బెండకాయ పులుసు: Bendakaya pulusu- Lady’s finger soup

Serves: Four. Preparation time: 30 minutes.


Ingredients:
1 lb Bendakaya/ Bhindi/ Okra/ Lady’s finger
2 Tbsp Tamarind paste
1 tsp Salt
1 Tsp Jaggery/ Brown Sugar
3 Green chillies chopped
1 sprig Cilantro

For tempering:
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
4 Dry red chillies broken into pieces
2 Tsp Coriander powder
1 Tsp Red chilli powder
1/2 Tsp Heeng
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Fenugreek powder
1 Tsp Rice flour
2 Tsp Besan
4 Curry leaves


Method:

1. Wash lady’s fingers in running water and pat dry. Chop into 1″ pieces. Boil lady’s finger immersed in 1″ water until they are half done, around 7 minutes. Pour in the tamarind paste, salt & sugar, and boil until fully cooked, around 7 minutes. Add the green chillies and cilantro. Set aside.


2. For tempering:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add Jheera, dry red chillies, turmeric, Heeng, Dhania powder, red chilli powder, Rice flour, Besan and curry leaves. Let it fry for a few seconds until the rice flour/besan are roasted and switch off flame. Mix in the Methi powder.

3. Pour the tempering into the okra soup.


Suggestions/Variations:
1. Adjust the salt, sugar, tamarind and chillies to taste depending on how mild/strong they are.
2. Rice flour- besan may be dissolved in 3 Tbsp water and added into the soup stew to boil instead of frying with the tempering.

Culture:
This is another addition to our list of pulusus. Pulusus are very versatile since they may be served with hot rice, paired with snacks such as Upma, eaten with Kandi pacchadi or Mudda pappu, or simply used to dip Idlis into!
It can be prepared in a jiffy when making small quantities and tastes heavenly.

Trivia:
This is my mother’s recipe, she made it for us while she was here, and it is a truly lip smacking preparation. Some claim that eating Bendakaya makes you sharp, while Dondakaya makes you dull. So enjoy this pulusu as it sharpens your mind 😉