Achari bhindi is a tangy and spicy Indian okra curry that pairs perfectly with any Indian bread or rice. It has a special achari masala (pickle masala) added to it which gives it a very unique flavor. Here is how to make it.
If you like bhindi, here are some more recipes that you can make for your everyday meals – Bhindi Do Pyaza, Rajasthani Besan Bhindi, Dahi Bhindi, Bharwa Bhindi, Punjabi Bhindi Masala, and Bhindi Ka Salan.
About This Recipe
Achari bhindi is a delicious and flavorful North Indian style curry recipe where bhindi (okra) is cooked in a tomato yogurt-based gravy along with achari masala spice mix. Achari masala is a tangy spice mix that is used to make Indian pickles and it gives them a very unique taste.
Achar is the Hindi term for Indian pickles. The Indian pickles are very different from the ones in the US. They are loaded with spices and preserved in oil. This achari bhindi recipe uses some of the spices that are used to make the pickles.
Along with achari masala, masala from the already made mango pickle is also added which gives it that extra flavor.
I always make pickle masala at home. It is super easy to make and nothing beats the flavor of homemade spice mixes. Moreover, they are economical and you can be sure of the ingredients used to make them.
Make a big batch of this spice mix so that it comes in handy whenever you plan to make this achari bhindi. You can also use this masala to make achari aloo, achari chicken, achari paneer, achari gobi or achari paneer tikka.
You will get all the ingredients to make this dish at any Indian grocery store.
Bhindi – Bhindi or okra is one of those vegetables that is made in every household for their everyday meals. If you are bored with your simple bhindi stir fry, you must give this recipe a try. While buying bhindi, check that they are tender and green in color with fewer seeds.
I have seen that the okra sold at American grocery stores are thick with large seeds. They will not taste good in the curry. Try to buy them at the Indian grocery stores.
You can also use frozen okra to make this sabji. Thaw them well and pat dry with a paper towel before using them.
Achari Masala – I always make this spice mix at home. It hardly takes 20 minutes, can be stored for a long time, and comes in handy whenever you want to use it in the recipes.
Mango Pickle – Along with achari masala, I also add a little Mango Pickle, which adds to its beautiful achari taste. This is optional, but I would recommend adding it.
Spices – When it comes to everyday spices, you will need crushed coriander seeds, Kashmiri red chili powder, dry mango powder, and salt.
While Kashmiri red chili powder adds a nice color without making it too spicy, dry mango powder adds that hint of tanginess.
Onion, Tomato, and Yogurt – These three ingredients form the base of this curry.
Green Chili Peppers – Reduce the chili peppers if you don’t like spicy.
Kasuri Methi – I love the flavor Kasuri methi adds to this dish.
Mustard Oil – Do make this recipe in mustard oil for the best taste. If it is not available, you can use any vegetable oil.
How To Make Achari Bhindi
Wash 1 pound (500 g) of bhindi and wipe each piece using a paper towel. Bhindi should be absolutely dry before cooking otherwise it will turn slimy. You can also wash it a day prior to cooking to avoid any moisture. Discard 0.5 inches of the tip and the round top.
Heat ¼ cup mustard oil in a pan over high heat.
Add the bhindi to the pan and fry on high heat until slightly browned (8-10 minutes). Once the bhindi turns slightly brown in color, remove it on a plate.
Add the remaining (approx 2 tablespoon) mustard oil to the same pan and heat over high heat.
When the oil is hot, add 1 cup finely chopped onions and fry until slightly browned (6-8 minutes). Keep stirring while frying.
Now add 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and fry until onions turns nicely brown (6-8 minutes).
Add ½ cup grated tomatoes and 2-3 green chili peppers (slit into half) and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Now add ½ cup plain yogurt whisked with 1 tablespoon all-purpose and cook for 30-40 seconds. Adding some flour to the yogurt makes sure it doesn’t curdle while cooking. It also makes the gravy creamier.
Add 2 tablespoon achari masala, 2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds, 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, 2 teaspoon dry mango powder, and salt to taste and fry until oil starts to separate from the sides of the pan (1-2 minutes).
Add 1 cup of water and bring the curry to a boil.
Now add the fried bhindi and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoon mango pickle masala with oil, 2 tablespoon Kasuri methi, and 1 teaspoon lime juice (optional) and mix well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Making achari masala at home is very easy and it also stores well in an airtight container in a dry and cool place for about a month. If you want to keep it for longer, then refrigerate it for about 2 months.
16-18 Kashmiri Dry Red Chillies
2 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
2 teaspoon Onion Seeds
6 tablespoon Fennel Seeds
4 tablespoon Mustard Seeds
1 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
6 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
4 tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 teaspoon Asafoetida
4 teaspoon Dry Mango Powder
Add the whole spices to a heavy-bottomed pan and roast on medium heat till they turn slightly browned and fragrant. Once done, switch off the heat and let them come to room temperature. Add them to a grinder with salt, turmeric powder, asafetida, and dry mango powder and grind to make a coarse powder.
Check out the detailed post to make achari masala here.
I add a handful of whole coriander seeds to a grinder and pulse a few times until they are crushed and a coarse powder is made. You can also crush them using a mortar and pestle.
Mango pickle tastes the best when added to these curries because of its spicy tangy taste. You can try using other variations like lime or green chili pickle.
Replace plain yogurt with any plant-based yogurt to make it vegan.
There is asafetida (hing) added in most pickles. Check the mango pickle masala that you are using for hing or skip adding it. The rest of the ingredients are gluten-free.
You can also serve it along with steamed rice, raita, and a salad of your choice for a simple weekday meal.
I would recommend you to make achari bhindi fresh, but if you if have leftovers, just store them for about a day or two in an airtight container in the refrigerator. As it has yogurt, it doesn’t last for long.
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Achari Bhindi Recipe
- ⅔ cup mustard oil (divided)
- 1 pound okra (bhindi) (500 g)
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
- ½ cup grated fresh tomatoes
- 2-3 green chili peppers (slit into half)
- ½ cup plain yogurt (whisked with 1 tablespoon all purpose flour)
- 2 tablespoons achari masala
- 2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dry mango powder
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons mango pickle masala
- 2 tablespoons Kasuri methi
- 1 teaspoon lime juice (optional)
- Wash the okra well with water and wipe each of them using a kitchen cloth. Cut the top and ½ inch of the tip. Set aside.
- Heat ¼ cup mustard oil in a pan over high heat.
- Add the bhindi to the pan and fry on high heat until slightly browned (8-10 minutes). Remove it on a plate.
- Add the remaining mustard oil to the same pan and heat it over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add onions to the pan and fry until slightly browned (6-8 minutes). Keep stirring while frying.
- Now add ginger garlic paste and fry until onions turn nicely brown (6-8 minutes).
- Add tomatoes and green chili peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add yogurt whisked with all-purpose and cook for 30-40 seconds. Adding some flour to the yogurt makes sure it doesn’t curdle while cooking. It also makes the gravy creamier.
- Add achari masala, crushed coriander seeds, Kashmiri red chili powder, dry mango powder, and salt to taste and fry until oil starts to separate from the sides of the pan (1-2 minutes).
- Add 1 cup of water and bring the curry to a boil.
- Now add the fried bhindi and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add mango pickle masala with oil, Kasuri methi, and lime juice (optional) and mix well.
- Serve hot.