Vendaikaai Mandi/Ladies Finger/Okra Mandi – Chettinad Special Tamarind gravy

After trying out a snack and a sweet from chettinadu, i m here with the recipe of the famous mandi. Yup, Mandi is nothing but rice washed water. Amma used to use mandi to bathe kuttu when he was a baby, that too when he started walking, she used tp massage his legs with warm mandi/rice washed water. It is supposed to have so much of nutritional benefits. 
We used to drink Arisi Vadicha Kanji/Water drained from cooked rice along with buttermilk, it is said to cool our body during summer. No doubt, the grammathu samayal/Traditional village cooking, has so many health benefits hidden. And that was the reason, our ancestors were able to lead a healthy life till their end. My Paati even at the age of 93, never had any health complaints, and now me in my early 30’s have a dozen health complaints, It is high time, we all  go back to the basics!!! 🙂

Recipe Source : Solai Aachi’s Blog
10 nos Ladies finger
20 nos Small onion/Shallots
1 pod of Garlic-(i used the big variety, had around 10 big cloves)
1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
4 nos green chillies, cut into two
2.5 Cups Arisi Mandi/Rice-washed water
1/4 Cup Mochai/Dried green beans, soaked overnight
a small goose-berry sized tamarind
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp Gingely oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 pinches of hing/asafoetida
2 sprigs of curry leaves

  • Soak Mochai/green beans overnight.  Next day, drain the water, Pressure cook  with a cup of water, for 2 whistles, drain and keep aside. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of Arisi mandi/rice washed water. Soak shallots
  • Heat a oil given under “Tempering” in a Kadai/Pan. Splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves, fenugreek, hing and turmeric powder.
  • Next add chilies, chopped onion and garlic pieces and sauté for 2 minutes. Now add the ladies finger and sauté nicely for another 3 minutes.Next add chopped tomato, mochai /green beans, and 1 ½ cups of Arisi mandi and cook in medium flame.
  • In the meantime, extract juice from the tamarind soaked in the arisi mandi/rice washed water. When the okra/lady’s finger  is 3/4 th cooked, add  salt and tamarind extracted Arisi mandi/Rice washed water. Let the mixture boil for 5-8 minutes after tamarind is added. 
  • Take it off the flame, the gravy will not be too thick or too thin. Serve it warm with rice or as an accompaniment to Idly/Dosa. 
  • The mandi adds a unique texture and taste to the gravy.It tastes yum, when served the next day. We enjoyed it with hot rice and also with dosa.