Okra-lentil gravy(Bendekayi huLi/Bhende sambar)

Sometime around 5 years back, I was working for a software company in Bangalore. Our project was a nightmare to everyone involved. We were working day and night 7 days a week. Either we used to go home at odd hours like 12 in the night or we worked throughout night. There was only one dorm in our office which was occupied by guys. So if at all any girls worked throughout night, they had to actually work instead of trying to get a nap (like many guys did – they used to sleep at 1 or 2AM).

I was working with Suma, who was my senior and very nice girl. We worked till next day morning 8AM and we were almost going insane. So, she suggested that we go to her home, take a nap and come back to office. Since my home was 25kms from office and going home and coming back from there was almost impossible due to heavy traffic, I decided to go with her. We took a nice nap and then her mom served us an amazing lunch. I still remember the taste of the lunch. She had prepared this Bendekayi(okra) huLi(a sour dish) which was just out of the world. I even got the recipe from her, but misplaced it somewhere.

Every time I saw okra, I would remember this dish. Finally I got the recipe in my collection from Kannada magazines. It came out so delicious. It might not be same recipe, but this sure is a winner :).

1 cup toor dal
1 cup chopped okra
2 tea spns dry coconut or dessicated coconut
1 tea spn chana dal
1 tea spn urad dal
1 tea spn rice(raw)
4-5 red chilies
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1 tea spn coriander seeds
4 peppers
1″ cinnamon
A pinch asafoetida
1/3 tea spn tamarind extract or 2-3 pieces tamarind
1 tea spn jaggery
A pinch turmeric

Add a pinch of turmeric to the toor dal and cook till it is soft.
Heat little oil and fry chana dal, urad dal, rice, red chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, pepper, cinnamon, asafoetida and coconut till a nice aroma comes out. Grind it to a smooth paste with tamarind and jaggery.
Heat oil and fry okra till the pieces become reddish and they are fried very well. Add cooked dal, paste and salt. Cook for 5-6mins. Serve hot.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 25mins

19 thoughts on “Okra-lentil gravy(Bendekayi huLi/Bhende sambar)”

  1. Shilpa, I can sure understand those hours of burning the midnight oil..Been there a lot of times…Thanks for sharing this recipe..I will try it out next time I get okra..

  2. Shilpa,
    Your hardwork has got you to the right plac e now!! Lovely and unsual recipe.Our traditional ‘Phanna’ missing! 😀 wd try it soon and let you know! tc.

  3. Shilpa,

    Warm Dassera greetings to you and yours!

    The huli looks great. My husband will eat any dal that has jaggery in it. So, even though, he is not a okra fan, he might like this dal. Ah, yes. The days of working day and night, 7 days a week. Fools that we are.

  4. I love this dish – somehow between a kootu and a sambar – the jaggery must lend a wonderful taste

    “There was only one dorm in our office which was occupied by guys.” – very curious to know which software concern this was

    Shilpa: 😉 I am bit loyal to the company, don’t want to spoil its name ;). But I can tell you that it is one of the India’s leading s/w companies.

  5. Just prepared this for ma dinner…I must admit that the taste waz soooo ‘heavenly’.
    Thnx heaps for da recipe .!!

    Keep Rockin’

  6. Looks fantastic. I know how it feels. I once got a recipe for this superb delish low-everything carrot cake and totally lost it. I am still very upset each time I think about it…

  7. Ha! that was not fair to girs that they had no space to relax! or is it that guys took over teh space by design ;). Now bendekayi huli surely looks delightful, i’ll try your recipe. the home made lunch after such a long day/night must have been really refershing!

    Shilpa: Actually there were about 10 guys who used to do “nightouts” and girls hardly stayed throughout night. We all used to go home at late hours and come back by 7 or 8 in the morning. But whenever we stayed, we would be one or two :(. So by default that dorm was taken by guys. It was really a nightmare.

  8. I made this for lunch today, and it is awesome. I make different kinds of hulis. The difference in taste was due to use of raw rice, channa dal and urad dal. The flavor of this huli is good.

    I guess the phanna/seasoning was not required as hing was added. Thanks for a different recipe.

  9. Looks like a yummy way to cook bhendi.One question though. Are the spices and coconut to be fried seperately or all together ? Could you clarify, please ?

    Shilpa: Natasha, I normally fry them all together. After the spices are fried, I add coconut and fry on a medium flame.

  10. Hi Shilpa,

    Are you a Mangalorean? I am looking for the recipe of that typical “huli pudi” . Can you send it to my mail id or publish in this site
    Thanks in advance

  11. Hii Shilpa….I have been waiting to try this dish for long..somehow, it keeps getting postponed. i’ve now decided to do this tomorrow. hope this time i do. one question – should I deep fry okra or fry it with just a little oil?


  12. I finally did this dish. Though it tasted fine, I think I didn’t get it perfectly. My gravy was not as yellow as the one in the picture shown. May be I added a little more coconut…Thanks for a new dish, was bored of making the routine sambhar, rasam and vathal kozhambu. I will again do this sometime soon to get perfection 🙂

  13. Hi.. I have to try this recipe. It looks simple and the comments from others is also very promising. But I am hesitant because whichever way I prepare curries, they are really horrible. I use MTR sambar powder. Can you suggest some tips and tricks to get the sambar right everytime. Otherwise my cooking is good. Curry/sambar is my sole enemy 🙁

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