Vendakkai Pachadi (Okra And Yogurt, Bhendi Raita)

I relish any yogurt based dish – be it morkootan/morkuzhambu/kadhi, pachadi/raita or just plain curd and rice. One of my greatest hesitations of going vegan was that I will not be able to relish my favourite curd rice, a staple with lunch/dinner. When I first tried the vegan yogurt, it tasted different but not bad. I was somewhat reassured and resolved to try other yogurt based dishes. Since then, I have never ceased to be amazed by the fact that there is no difference in taste using dairy yogurt or the vegan one (except when you have it plain). My friend of several decades, Sunitha Gopalakrishnan, dropped in for a meal a few weeks ago. She wanted to sample a WFPB meal so that she would be motivated to go vegan. And she was equally surprised that there was no perceptible difference in taste when using vegan yogurt. Now, I prepare all kinds of yogurt based dishes and enjoy them to the hilt!

Ingredients
300 gms okra (bhendi, vendakkai)
3/4 cup vegan yogurt
2 green chillies, chopped
Salt to taste
For The Seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 dried red chilli
1 sprig curry leaves
Method
Wash and dry the okra
Chop the tops and tails
Cut into very thin slices (roundels)
Transfer to an air fryer and ‘fry’ till the okra is crisp
Cool and transfer to a bowl
Add the yogurt, salt and green chillies
Mix well
Set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add red chilli and curry leaves
Roast for a few seconds and add to the okra in yogurt
Serve as a side dish with flavoured rice or simply an ordinary meal
Enjoy!

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