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Vendakka Mappas/ Okra in creamy spicy coconut gravy...Kerala style.

I have been baking a lot...and maybe indirectly responsible for your bulging waistline or your high cholesterol....can't help myself...I love baking and its therapeutic for me....but all the baked goodies are for my kids and their friends....I rarely buy snacks from bakery.....I have this big aversion to store brought goodies....why buy them when you can make them at home.....a healthy economical option, but then its my own personal opinion.

Everyday food for my family is typical South Indian food for breakfast and meals and North Indian, Chinese, Italian etc (here kids demand is dominant) for dinner. Coming back to vendakka mappas aka stir fried okra in spicy coconut curry is a traditional Syrian Christian delicacy. Chicken mappas, mutton mappas, fish mappas, egg mappas, vegetable mappas, vendakka mappas have almost the same curry base; for chicken, mutton, fish it is spices that has to be cracked in oil, and for vegetable, egg and vendakka it is mustard seeds, the gravy is almost same. With vendakka you can add cubed potatoes and here I have added two potatoes. For vegetable you can add carrots, potato, cauliflower, paneer etc. I make atleast one type of mappas per week for dinner to have with roti. My personal favorite is meen mappas aka fish mappas with puttu.

Here in this recipe I used maggie coconut powder (1 packet) instead of coconut milk (1 and 2). You can check out my chicken mappas recipe if you want to have a detailed step by step instruction on cooking with coconut milk. I used coconut powder as an easier alternative to coconut milk....saves time and ofcourse the  minus the scraping of coconuts, squeezing them and too many dishes to wash.

As you all know ladies finger can be a bit slimy if put directly into a curry. So to avoid that lightly saute them with 1 tbsp of oil and little salt.

Actually my dad (whom I call achachen) is so found of this curry that he will coax amma to make this almost every night to have with roti, so the past 40  41 years the most cooked curry in my amma's kitchen is Vendakka mappas......amma always sauted the okra in coconut oil......ya saute them only in coconut oil to give that authentic taste.

So lets get cooking!

Ladies finger: 250 gm.
Potatoes: 2, cubed (optional, you can make with or without them).
Onion: 2, medium, sliced.
Green chilly: 2 or 3 slit (depending on your tolerance level).
Ginger: 1 inch piece, slit thinly or grated.
Garlic: 4 or 5 cloves, slit finely.
Tomato: 2, chopped ( I use ball tomatoes because they are less sour and have excellent red color).
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp.
Kashmiri chilly powder: 1 to 2 tsp (can increase depending on your tolerance level, I used 2 tsp for this curry).
Coriander powder: 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp.
Pepper powder: 3/4 tsp.
Vinegar: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 1 tsp.
Curry leaves.
Coconut oil
Coconut powder: 1 packet, (I used maggi coconut powder, 50 gm)

1. Lightly fry the okra with a tbsp of coconut oil and salt and keep aside.
2. Heat 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a kadai, put in the mustard seeds and allow it to crack. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and allow it to saute till the onions are lightly browned.

3. Put in kashmiri chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric, and garam masala. (you can save half the garam masala and add it towards the end for more flavour).

4. Mix all the powders well till the raw smell goes, add vinegar, and add the chopped tomatoes and curry leaves. Add a little water to allow the tomatoes to incorporate with the spices and let it fry on slow heat till oil comes out.

5. Mix coconut powder with 2 cups of water and add in the cubed potatoes (if adding). Let it simmer away for 10 to 15 min....till the gravy is thick creamy. Then add the sauted okras and mix well. You can also add boiled eggs to this or make the gravy and add boiled eggs to make mutta aka egg mappas.

Serve hot with rice, roti, puttu, neer dosa, pathiri.....


  1. fabulous vendakka curry.....superb

  2. Such everyday ings & such a mouthwatering curry!!! You description & the pics makes me wanna try this out for tonite`s dinner with rotis!! Bookmarked ;)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  3. Pratrhima, I am sure you will fall in love with this curry.....thanks a bunch for the sweet comment.

  4. i have so many friends from kerala and not one of them made me taste this divine curry!they have a lot to answer for!......though thanks to you ,i'll make it and serve them!lovely.

  5. They look delicious..Totally YUMMY


  6. Super tempting and fingerlicking vendakka mappas..

  7. Bookmarked,nice recipe dear..will surely try this

  8. Kuzhambu looks yummy. For the green cauliflower, you can directly add raw cauliflower to the kurma also.

  9. Thanks everybody for the lovely thoughts.

  10. Wow looks flavourful, perfect with rice

  11. How wonderful and delicious this looks! Thanks for sharing this one. Come visit us. We have a terrific jambalya recipe today.

  12. Interesting recipe, looks too yummy! Never tried mappas with okra, always done it with chicken or fish.

  13. love kerala style gravy dishes. looks yummy.

  14. i love okra & this coconut based gravy sounds yum

  15. Hi Nisa,
    We grow Okra in our garden every year and I preserve and freeze it to use in dishes until the next harvest season. This is an awesome recipe that I can't wait to try! Hope you are having a wonderful week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  16. wow nice recipe.
    nobody at home eats vendakka.
    so I shall try this recipe .
    lovely colour dear .

  17. wow nice recipe.
    nobody at home eats vendakka.
    so I shall try this recipe .
    lovely colour dear .

  18. Hey dear"..bindi is one of our favorites...even my daughter loves it.....definitely a delicious recipe and a must try ....bookmarking it :-)


  19. hi tried it yesterday for dinner with rotis. turned excellent .
    everybody at home loved it .

  20. Mitha-Sumi, I am soooo happy that your family enjoyed this curry!!

  21. My mom is all for not buying snacks from outside... she says u never know what all is added.. Homemade is so much more tastier and healthier.

    This is a great curry... will try it soon.. I love Okra and off late I've started to enjoy the coconut milk curries...

  22. I am so tempted to make this dish now. I have never cooked in coconut oil or used coconut powder but I can imagine how delicious it must be. Beautiful dish!

  23. That's an yum recipe with it...

  24. Hi..tried you recipe at home..Came out good..Thanks for sharing the recipe


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