Bhindi Masala / Okra Masala Recipe
Bhindi Masala (Okra masala )recipe is a light , savoury, crispy okra recipe cooked in mustard oil , without any tomatoes, ginger or garlic.
The only main ingredient you need is bhindi (okra ) ,with optional onions and few dry spices. It is coated in chickpea flour (besan ) to make it deliciously crispy.
This bhindi masala can be a part of your meal, a perfect healthy accompaniment to your meals, or a part of your snacks.It is a great addition to a vegan diet.
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More vegetable recipes on the blog
- aloo methi (Potatoes and fenugreek leaves)
- crispy masala arbi(Sautèed taro root recipe)
- sukhe kale chane (Dry black chickpeas)
- karonde mirchi (sautèed cranberries with green chillies)
- Sautèed potatoes and Kale recipe
Why try this Bhindi (Okra) masala recipe ?
- It is one of the healthiest and one of the best ways to have bhindi and eat your vegetables.
- This recipe is very simple to make and it tastes delicious.
- It requires very few basic ingredients and dry spices
- Very quick to cook.
- You can make it in batch and store it in fridge.
- There are a million ways you can eat it- with your roti, as an accompaniment with meals , make a sandwich or pita filling.
Bhindi (Okra) Masala 👩🍳
Bhindi ( Okra ) is one of the favourite vegetables in Indian homes during the summers. This recipe of bhindi is light, savoury, spicy and crispy at the same time, and healthy.
It can be served as a side dish with any of the Daal’s/ lentils or beans , or even on its own with soft fresh roti’s/ paranthas or pooris. It goes perfect with palak poori .
Just complement it with a side of any yummy Raita(Yoghurt with fresh vegetables or fruit).I have an interesting Pumpkin raita recipe on the blog.
In India bhindi is easily available at your local grocers and street vendors , but in the UK it is not available as easily. There are a few asian stores around my area and I get bhindi from there, whenever fresh bhindi is available.
Also my nearest Tesco has bhindi available, so at times I get it from there.
How to shop for perfect Bhindi or Okra ? 🛒
While selecting bhindi ( okra ) from any grocery store just make sure of the below
- Bhindi is nice , green and fresh looking.
- The bhindi pieces should not be too thick , and hard or too soft.These should be small, slender and firm.
- It should be free from any blemishes and holes. Check thoroughly as there might be some worms eating your okra.
Ingredients required and alternatives to cook bhindi masala / Okra masala 📝
The main ingredients for this recipe are Bhindi(Okra), Onions, Green chillies .
Oil– For any of the Indian sautèed vegetables i mostly use mustard oil, as it gives that rustic , sharp, delicious taste to vegetables. Check the tips for using mustard oil below.
If for any reason you do not want to use mustard oil you can cook it in any oil that your regularly use.
Onions– You can totally avoid adding onions if you do not like it . But onions add flavour and texture this masala okra recipe.
Green chillies– Again, these add so much flavour , so i normally always add green chillies to all indian vegetables.
If you do not want the heat of chillies, you can simply throw in whole chillies (cut the stalks), or just slit it in the centre and add in. That way you get the flavour without too much heat of chillies.
Dry Ingredients- Spices
Dry spices– The dry spices you need are salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, a pinch of asafoetida(hing powder), coriander powder, kasoori methi(crushed dry fenugreek leaves), amchoor(dry mango powder) and besan (chickpea flour / gram flour).
Adding Kasoori methi is optional, but this really enhances the flavour of any Indian vegetable and curries. You will find almost all my recipes have kasoori methi as one of the ingredients. But if you do not have it handy, you can skip adding it.
Amchoor (dry mango powder), is another important spice to be used in this dish. It adds the required tanginess to this recipe, and also adding sour ingredient to this recipe will help cut the sliminess of the Okra.
If you are not using amchoor , you can replace it with fresh lime juice, or you can add both.
Some recipes for bhindi call for tomatoes, but I avoid using tomatoes as I feel it makes bhindi soggy . So this is a ‘no tomato’ bhindi recipe.
Amchoor is a perfect spice to add that tanginess to your bhindi recipe. But , if you do not have amchoor, you can add juice of fresh lemon. It does the job as well as amchoor (dry Mango powder).
Using Mustard oil for Indian cooking
Mustard oil is most often heated in the pan, with no other ingredients, until it reaches a temperature where the first wisps of smoke appear (about 480°F/250°C).
Immediately take it off the heat and allow to cool to a more reasonable frying temperature (around 360°F/180°C) before adding other ingredients.
This procedure removes the acrid taste of the raw oil and renders it quite pleasant.
How to cook bhindi masala ? 💁🏻♀️
There are lots of ways to make bhindi/okra. You can make it dry like bharwan bhindi (stuffed bhindi), masala bhindi, achari bhindi, fried bhindi.
You can cook bhindi in gravy. I always like the dry versions of this, because I like it crispy!!! So I’m sharing the below bhindi masala recipe that is my mums recipe
This is the simplest recipe because it does not use any ginger, garlic or tomatoes like most indian vegetables. You just need bhindi and a few optional ingredients like onions or green chillies, and dry spices.
I cook it in my iron kadhai , to increase the iron content in my recipe. Not so sure of this ,though my mum always cooks dry vegetables in iron Kadhai saying that it increases iron content.
