Mandi is a authentic chettinadu dish. There are many different types of mandi like Milagai Mandi, Keerai Mandi, Mixed vegetable mandi, Kaaikari (Vegetable) Vathal Mandi and so on. But among all of them Keerai Mandi, Milagai Mandi and Vendakkai mandi are very famous. Vendakkai Mandi is found in the lunch menu of all functions and special occasions of chettinadu. The special ingredient in this gravy which adds to the taste of the dish is, Arisi Mandi i.e. water from the rice. It is an excellent combination for curd rice. And is a great combi for outdoor one day trips. During my childhood when I used to visit my Athai in Chennai she used to pack it for our outdoor lunch. I used to relish the curd rice with her spicy Milagai Mandi.
Here I am giving a recipe of Vendakkai Mandi with Vallai Karamani (White Kidney Beans) (you can also use mochai (white beans I suppose)).
Ladysfinger - 1/4 Kg
Small Onions - 1/4 cup
(if not available then use substitute with big onions also)
White Kidney Beans - 1/2 cup
(pressure cook it with some salt)
Green Chillies - 5-6 (slit in to half)
Garlic - 5-6
Tamarind - small lemon size
Oil (preferably gingelly(sesame) oil)
Mustard - 1/4 t.sp
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 t.sp
Urad Dal - 1/4 t.sp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - a little
1) Wash and dry the ladysfinger in a towel. Cut it into 1 inch long pieces. Peel off the garlic pieces and cut into half.
2) Take the water from the rice you are going to use for cooking i.e. If you are going to cook two cups of rice then wash the rice once a little and let the water down so that the dust from the rice is washed. Then add about two cups of water to the rice and wash (kelai radhu) and strain the water to use it for the mandi. To this water soak the tamarind. And take out the tamarind extract.
3) Heat oil in a pan season it with mustard, fenugreek, urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds finish popping garlic and slit green chillies. Sauté for a minute and add onions.
4) When the onion becomes translucent add the ladysfinger and sauté for about 3 to 4 min. Add salt, tamarind extract and pressure cooked kidney beans and let the whole gravy boil for some time. And let the gravy thicken. It should not be too watery or too thick, sort of saucy consistency.
Serve with rice or chappathis.
And this post is going to FIC - Green event hosted by Sunshinemom of TongueTicklers.