Bandakka Thel Dhala or Tempered Ladies Finger

By Home cook Sharmini Jayawardena

Bandakka theldaala is a side dish to be eaten with plain steamed rice and other accompaniments. It goes well together with dhal curry, potato curry, chicken curry, mutton curry or wild boar curry, tomato curry, French bean curry, pol sambol, seeni sambol, salaadhey and other Sri Lankan dishes that make up a complete and delectable food table or kaema mesey.


15 medium size ladies fingers
½ medium onion sliced.
2 tsps chilli flakes (more or less)
2 tbs coconut oil
Sea salt to taste


  1. Cut the tops off the ladies fingers before you store them in the refrigerator. They don’t mature just as fast as when you store them without doing so. Ladies fingers mature very fast especially if you store them with limes. And, mature ladies fingers are as good as gone !

2. Wash and slice the ladies fingers like so 👇.

3. Add the coconut oil to a wok, pan or pot and turn up the heat.

4. Add the onion slices to the oil and fry until it turns almost a golden brown.

5. Add the ladies fingers and give it a good stir.

6. Add sea salt to taste and then add the chilli flakes and stir.

7. When the ladies fingers are done being stir fried, remove from the fire, set a side and leave uncovered. Covering green vegetables is an absolute no no. It turns into an unsightly dark color.

8. It is absolutely important to keep stirring the ladies fingers so as not to bring out the sticky liquid from it. This happens when they are exposed too much to heat.

9. Serve into a dish when you are ready to eat.

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