Vendaikkai Puli Kuzhambu ( Ladies Finger cooked in Tamarind Curry)

Vendaikkai Puli kuzhambu is a very popular South Indian kuzhambu that is made with Vendaikkai/ Ladiesfinger which is simmered in tamarind curry and can be made with or without coconut.

In today’s recipe, let us see the Tamilnadu style of making it with coconut. This is very easy to make and most of the houses in Tamilnadu will have any one variety of puli kuzhambu on Thursdays for lunch.

Puli kuzhambu can be made in different ways and finding an authentic recipe for it is bit difficult. The recipe I have shared today is how it is made normally in my hometown. So it is an authentic way of making!!

This tastes very good when served with hot rice with ghee poured on it and accompanied with appalam/papad. Simple lunch yet a satisfying one!!

If you like to have a spicy curry with a tangy taste from tamarind, then this recipe is for you😊 I would like to mention something here- my kids like Puli kuzhambu a lot and my husband too!!

Let us check the recipe now❤


  • Ladies finger- 16
  • Small onions- 12 to 15 ( chopped)
  • Tomato- 1 big ( chopped)
  • Garlic- 6 cloves ( if the cloves are big, slice them)
  • Chilli powder with coriander powder mix- 1 tbsp ( sambhar powder can be used instead if you prefer)
  • Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4th tsp
  • Asafoedita powder- 1/4th tsp
  • Dry Red chilli- 2
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal- 3/4th tsp
  • Tamarind- 1 lime sized ball soaked in water
  • Coconut milk- 1/2 cup ( 100 ml.)
  • Coriander leaves- little
  • Salt- as needed.


Clean the ladiesfinger/ vendaikkai very well with water. Wipe it with cloth and cut it into 1 inch pieces.

Heat 1 and a half tbsp of oil in a pan and saute the ladiesfinger along with salt. Do not cook it completely as it will be cooked along with onions again.
Keep it separate.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. Once mustard seeds splutter, add split urad dal, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds.
Split the dried red chilli into two and add it to the kadai. Wait for it to crisp. Then add the curry leaves. I have used the sundried one’s as I couldn’t get the fresh curry leaves. Use the fresh one if you have.
Then add the chopped onion along with sliced garlic pieces. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
Once the onions are translucent, add the sauted vendaikkai/ladiesfinger to it. Add required salt.
Saute everything together for 30 seconds.
Then add the chopped tomato pieces to it. Saute everything together.
Add the chilli powder with coriander powder mix, turmeric powder and asafoedita powder.
Let the masala cook in oil along with onion and tomato for 1 minute.
Now filter the tamarind soaked in water. Add the tamarind water to the masala. You can add little water again to the tamarind and squeeze away some more juice from it if needed.
Let vendaikkai/ ladiesfinger get cooked in tamarind water.
You can see oil separated on top in the corners.
Then add the coconut milk. Coconut milk gives good taste. If you do not want to use coconut milk, make coconut paste using 4 tbsp of grated coconut.
Adjust water consistency if needed. Check for the salt now if it is enough.
Boil the kuzhambu till the oil floats on top.
Garnish with coriander leaves once done.


  • Use sesame oil or coconut oil for good taste.
  • If you do not have small onion, use 1 medium sized onion instead.
  • Use 1 big tomato.
  • The quantity of chill powder with coriander powder mix can be increased if you want it to be more spicy.