Sunday, July 22, 2012

Benda Kolmbo (Spicy Okra Curry)

Benda Kolmbo is a spicy side dish. I came across this recipe in a Konkani Cook book (By Jaya V Shenoy). I was amazed at the simplicity of this dish but was little doubtful about its taste as coconut is not added to it. Generally most of the Konkani recipes has a touch of coconut and spices but in this recipe, the spices gives a kick and the rice gives the thickness to the dish. Try it out yourself!

  • Okra/ Lady's Finger, chopped- 2 cups
  • Tamarind*- A small ball (gooseberry sized)
  • Salt- To taste
  • Oil- 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves- Few
*Vary the amount of tamarind depending upon how hot the red chillies are.

For Spice Powder:
  • Coriander seeds- 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/ Jeera- 1 tsp
  • Raw rice- 3 tsp
  • Dry Red chill- 4-6


Wash Okras and pat dry them completely using a cloth or paper towel. Then trim off its edges and chop it into small pieces (1.5- 2cm long).

Then soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the pulp from it.
Take the chopped Okra in a cooking pot and add the tamarind pulp and mix well. 
Then add salt and little water (enough to cook the Okras) and start heating it. Cook until the Okras turn soft. Then turn off the heat. 

To prepare Spice Powder: Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under 'For Spice Powder'. Roast them separately until you get a nice aroma (You needn't roast till they turn brown). Allow them to cool.

Then make a fine powder of the roasted spices.

Now take a kadai and heat 2 teaspoon of oil. 
When hot, add mustard seeds. 
Once it starts spluttering, add curry leaves and spice powder. Mix well.
Then add cooked Okra and mix well. Add water if the mixture becomes too thick (the rice powder starts to absorb all the moisture. Hence more water will be required). 
Close the lid and let it cook for 2-3 more minutes. Once the okras absorbs the flavor of spices, turn off the heat (the final consistency was not too thick/thin). Benda Kolmbo is ready!!

Serve it hot as a side dish to rice, dosa etc. Above measurement serves 2-3 people.