“Vendaikai-Mochai Mandi” (Okra – dry lima beans gravy) is an easy to make, spicy & tangy gravy traditionally prepared in the chettinad household. To make this dish we need to prepare arisi mandi (Mandi is the water that is collected by washing any uncooked white rice). As this recipe requires 2 – 3 cups of arisi mandi it’s good to try this recipe when we soak rice to make Idly batter. Arisi mandi gives the dish a thick consistency and unique taste.
Arisi mandi preparation – First clean the rice by adding 3 cups water to 4 cups of rice, mix well using your hand, drain the water completely and discard. Add 2 cups water to the rice, mix well and save this water in a cup. Repeat the process again by adding 1 more cups of water to the rice to get more arisi mandi.
PREP TIME: 10 Mins
COOKING TIME: 20 Mins
Mochai (Lima beans) – 1 cup
Vendaikai (Okra) – 20 (washed and cut into rondelle – I used 2 inch pieces)
Onion – 1 cup (you can also add shallots)
Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dal – 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic – 3 – 5 pods
Curry leaves – 15 leaves
Green Chilli – 5
Arisi Mandi – 3 cups
Tamarind water – ½ cup
Salt – per taste
Oil – 2 teaspoons
STEP 1: Soak the mochai in hot water for 3 – 4 hours or in room temperature water overnight. Pressure cook the soaked mochai until it softens (usually I cook till I hear 4 whistles in my pressure cooker).
STEP 2: Take a ½ cup of the arisi mandi and soak the tamarind. Mix well and discard the tamarind pulp after few minutes.
STEP 3: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, urad dal, chopped garlic, curry leaves and green chillies.
STEP 4: Add the chopped onion and cook till the onions turns golden brown.
STEP 5: Add okra and cook in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the pressure cooked mochai from “Step 1”.
STEP 6: Add the arisi mandi from “step 2” and the remaining 2.5 cups of arisi mandi to the pan. Mix well, cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes on high flame till the gravy condenses and the vegetables get cooked.