Cooking in iron kadhai does make the vegetables slightly dark and black, but that is normal if you cook it for longer period and if you like the vegetables slightly on the charred side. However if you do not prefer that, you can take it off heat earlier.
If you do not have a kadhai , you can cook it in any Stainless steel or non stick pan .
Follow the below steps to cook bhindi :
- Step1– Heat oil (check tips on using mustard oil above).
- Step 2– Add cubed onions and sautè for a minute.
- Step 3– Add bhindi / okra
- Step 4 – Add all dry spices and mix well.
- Step 5– Add your sour ingredient (lemon/ amchoor)
- Step 6– Add chickpea flour and mix well. Sautè everything on high for a few minutes to get that crispiness, ensuring that bhindi doesn’t stick or gets burnt.
It is always advisable to wash bhindi before cutting as it starts getting slimy once cut , and will be difficult to wash.
I wash bhindi a few hours before preparing. Wash the bhindi, pat dry with a kitchen towel and leave it to air dry for a few hours. Once it is completely dry you can use it for cooking.
Make sure it is completely dry before you use it for cooking.
Use the right amount of oil to cook okra. Oil helps cook bhindi and prevents it from sticking. Cook bhindi on high heat without covering. And lastly add some amchoor , or lime juice once you add Okra to the pan. These steps ensure that okra does not turn out to be slimy.
No. Bhindi should be cooked on high heat, in hot oil, and without covering. If you cover the Okra while cooking, the moisture will not let the okra dry and it will turn out slimy.
Bhindi does not take very long to cook. Once it turns soft and slightly pale darker green, it is cooked. However in my recipe of bhindi masala I sautè bhindi on high heat for another 7-8 minutes after it is cooked, so that it turns crispier.
You can use frozen okra for this recipe. However if you are using frozen okra, pre cook frozen okra by sautèing it in a little hot oil for a few minutes , or slightly grilling so that there is no moisture (which will again make it slimy) in it when you add it to the recipe.
Extra tips for this recipe💡
- You can cut the okra in round slices, or cut it in long slices. It is completely your choice.
- If you like your bhindi crispy and crunchy, then adding chickpea flour does the trick. Once the dish is almost cooked, add besan (chickpea flour). It will coat the bhindi slices, and will cook into a nice crispy layer on the outside.
- The extra tablespoon of oil added in the beginning will ensure that bhindi doesn’t stick while cooking and will also help to cook besan.
- Make sure to add the sour ingredient like amchoor or lime juice immediately when you add bhindi (in this recipe while adding other spices). This helps cut the sliminess of bhindi. Do not wait till the end to add the sour ingredients.
- This can be made without the onions , but adding onions adds a little crunch and sweetness to this.
- If you like potatoes you can chop potatoes in small slices and add along with bhindi to make potatoes and bhindi masala.
- For any reason if you do not prefer using mustard oil, bhindi can be cooked in any oil of your preference. I prefer the strong mustard flavour and hence use that for most of my indian vegetables.
- This okra masala recipe makes for a great vegan vegetable as it is inherently vegan and very healthy.
Masala bhindi is best served with fresh rotis , paranthas or naan bread.My daughter loves having it with pooris .Check out the palak poori recipe on the blog.
It can be added as perfect filling for your sandwiches, toasts, wraps or pita. I always use leftover masala bhindi to make toasts the next day.
It stays perfect in the fridge for almost 5-7 days.Jump to Recipe
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Bhindi masala recipe / Okra masala recipe
- 3 tbsp Oil Mustard/ any preferred cooking oil
- 250 gms Okra/ Bhindi/Lady Finger Long Slit in halves/ cut in circles
- 1 medium Onion Thick cubes
- Salt as per taste
- 1/2 tsp Red chilli Powder can adjust qty as per taste
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder/ haldi
- a pinch asafoetida/ Hing powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp dry fenugreek leaves / Kasoori Methi crushed
- 1 tsp Dry Mango powder/ Amchoor powder Can replace with fresh juice of half a lemon
- 2-3 pieces slit green chillies
- 1 tbsp Chickpea flour/ besan
- Wash the Okra thoroughly in water, and pat dry with kitchen roll. It should be completely dry before cooking.
- Cut the edges on both ends, and slit the okra in half or three slices, depending on the size of each piece or cut round slices almost 1/4" or smaller if you do not want the long slices.
- Heat the oil, and add the onion cubes.
- Sautè the onions for 2-3 minutes (do not brown the onions). Then add bhindi /Okra, and mix.
- Add Salt, haldi (Turmeric powder), red chilli powder, Hing powder (asafoetida),Coriander powder,Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves), and amchoor powder(dry mango powder).If you are replacing amchoor powder with lemon juice, add the same.
- Add the green chillies.
- Sautè on high heat, without covering.You need to keep stirring, till the sliminess/ stickiness is all gone. If the okra is now soft and tender, it is cooked.Adjust seasoning if required.
- Add the besan/ chickpea flour, mix it thoroughly with Okra, and cook for 5-7 minutes till the Bhindi is coated with flour and the it is nicely cooked and crispy.
- Serve it hot with fresh Rotis/ Paranthas/ poori's !
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