Bendekayi Gojju: A Sweet-Spicy Okra Curry From Karnataka
Image Credit: Sowmya Recipes

Gojju, a tamarind-based sweet, spicy and tangy curry from Karnataka with a vegetable cooked into the sauce. Typically made with produce like eggplant, tomatoes, beans and okra, the gojju is a flavoursome dish that pairs well with plain rice or breakfast items like dosas or idlis. With tamarind as the base for the curry, the gojju packs quite a tangy punch along with the layered flavours from the toasted whole spices, which are ground and added as a paste along with some coconut to the curry.

The gojju has a pronounced flavour which has a tendency to overpower the other dishes and is typically best eaten with something milder. This okra gojju makes for a great vegan option that can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. What’s most interesting a characteristic about this gojju is that the longer it is rested, the deeper the flavours seep into the vegetable. The addition of raw rice acts as a thickening agent for the curry and gives it a mildly nutty flavour.



Image Courtesy: Lakshmi's Kitchen

  • 10-12 Byadgi chillies
  • 5-7 Guntur chillies
  • 1 lemon-sized ball tamarind
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon raw rice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons jaggery powder
  • 6-7 curry leaves
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 250 grams okra
  • Salt to taste


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  • Toast the chillies in a dry pan along with the urad dal, raw rice, sesame and fenugreek seeds, until fragrant. Add the shredded coconut and toast until the coconut turns brown in colour.
  • Blitz the spice mixture into a coarse powder and set aside. Heat some oil in a pan and temper using the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once they begin to splutter, add the okra and saute on a medium flame for 5-7 minutes.
  • Soak the tamarind ball in hot water and strain to remove any coarse remains and sediments. Add the tamarind pulp into the pan and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, with the pan covered. Season adequately with salt.
  • Once the okra softens a little bit, add three tablespoons of the spice mixture along with the jaggery powder. Combine everything by stirring well.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for another 10 minutes. Add some water to adjust the consistency if it ends up becoming too thick. Turn off the flame and let the gojju come to room temperature, before serving with rice, rotis or dosa.