Most of the Karnataka Brahmins call Sambar as Huli. So do not confuse it with the translation of sour taste in kannada a Huli. Though Sambar is made from vegetables, dal and masala items, our Mangalore style differs from the others. For us this is a traditional dish. We use a lot of coconut gratings in many dishes. Likewise, we make Bendekai Huli using Coconut. This dish is my Father-in-law’s favourite. So I make this once in a week. Other days I prepare Huli with the other vegetables too. Bendekai in Hindi is called Bhindi and in English Okra. Since this Bendekai Huli or Bhindi Sambar is quite different from other vegetable sambar, I thought of posting it here.
It takes a lot of proper cooking procedure to cook the Bhindi. If you do not cook or roast the Okra perfectly, the Sambar will become gooey, glossy and inedible. Most of us do not like the slimy Sambar. So here I have given the detailed stepwise recipe of cooking it. Sometimes after roasting the Okra in Oil, I cook it with Tamarind water in microwave oven for about 8 minutes. So I need not check the bhindi in between as you would while cooking in vessel. If you do not add proper water while cooking, the Bhindi will stick to the vessel. This Sambar or Huli gives a lot of proteins from Dal and other nutrients from vegetables. Now days, usage of coconut has become very popular and it
is supposed to be good for health.
Follow the procedure accordingly given under. Cook the Bhindi properly. Roast and Grind the Urad dal, Coriander seeds, jeera and red chillies along with grated coconut to a fine paste. Add Salt, Jaggery to this paste and Bhindi, cook it with sufficient water till boil. Serve this Bendekai Huli or Bhinidi Sambar with hot rice. Occasionally we eat it with Phulka too.
- Bendekai / Bhindi / Okra – 1/4 Kg (Tender Ones)
- Tamarind Water – 1 Cup (Soak medium Lemon sized Tamarind in water for half an hour and extract the water)
- Toor Dal – 2 Tbsp
- Coconut – 1 Cup
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (Optional)
- Oil – 1 tsp (To roast the Bhindi) I always use Coconut Oil
- Curry Leaves 7-8
- Coriander Leaves
To be Roasted and Grinding Ingredients:
- Coconut Oil – 1 tsp
- Urad Dal – 1/2 tsp
- Coriander Seeds or Dhaniya – 1 and 1/2 tsp
- Jeera or Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chillies – 2
Time to Prepare: 20 minutes
Serves – 4 or 5
How to Make Bendekai Huli or Bhindi Sambar – Using Coconut:
1. Wash the Okra thoroughly with water. If you feel it is has more dirt, soak it for 5 minutes and strain the water. Wipe each and every Bhindi with a clean kitchen towel to avoid stickiness while chopping and cooking. Discard the top and bottom of each Bhindi by chopping them. Now cut the bhindi into 1 inch pieces. Be careful, sometimes worms will be inside it. So if you find just discard the entire Okra.
2. Wash Toor Dal and add 1/4 tsp of Turmeric to it. Add sufficient water and cook in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles. Keep it ready before you start the process of Bendekai Huli.
3. Heat a tsp of Oil in a pan, add the cut Bhindi pieces and sprinkle 1/4 tsp of Turmeric Powder over it. Fry them till it slightly changes colour and the stickiness of the Okra disappears. Soak the Tamarind in water for 10 minutes and extract the water from it.
4. Heat Tamarind water in a vessel for a minute. Add roasted Okra to it.
5. Add sufficient water to it. Close lid of the vessel and cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until it is soft. Slowly the water content evaporates. Cook it over low flame.
6. Add Cooked Toor Dal to the Bhindi and keep it ready.
7. Meanwhile, heat Oil in a small pan, add Urad Dal to it.
8. Then add Coriander Seeds and fry for a minute. Now add Jeera and fry till it changes its color.
9. Later add Red Chillies and fry till the Urad Dal becomes golden colour and Red Chillies colour changes too. Transfer this to a mixer jar.
10. Then add grated Coconut. First grind it without adding the water, to make fine powder. This helps to grind the Red Chillies and other ingredients properly.
11. Then add sufficient water and grind it to smooth paste. Now add Salt, Jaggery to the cooked Dal and Bhindi vessel.
10. Now transfer the ground paste to the cooked Toor Dal to the cooked Okra vessel and add sufficient water to make it to proper consistency.
11. Add Curry Leaves, Coriander Leaves. Boil this for 7 about 8 minutes, by then the stickiness of Bhindi will disappear. Switch off the flame.
Serve this Bendekai Huli or Bhindi Sambar with plain hot rice.
1. Check each bhindi for worms. It may be black or white.
2. Always fry the Bhindi over low flame and fry till the stickiness disappears. It might become slightly dark in colour.