Bhindi Masala (Indian Okra Stir Fry) is a very popular North Indian dish made using okra, onions, tomatoes, and spices. This semi-dry curry is super easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes (vegan, gluten-free).
About This Recipe
Bhindi Masala (Indian Okra Stir Fry) is a popular Indian stir fry made using okra, onions, tomatoes, and a few Indian spices.
It is usually served with rice or roti and can be made with either fresh or frozen okra.
The dish is thought to have originated in Punjab, although it is now popular all over India. Bhindi Masala is often made as a dry curry, but it can also be made with gravy.
The recipe is simple, easy to follow, and is made using basic pantry staples. It’s also vegan and gluten-free and comes together in 30 minutes.
Bhindi – Bhindi (Okra, Ladies Finger) has many health benefits and including it in your everyday diet is a great idea. Although it is not very popular in the US yet, it is gaining traction, and looking at its repertoire as a healthy low-cal vegetable, it is no surprise that people in the US will make it a part of their diet soon.
You can find bhindi in whole foods or trader joe. Indian grocery stores almost always carry them.
If using frozen okra, make sure to thaw it before using it.
Spice Powders – You will need turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, and dry mango powder (amchoor).
You can replace dry mango powder with lime juice (lemon juice) too.
Others – You will also need vegetable oil, cumin seeds, onions, fresh ginger, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and salt.
Replace vegetable oil with peanut oil or mustard oil for more traditional Indian flavors.
You can also some garam masala and green chillies to this recipe.
How To Make Bhindi Masala
Rinse 1 pound (500 g) of okra well with water. Wipe each using a kitchen towel and spread the okra on the kitchen counter for an hour for any moisture to evaporate.
If there is moisture in okra, it will become slimy.
Discard ½-inch from both the ends of okra using a sharp serrated knife and cut the okra into ½-inch round pieces.
Chop the onions and tomatoes. Grate the ginger and mince the garlic cloves.
Gather the remaining ingredients.
Fry The Okra
Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Add the chopped bhindi to the pan and fry for 6-8 minutes until slightly browned and crisp, stirring frequently.
Remove the okra to a bowl and keep it aside.
Make The Stir Fry
Add the remaining 3 tablespoon vegetable oil to the same pan and heat on medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Add 1 cup of chopped onions and fry until they turn pinkish in color (3-4 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add 1 teaspoon grated ginger and 1 teaspoon minced garlic and fry for 2 minutes.
Now add 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and saute for 30-40 seconds.
Add 1 cup of finely chopped tomatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes until they are mushy, stirring frequently.
Now add the fried bhindi and 1 teaspoon salt to the pan and mix well.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes on low heat. Stir a few times while cooking.
Open the lid and fry for 2-3 minutes until all the moisture evaporates.
Add 1 teaspoon dry mango powder and fry for another minute.
Check for salt and add more if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just skip adding onions and garlic to the recipe.
1) Always pat dry the Bhindi after washing and before chopping it to make sabzi. If you chop it directly after washing it, it will turn out to be slimy. I mostly try to wash it a day before cooking. After washing, I just spread it on a kitchen towel and let it dry overnight. Then wipe each bhindi with a kitchen towel and cut it.
If you are pressed with time, you can wash the bhindi and wipe it clean using a kitchen towel before chopping.
2) Frying the bhindi in oil before adding it to the masala also reduces the slimy texture.
3) Use a sharp knife to chop the bhindi. When chopped with a blunt knife, it will become more sticky.
4) Bhindi needs more oil to cook. Do not skimp on oil while cooking it.
5) Adding a souring agent like dry mango powder or lime juice while cooking bhindi also helps to reduce the sliminess.
Peel 250 g potatoes and cut them into cubes. Shallow fry the potatoes until browned. Now add them along with bhindi to the recipe.
Pro Tips By Neha
Choose young, tender okra with small pods. Larger pods have large seeds which are difficult to digest.
Wipe the bhindi well before chopping them.
Fry the bhindi in oil first. It will make sure all the excess water is evaporated and bhindi is cooked yet not slimy. You can also fry the okra in an air fryer instead of frying it in oil.
You can add aloo (potatoes) to this dish and make aloo bhindi masala recipe.
You can also add a tablespoon of besan (chickpea flour) to this okra masala recipe and make it even tastier.
Make a Jain version of this okra recipe by skipping onions and garlic.
Serve bhindi masala for lunch or dinner along with Dal and Roti. It is also a great option to pack for lunch boxes.
Bhindi Masala Fry will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days when stored properly in an airtight container. Reheat only the amount you want to eat, otherwise, it will decrease its shelf life.
You can either heat it in a pan or microwave it until nice and warm.
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Bhindi Masala Recipe (Indian Okra Stir Fry)
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
- 1 pound bhindi (okra) (500 g)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchoor)
Prepare The Okra
- Rinse okra well with water. Wipe each using a kitchen towel and spread the okra on the kitchen counter for an hour for any moisture to evaporate.
- If there is moisture in okra, it will become slimy.
- Discard ½-inch from both the ends of okra using a sharp serrated knife and cut the okra into ½-inch round pieces.
Fry The Okra
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped bhindi to the pan and fry for 6-8 minutes until slightly browned and crisp, stirring frequently.
- Remove the okra to a bowl and keep it aside.
Make The Stir Fry
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the same pan and heat on medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
- Add onions and fry until they turn pinkish in color (3-4 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Add ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes.
- Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chili powder and saute for 30-40 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes until they are mushy, stirring frequently.
- Now add the fried bhindi and salt to the pan and mix well.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes on low heat. Stir a few times while cooking.
- Open the lid and fry for 2-3 minutes until all the moisture evaporates.
- Add dry mango powder and fry for another minute.
- Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Serve hot.