Recipe for Bhindi Masala with step by step pics – Stir fried okra with onion and tomatoes, an easy side dish to go with roti / paratha or naan – a naturally vegan and gluten free curry
Bhindi / Okra / Lady’s finger or Vendakkai is one of the favourite vegetables of my adulthood. When I was a kid, it was a different story. Like how it happens in many South Indian families, my folks used to lure me with tales of how eating vendakkai ( the tamil word for Okra) can help me score full marks in Maths!
I could never figure out the connection between eating bhindi and maths, unless of course I was doing calculations on the huge number of seeds that came along with it, but hey we didn’t argue much as kids did we?
While this Bhindi masala is simple enough for beginners, the spices give it the kind of flavour we love in the curries served in an Indian restaurant, minus the excess oil.
The one thing that may keep newbie cooks from cooking with okra / bhindi is the slime factor.
How to avoid slime while preparing okra / bhindi
- Wash the okra well and dry using an absorbent cotton kitchen towel until there’s no moisture on them. I just roll up the washed okra in a towel and keep it aside for 30 minutes or so. Make sure the okra is completely dry before you start slicing it.
- Cut off the top and tail and slice as per your recipe.
- When you start cooking the okra, add it to the oil in the pan and stir fry on high flame for 2-3 minutes so that the moisture dries out quickly.
- Adding spice powders like coriander, cumin, amchoor etc. help dry out any remaining moisture by absorbing it and coating the okra with a layer of spices, which also adds to the flavour. Amchoor also acts as an astringent in this recipe.
- You can also add a teaspoon of oats flour or gram flour (besan) sometime during the process of cooking to dry out any moisture.
Serve bhindi masala with rotis or rice and Methi Dal[originally published in March 2007]
- 250 gms okra (bhindi or lady's finger)
- 1/2 inch ginger fresh
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 - 2 tbsps oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 medium onions halved and sliced thin
- 1 green chilli slit and chopped fine
- 1 large tomato halved and sliced thin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder powder
- 1 tsp curry powder or Kitchen King masala
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Wash and wipe bhindi/okras until thoroughly dry. Slice of tops and tails. Cut into half length wise and then chop in half or thirds as per length of okra. Make 2-2.5 cups of sliced okra, keep aside.
- Pound the ginger and garlic to get a coarse paste.
- To prepare the bhindi masala, in a heavy bottomed or a non-stick pan, heat the oil. Fry the cumin seeds until they start spluttering. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced onion along with slit green chili and stir on medium flame for 7-8 minutes until onions are almost soft.
- Next, add the chopped bhindi. Keep the flame on HIGH while stirring the whole mix together for 2-3 minutes.
- Once the bhindi/okra are dark green and shiny, add the tomatoes with all the remaining spice powders and salt.
- Keep the flame on medium-low and saute for about 5 minutes until the okra is done. At this stage, you can even cover the pan with a lid and allow the vegetable to cook through and mix with the spices, for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove into a serving bowl and serve with rotis/rice and dal.
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That looks delicious…lovely colors..perfect with rotis.
Looks like the problem with comments and your blog fixed itself. Phew!Thanks for linking to my primer on how to cut okra. Now I have your bhindi masala – the picture is fabulous! – and Gini’s recipe to try. Yum!
Thanks Trupti…Manisha, thank heavens I didn’t end up losing the blog! Your primer said everything I’d have to say and more…so didn’t want to duplicate the data 🙂 Besides Padukotti’s comment on dining hall helped me enable comments to this post, which had automatically turned itself off, funilly! Not to blow my own trumpet, but this was one of the best things I’d done with okra:)
Hey sweetie, just saw your post onn dininghall, good to know everything is working again. Looks like Okra is the ingredient of the month… everyone is featuring it… Your picture looks too good, will try this for sure, I love okra in any form.
Sig, Been missing you…actually haven’t logged on to msn messenger…will catch you tomorrow…hope you like guys like okra in this form!
Okra is looking its bright green self. It was a while before I could cook bhindi that would not be all mushy – I figured out it is the ‘high heat and no cover’ trick that works well, and as you said, keeps it bright and fresh looking too.Great everyday recipe.
Oh finally your comments are working!!:) I absolutely love bhindi, and your non-slimy version is simply fabulous 🙂
Love okra! I too got conned into its math improving prowess!Will try your recipe this weekend, Nandita. By the way did you make any fruitcake for last Christmas? Do post pictures if you did.
hi nandita! that picture is so yummy, i could gobble it up :).Both hubby and I love okra, but sadly we hardly ever get it here in Sydney and even when we do for a month or so it is exorbitantly priced and tough and chewy. Any tips on making it soft but not soggy and sticky besides using lemon juice? The sabji I eventually make from frozen bhindi never cooks through, stays quite tough 🙁
Here’s to everyday recipes Anita!Malini, I very much made the fruitcake and used your recipe, did manage to take soem pics before I left for my holiday but they didn’t turn out that great…may be i should post your recipe and the bad pic of the super cake, just for records sake – what say!Jyothsna – thankfully things are up and running now ;)Snehal – that’s sad that you dont get bhindi there…I have no idea how to soften because I have only used it fresh…how about a pinch of baking powder – a tiny pinch wont change the taste but may soften the toughies…Havent been to your blog in a while, must bookmark it!
hey nandita!!wonderful bhindi!!!i would love to cook this version!!!will update u how it came..And good eveything is sorted now!!
Now that one cool looking templete!!!!! And great bhindi as well!!!!Called you sometime around 10th march…. but your phone was out of reach 🙁 . Then I got busy and forgot 🙁 Next time. 🙂
Ekdum mast :).That was some yummy picture, Nandita :).
Thanks for posting with so many interesting links. IÂ´ll take this an my list to have it present when I get the chance to buy fresh okras here. The colour is beautiful, it must taste delicious!! 🙂
Your blog is looking really great. I haven’t eaten okra that much (maybe that’s why I’m so bad at math!) I do like it in gumbo though, and I’d love to try something like this. I’ll have to look for it when the farmer’s market gets going here.
Padmaja – All sorted and thanks to you! Do let me know how you liked it!Musical – Haha it sure tasted mast and since I made this when it was still sunny, the daylight made this pic really bright 🙂 and mastCoffee – Oh Im sorry I missed your call! Next time then.Helene & Kalyn – Thanks for coming over Helene. You may really find this a different tasting okra as ths is a uniquely Indian way of preparation, we generally make it dry, although there are some curry recipes too.Kalyn, thanks for your sweet words…the template may look diff each time as I am still experimenting with the best look to go with my posts. Cya around often. Warm regards. And do try okra this way, you can eat with brown rice pilaf or so, will taste delicious
I just happened to come across ur blog…you have some amazing recipes….Thank you so much for sharing
Looks so yummy…feel like eating it 🙂
Hi, I just made the Bhindi Masala tonight and it was so yummy! Thank you for an easy and a tasty bhindi recipe!! 🙂
Looks so yummy