Okra Kichadi | Vendakka Kichadi

Okra Kichadi | Vendakka Kichadi

I love okra, especially fried okra, so it’s no surprise that this is my most favorite kichadi of them all. Fried sliced tender okra smothered in a creamy coconut and yogurt gravy seasoned with ground mustard seeds. Kichadi is one of the very few sadhya dishes that are not vegan. But that can easily be solved by either swapping the dairy yogurt or curd with your favorite homemade or store-bought non-dairy yogurt, like soy, cashew, almond, or peanut.

In this recipe, I am using silken tofu because it is something that I have on hand all the time and I also love the thick creamy consistency blended tofu brings to the kichadi. When I was growing up my favorite part of this dish was the spicy bite from the ground mustard seeds so I do tend to add a little more mustard seeds than usual. If you are not particularly a fan of mustard seeds, feel free to reduce the amount. 

Fun fact, did you know that the mustard plant comes from the same family as broccoli and Brussels sprouts?!  They’re very rich in phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. And okra is an excellent source of vitamins C and K1. 


Okra Kichadi | Vendakka Kichadi

Fried sliced tender okra smothered in a creamy coconut and silken tofu gravy seasoned with ground mustard seeds. A vegan version of a classic sadhya dish. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Sadhya, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Kerala
Servings 5 people


  • 15 tender okra sliced
  • 1 green chili slit
  • salt to taste

Coconut Mixture

  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 box (12.3 oz)  soft silken tofu  regular tofu will also work
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon or lime juice  juice from approximately 1/2 of a lime or lemon
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 green chili
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 dried whole red chili
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil


  • You want to choose okra or lady's finger that are bright green, no larger than 4 inches and the tip should break with a snap when you bend it.
  • Slice off the top and compost.
  • Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices.
    Sliced okra
  • Heat coconut oil and add the sliced okra, green chili, and salt.
  • Stir fry until the edges are brown.
  • Add all the coconut mixture ingredients to a blender
    Coconut mixture
  • This is the kind of silken tofu I usually use. Since it's shelf-stable it's convenient to keep a few in the pantry.
    Silken tofu
  • And blend to a smooth paste.
    Coconut paste
  • Add the coconut tofu paste to a pan and cook for a minute or two. Turn off the heat now.
    Coconut mixture
  • Mix in the fried okra into the coconut tofu paste.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan, when it's hot add mustard seeds, whole red chili, and curry leaves. When you put the curry leaves in be prepared for a lot of spluttering. You can put a lid on right afterward for a few seconds to prevent all the mustard seeds from popping out and to protect yourself from splattering oil.
  • Pour tempered oil over the okra mixture and mix it in.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword Glutenfree

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