Bendi reminds me of a very funny story.A few years back,a family friend of ours had gone to Mangalore with his whole family as part of a pilgrimage.Though Konkani is spoken in Mangalore,it is quite different from the Konkani we speak[in Kerala].The dialects are different and sometimes some words have a totally different meaning than what we intend to say!!
Story goes like this,they had stopped for breakfast in an amchigele[Konkani] restaurant which was evident from the waiters’ lingo.They were quite happy and asked the waiter what was the special item for the day.He said Surnali-Bendi.Though they didn’t understand what the dish was,they assumed it would consist of Surnu[Elephant Yam] and Bhindi[Okra].They were in for a pleasant surprise when the waiter bought along plates of Yellow Fluffy dosas and a curry made with pulses!!
My ma-in-law tells me that Bendi is indeed paired with Mushti Polo[spongy dosa/set dosa] and after such a long time I had it today and loved it.It tastes great with Rice too.If you do not like the strong flavour of Garlic,you could season it with mustard seeds and curry leaves too.
Tori/Pigeon peas[dried] – ¾ cup,soaked overnight and cooked[I pressure cooked it for 20 minutes]
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Roasted red chillies – 4-5
Tamarind – 1 small pea size
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Garlic cloves – 5-6,crushed
Grind to a smooth paste the grated coconut,red chillies and tamarind.
Mix with the cooked tori/peas,add salt to taste and boil for 5-10 minutes.
In a pan,add oil and crushed garlic.
Keep stirring till the garlic cooks and browns well.
Add to the boiling curry and switch off the flame.
Serve with dosa or rice.