Bendekai sambar/ Okra sambar:

Sambar is a very essential part of south Indian meal. In Mangalore region, we normally use freshly roasted and ground coconut masala for vegetables as well as each vegetable has its own suitable masala recipe.

Normally, the main ingredients will be the same and here and there some additional ingredients or frying techniques will be different.

In this particular recipe, we don’t use coconut as it is.  Masala is fried as well as coconut and made into powder form and added. It is very flavourful and tasty.

We normally use heirloom variety of Bendekai/ ladies’ finger /Okra for sambar. This masala tastes very good even with small variety dark green bhindi as well.


Bendekai/Bhindi /Okra – ½ kg

Toor dal – ½ cup

Tamarind – size of a small lemon

Green chillies – 2


Jaggery – 1 tsp

Methi – ¼ tsp

Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon

cumin – 1tsp

Urad dal – 1 ½ tsp

Dried Red chillies – 2 to 3

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Coconut – ½  to ¾ cup

For the seasoning:

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Mustard – ½ tsp

Red chilli – 1

Curry leaves – 1 spring


-Cook toor dal and keep aside.

-Soak tamarind, boil with little added water, salt, jaggery, slit green chillies.

-When it starts boiling, add chopped bhindi. Allow to cook in a low flame.

-To avoid sliminess,  don’t close the lid or put a spoon to mix while boiling bhindi.

-In the meantime, prepare masala. Heat coconut oil, fry methi, add coriander, cumin , urad dal, red chillies and fry until all the spices are roasted.

-Next add curry leaves, coconut ,turmeric and fry until you get a nice aroma.

-Cool and make a powder of roasted coconut mix and keep aside.

-When bhindi is cooked, add dhal, masala powder and boil nicely by adding sufficient water to adjust the consistency.

-Do the seasoning and serve with hot rice.


Pirandai Thogayal/Adamant creeper Chutney:

Pirandai is a creeper. It is called as Adamant Creeper / Devils Back Bone / Veldt Grape “ in English. Botanically known as Cissus Quadrangularis. Which refers to plants quadrangular sectioned  branches with internodes of 8 to 10 cm in length and 1.5 cm wide.

It has many names in different parts of our country. In Sanskrit: Asthisamhari, Vajravalli, Asthishrinkhala ,Kandavalli ,Vajrangi . In Hindi: Hadjod ,Hadjora ,Hadsankari Kandvel. In Kannada: Mangarahalli . In Tamil: Pirandai ,Vajravalli . In Malayalam: Peranta ,Cannalamparanta. In Telugu: Vajravalli ,Nalleru. In Gujrati: Chodhari , Hadsankal.

Adamant Creeper is a very well-known traditional herb in ancient ayurvedic medicine. which was used in setting bones/ bone fracture healing , gastric ulcer , piles ,anaemia ,menstrual problems as well as in de worming. It is a good source of Vitamin C and Calcium. Usage of the herb is usually by making Chutney or Kolambu or sundried and in powdered form.

If person wants to take it as a healing food, one should consume it weekly twice and mix with a little ghee either with hot rice or with Roti.

Till two years back, I had no idea regarding this plant or its usage. Due to our Foodie Facebook page, got to know about it. My Foodie friend Ashwini shared the plant cutting with me and guided me through. From then on, my experiments went on and I tried out many recipes. The chutney that I make and like is without coconut, mainly because it stays longer and can enjoy for many days. Here I will share both the version.

Pirandai has to be treated like Colocasia leaves and Yam. It is itchy in nature even while cutting as well as till the last stage of its cooking. So, quantity of tamarind plays a major role while cooking and application of oil to your hand will avoid itching while cleaning and chopping. One more thing what I have observed is, before using  keep it for one day ,after harvesting. This also helps in reducing the itchiness.

Now we will see the Thogayal/Chutney preparation:


Pirandai – one bowl

Tamarind – lemon sized ball

Gingelly oil – 1 tablespoon

Urad dal – 1 tablespoon

Hing – ¼ tsp

Dried red  chillies – 3 to 4


Jaggery – 1tsp

For Seasoning:

Gingelly oil or any refined oil – 3 to 4tablespoons

Mustard – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 2 springs


-Apply oil to your hand, cut every node and take out internal sticks, peel outer 4 corners and remove all the fibres.

-Take diluted buttermilk water (add little curd to water and make) and wash these cleaned Pirandai nicely.

-Chop these sticks into tiny bits and immerse in diluted buttermilk or tamarind water.

-Soak tamarind in a little water.

-Now drain the water from chopped Pirandai and keep it ready for the seasoning.

-Now take 1 tbl spoon of oil, fry urad dal ,hing and red chillies. Add Pirandai choppings, fry until it is soft and turns pale in colour.

-Add tamarind water, salt, jaggery and cook until it is soft.

-Cool the mixture and grind into smooth paste by adding required amount of water. If you want to add coconut ,you can add coconut as well, while grinding .

-Now prepare seasoning , take 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil , splutter mustard, curry leaves, add ground paste and boil until oil oozes out at the sides.

-Serve with hot rice , dosa or idlies. It can be stored for many days under refrigeration.

Note: Main picture is (with added coconut)