with a spiced yogurt mixture. The spices used can vary, but common ingredients include cumin and green chilies. The final result is a creamy and tangy side dish that complements the flavors of Kerala's main dishes, such as rice and various curries.
Like many regional dishes, the preparation and ingredients in Vendakka Kichadi may vary from one household to another, each adding their own twist to the recipe. This dish often comes as part of a traditional Kerala sadhya (feast) during festivals and special occasions. Pachadis and Kichadis are very similar preparations.However with minor variations they differ by region.
Vendakka kichadi is a Kerala style yellow thick curry made with Indian okra/ ladies finger,It has a creamy yogurt and coconut base and very mildly spiced. The curry is not boiled for long after the ground mixture is added so that it doesn't loose its freshness. Vendakka kichadi is usually served for Kerala sadhya, the traditional feast towards the southern side especially Trivandrum.
Vendakka kichadi is served on the top half left side of the leaf after the pickles varieties like instant mango pickle, ginger pickle and lemon pickle . It is one of the traditional 'todu curry' served with rice. This yellow curry is served towards Thiruvananthapuram side instead of katti kalan /kurukku kaalan. The serving size is a 2-3 tsps only.
Vendakka kichadi is a dish is usually made for Kerala sadya (feast). But it can be made on regular days too. Make it thick if you are going to serve on the banana leaf for sadhya so it would stay in place and pourable consistency if u are making on other days to mix with rice while you eat. Whenever I make spicy Kerala dishes with rice I try to mellow down the heat with such yogurt based side dishes.
Wash the okra quickly and pat dry on a dry towel thoroughly until all the moisture is gone. Keep it to air dry if needed for some time. Slice only when completely dry.
When you put the okra into oil for saute do not stir for a few minutes allow the heat to dry up some of the moisture inside. Toss once or twice for even cooking. Stirring constantly will break the veggie and turn into a mush.
Ingredients list :
POINTS TO NOTE :
- Do not stir the okra as soon as it is put on the hot pan. Allow it to stay on the heat and dry up a little but this helps from quickly turning into a big mushy paste. If there is too much moisture on the veggie will cook fast and turn mushy.
- If you cook this yogurt based curry for long after adding the coconut and yogurt paste it will loose its flavor. Allow the curry to slightly heat up not even see a boil.
- If you allow the curry to boil for long the coconut and yogurt will curdle and split.
- Do not add any water for okra to cook this will make the okra slimy.
- Do not add water to the coconut yogurt mixture. This makes the curry creamy and thick.
- The yogurt and coconut should be in room temperature else it won't grind properly. Remember to grind it first and then add green chili to a quick whip to break it into few pieces that is all.
SERVING AND STORAGE :
Make the curry just before serving. Kichadi tastes best fresh. As it sits the curry can turn tart but very much edible. Refrigerate leftovers. The curry can turn rancid in hot climate even on refrigeration. So do not make ahead ! But if you absolutely have to then make the okra fried earlier and the curry on the day of serving say an hour or two earlier only.
OTHER YOGURT BASED CURRIES TO TRY WITH :
Steps for making vendakka kichadi
Okra is sautéed in a wide mouth non stick pan for even cooking. Allow the okra pieces to crisp up but don't let it brown , keep the green color to some extend.
Make the coconut yogurt paste heat until it begins to boil . Make a mustard seasoning pour over it .When the okra fried cools mix it with the curry.
Do not grind the coconut to a very fine paste. Do not boil the curry as it will curdle from the heat.
OTHER OKRA RECIPES TO TRY :
Vendakka Pachadi / Okra curry
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1-2 Whole red chili
- few sprigs Curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 Tsp Coconut oil
- a pinch Sugar to balance the bitter flavors
- Wash and cut the okra quickly and pat dry on a dry towel thoroughly until all the moisture is gone. Cut each into very medium sized slices as seen in pic for even cooking and crispy texture.
- Heat coconut oil and fry the okra till crisp and slightly brown. Add salt and keep aside. OR you may bake or air fry the okra slices.
- Grind the coconut first , then add cumin and turmeric powder, little salt adding yogurt to a coarse mixture adding 1/2 glass water(optional).Add green chili towards last so its not ground to paste.
- Heat the mixture on low flame when one bubble appears immediately remove from flame to stop further boiling.
- In another small pan heat coconut oil -2 -3 tsps add mustard when it crackles add whole red chili, curry leaves when it becomes crisp pour it onto the curry.
- When the okra pieces and the curry is slightly cool mix both together and add a very small pinch of sugar to balance the taste.Serve it along with rice and other curries, thoran etc..
- Add okra to curry when both have cooled down or the curry will taste slightly more bitter.
- You may make the curry very thick for sadhya and little bit watery to pour on top of rice on other days.
- Okra can quickly turn slimy mush if it is stirred too much.
Hope you will give this okra curry a try and let me know.