Bendakaya Pulusu – Okra in tamarind gravy

Pulusu aka stew is a typical Andhra preparation which is a tamarind based gravy dish that provides a tangy flavor to vegetables, lentils (pappu pulusu), meat (mamsam pulusu) or fish (chepala pulusu). Pulusu originates from the word ‘pulupu’, the tangy flavor of tamarind or lemon. In our parts of Andhra, jaggery or sugar also make an appearance in most pulusu preparations. Bendakaya pulusu is a simple recipe of okra cooked in tamarind sauce where the flavor of okra is brought out well in this tangy gravy dish. The simplicity and flavor of this dish is accentuated by the distinct tamarind tang and subtle aroma of methi seeds and curry leaves.

Bendakaaya Pulusu – Lady’s finger cooked in tamarind gravy

Bendakaya Pulusu

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  okra


  •   1/4 kg okra/bendakaya, wash, pat dry and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
  •   2 medium sized onions, finely chopped onions
  •   1 tomato finely chopped
  •   2 green chillis, slit lengthwise
  •   10 curry leaves
  •   1 tsp red chilli pwd (adjust)
  •   1 tsp coriander pwd
  •   1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
  •   1 tsp jaggery, grated (adjust)
  •   small lemon sized tamarind, extract pulp
  •   salt to taste
  •   coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
  •   1 tbsp oil
  • For poppu/tempering/tadka:

  •   1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  •   big pinch methi seeds/menthulu/fenugreek seeds
  •   few curry leaves

Method for making Bendakaya Pulusu

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them pop, add methi and curry leaves toss for a half a minute till the flavors come out and take care not to burn them.
Add the chopped onions and green chillis and saute for a minute. Add the okra pieces and salt and combine. Cook on medium flame for 12-14 mts or till the onions and okra are lightly browned.
Add chilli pwd, coriander pwd, turmeric pwd and salt and combine well. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook further for another 4-5 mts.
Add the grated jaggery and tamarind pulp along with approx three cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce flame and cover with lid. Let it cook for 8-10 mts till the gravy thickens slightly. Remember, 'pulusu' is a gravy dish and should be of a slightly watery consistency.
Once cooked, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.


28 thoughts on “Bendakaya Pulusu – Okra in tamarind gravy

  1. Hi Sailu ,
    I also prepare ladies finger with tamarind like yours Sailu.
    It looks and tastes Yummy !!!
    Your photo tempts my mind to prepare this sour taste mouth watering dish,
    Thank you Sailu.

  2. Hii Sailu,

    I do prepare this pulusu..but i first cook all the ingredients and then give thadka.moreover i never added jaggery for bendakaya pulusu.shall try your method.
    Thanks for posting such simple and daily cooked dishes.keep up ur work.

  3. nice recipe sailu garu.
    even i prepare the same way.
    one thing i should say, mee recipes chustae i feel they are the same as my mother prepares.
    than qqqqq

  4. haven’t made this for a while…there’s something about pulusu….just the mention of its tangy taste makes me salivate just like pavlov’s dog!!

  5. Hi Sailaja,

    I was just browsing through and this snap of the pulusu caught my looked so yummy.Since the recipe was also simple,I did try it for dinner and it came out to be really good.Thanks for the recipe…

  6. Hi Sailaja,

    Great photo capturing the essence of pulusu. I love by the simplicity and earthiness of the pulusu that I cook it often. I’m fascinated by the fact that a pulusu is so versatile that hundreds or even thousands of different pulusu recipes can be easily cooked up !

  7. Hi Sailaja, I’m happy to visit your blog and my wishes and thanks to you. I have tasted Bendakaya pulusu at my friends house and I wondered at its taste and am fond of it. I tried to prepare it during my bachelor days but failed. After seeing this recipe in your blog, I want to try it and even train my wife also. Once again congrats to you and your IDEA also.


  8. hi sailu garu…im a student and ur website is very good..i have tried some of ur recipes and the taste was super…im frm vizag too…may i knw where u stay in vizag…

  9. Hi Sailu,
    How are you doing? Your site helped in preparing the bendakaya pulusu and it really came very well. Thanks for helping me in becoming a nalabhimudu :).

  10. Hello sailu garu,

    I am a regular visitor for your website and love to prepare dishes with your recipes. I will prepare 75% of food only with your recipes. I am not able search for the items from past three days. I think search is not working.I wanted to do bendakaya pulusu but it took me 45 minutes to search page by page. I wanted to let to you know so that you can look in to that. Sailu gary thanks for the lovely and tasty dishes. One more thing If you can let me know the best way to prepare dosakaya curry because dosakaya we get it here is not that tasty so the normal way i prepare is not coming out that tasty.

  11. Hi Sailu,

    just now tried this and must tell you how nice it turned out
    My only change- added “gojju” powder, was good even without

  12. Thanks so much Sailaja!!!!… You saved my life! 🙂

    I’m staying alone in US and don’t know how to cook. I’m learning from your recipes and making my everyday delicious.

    – Vijay

  13. I am a forced bachelor currently living in US. Always was a foodie and my wife was a good cook. But after coming here I felt so desolate. I just happened to cross over you website once and since then, what shall I say, I am totally floored by your recipes. I keep telling my wife about you. Call you Sailu didi , Sailu madam, Sailu akka. Whoever you are and wherever you are, God shall bless.
    From a loving fan with lot of affection.


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