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Today’s post is going to be a simple chettinad home food and both these are my favorite. Both of them are so comforting, that I can have them everyday for lunch with rice 🙂 If you are wondering what is mandi it is the water that we first wash rice before cooking it. This water is nutritious. Usually we prepare it on the day we are about to prepare Idli/Dosa batter, when you will have more rice washed water. This is a very delicious gravy.



Okra/Vendakai : 15 numbers

Potato : 1 medium or 2 small

Red Pearl Onions : 20 numbers (one large onion can also be used )

Green Chili : 6 to 7

Tamarind juice : 1 tablespoon

Mandi : 2 cups ( Take 4 cups of rice and use 2 cups water mix and filter our water in a bowl this is mandi)

Salt : 1 teaspoon

To Temper:

Mustard Seeds : 1⁄2 teaspoon

Urad dal : 1⁄2 teaspoon

Curry Leaves : Few

Asafoetida : 1/8 teaspoon

Sesame Oil : 1 teaspoon


  • Wash Okra and dry pat it in a clean towel. This helps in reducing the stickiness.
  • Peel onion skin, they can be chopped to large pieces. Pearl onions you can use it just by slicing it to 2 pieces.
  • Remove potato skin and chop to large pieces.
  • Slit green chili to 2 pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, Urad dal, asafoetida. When they crackle add the curry leaves.
  • Next add the onions and green chili. Sauté for 2 mins.
  • Next add the okra and potato. Saute these for 5 mins.
  • Add the mandi now to this. Let it get cooked for 50%
  • Now add the salt and let it boil for some more time. When it is almost 80% percent done in cooking both potato and okra, add the tamarind juice. After adding tamarind juice it will be ready in 5 mins.


This is usually served with rice.

Beetroot Vadai:

You might have already seen my guest post on this, Again I thought let me give this 🙂



Beetroot: 1⁄2 cup grated

Onion : 1⁄2 large red onion

Toor dal : 1⁄2 cup

Channa dal : 1⁄2 cup

Fennel seeds : 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida : 1⁄4 teaspoon

Turmeric powder : 1/8 teaspoon

Salt : 1 teaspoon

Red Chili : 6 to 7

Oil : for deep frying


  •  Soak Toor dal and Channa dal in water for 1 hour.
  • Peel the skin of beetroot and grate it fine.
  • Chop onions.
  • Drain water and grind these two to a coarse paste without water ( if needed add 1 teaspoon water) Don’t grind it too smooth.
  • Mix fennel seeds, asafoetida, salt, red chili (broken to pieces) and the grated beetroot with the dal.
  • Since beetroot has some water content, when we fry the vadai it will drink up more oil.
  • So I prefer to store it in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and then prepare the vadai.
  • After 1 hour, take out the vadai batter. Make small round patties and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan for frying. Make sure it is in medium hot. It should not be too hot , as well not yet heated up.
  • Just to ensure, make a very small ball from the batter and throw it in the oil, it should come up immediately. This means oil is ready now for frying.
  • Slowly add the patties and fry it. To know when it is done, the sound of oil should come down.
  • Remove from hot and place it in paper towel to soak up extra oil. Then serve it.

We have it with rice and sambar or this is a great evening tea snack. Vendakkai mandi and beetroot vadai with rice is a great combination 🙂