Girija Paati’s Vendakkai Pachadi (Sweet & Spicy Ladies Finger Dish)

Ladies finger, vendakkai or bhindi is such a popular vegetable because of its versatility. It has its own distinct flavour, however, it also absorbs and blends with other flavours so well.

Vendakkai Pachadi (Ladies Finger / Bhindi Sweet & Spicy Curry) – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen

We decided to use a batch of particularly fresh ladies finger to make this classic Palakkad dish using Girija Paati’s family recipe. Sweet, spicy and irresistible, the bowl was wiped clean within minutes of being placed on the lunch table.  

Vendakkai Pachadi goes beautifully with both rice meals as well as with phulkas. We love serving it with hot rice, ghee, keerai molagootal (recipe here) and Girija Paati’s green chilli ribbon pakoda for a bit of crunch.

Vendakkai Pachadi (Ladies Finger / Bhindi Sweet & Spicy Curry) - Palakkad Meal – GirijaPaati Style South Indian traditional vegetarian recipes from an Indian grandmother's kitchen

Serves: 4


  1. Ladies Finger – ¼ kg – cut into small pieces about ½ inch
  2. Tamarind – 1 piece – size of a small gooseberry
  3. Green Chillies – 4
  4. Grated Fresh Coconut – 2 tbsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  6. Jaggery – 1 heaped tsp (add more if you like it sweet)
  7. Rock Salt – ½ tsp or to taste
  8. Turmeric – a pinch
  9. Cooking oil

For seasoning:

  1. Methi seeds – 2 pinches
  2. Dried Red Chilli – 1
  3. Curry Leaves – for seasoning
  4. Mustard seeds
  5. Oil as required – about 1 tsp


  1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes, mash well & filter out the tamarind water. You should get about 2 glasses of tamarind water
  2. In a kadai, heat the 2 tsps of oil and fry the ladies finger. Once fried set aside
  3. In the tamarind water add turmeric, rock salt and boil it well
  4. Add the fried ladies finger into the boiling tamarind water
  5. Once the mixture boils well, lower the flame, cover with a lid and allow to cook
  6. Grind together green chilli, coconut and mustard seeds to a coarse paste
  7. Once the ladies finger is well cooked, add the paste and the jaggery
  8. Allow the mixture to boil for about 10 minutes and then switch of the flame
  9. Create a tadka of the oil, methi seeds, red chilli, curry leaves, and mustard seeds
  10. Add the tadka to the main dish and cover
  11. Serve hot

Download the printable recipe here.

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