Bhindi Masala is a simple, yet magical combination of the crunchy sweetness of okra and the delectable fragrance of fresh spices. Stir-fried with sweet onions and tangy tomatoes, this Indian Spiced Okra recipe looks so vibrant, that it never fails to wow at the dinner table.
Bhindi Masala or Bhindi Fry is one of the simplest, yet one of the most lip-smacking entree dishes, that you may want to include in your next party spread. This dish uses just a few basic pantry ingredients and is cooked in under 20 minutes. And if you are an okra lover like me, do try my Stuffed Okra recipe too.
Growing up, my family took a lot of holidays and short-stay road trips in India. My mother is extremely health and hygiene conscious, and so she preferred that we eat hot vegetarian food during our travels. Bhindi Masala, a popular restaurant dish, was a family favorite and the taste simply grew on me over the years.
This is my mom's signature recipe and she always sautés the okra first in the oil before adding remaining ingredients and spices. This helps the bhindi from getting slimy and also is the best technique to achieve restaurant-style taste.
Here are all of my tips for making the best okra:
- Wash the okra first, and then dry them completely using paper towels before you start cutting them.
- Use a clean dry cutting board and knife. If you notice the knife getting sticky, wipe it clean with paper towels.
- Do not over-stir the okra whole sautéing, as stirring frequently may make the okra slimy. Note: A non-stick frying pan works really well for any okra recipe.
- Cook the okra uncovered on medium heat, for best results.
Here is a step-by-step recipe with photos to make delicious, authentic restaurant-style bhindi masala right in your kitchen! For a printable recipe check out the recipe card at the end of this post:
Step 1: Rinse and completely dry okra with paper towels. Cut dried okra into diagonally sliced pieces, discarding the top and the bottom.
Step 2: Heat oil in a medium pan. I like to use a nonstick pan for this recipe. Add okra and saute for 8 to 10 minutes stirring frequently. Take the okra out and reserve.
Step 3: In the same pan add the remaining oil. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Add sliced onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add ginger, garlic, tomatoes and mix well. Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, ground coriander, and garam masala mix well. Cook for 2 minutes or just until the onions start to soften a bit.
Step 4: Add the reserved okra and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the okra is cooked to your desired consistency.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
I love serving bhindi masala with homemade roti or parathas. Serve it alongside your favorite raita for a delicious Indian vegetarian meal. Frequently in Indian households, dal and rice are served to make it a delicious thali.
More Indian Vegetarian Recipes:
- Tindora stir fry with Cashews
- Curried Green Beans with Potatoes
- Mushroom Masala
- Stuffed Curried Eggplant
- Curried Baby Potatoes - Dum Aloo
- Paneer Makhani
How to buy okra
I usually use the dark green Indian okra for this recipe, and you can find those at any Indian grocery store. When buying okra, make sure to pick ones that are smallish or medium-sized, crisp and tender. The light green okra variety works well too, so go ahead and try making this dish with whichever variety you can readily get.
Can I use frozen okra for this recipe
While the Bhindi Masala recipe is best made with fresh okra, you can also use frozen cut okra that is available at Indian grocery stores. Make sure to prep the okra well by spreading the frozen okra pieces evenly between paper towels allowing them to thaw. Then, use the paper towels to dab away any excess moisture which is an important step for this recipe.
My okra looks slimy, how to fix it
Over stirring okra or using wet okra can make the dish slimy. To fix it, after the dish is done cooking add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and toss gently.
★ Have you tried this recipe? We love your feedback, Please click on the stars in the recipe card below to rate.
- 1 pound okra
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large yellow onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 tomato diced
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- Rinse and completely dry okra with paper towels. Use a clean dry cutting board and knife, cut dried okra into diagonally sliced pieces, discarding the top and the bottom. If you notice the knife getting sticky, wipe it clean with paper towels.
- Heat half of the oil in a medium nonstick pan. Add okra and saute uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes stirring a few times, until the okra is almost cooked but still has a slight crunch to it. Do not over-stir. Take the okra out and reserve. In the same pan add the remaining oil.
- Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle. Add sliced onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add ginger, garlic, tomatoes and mix well. Add salt, turmeric, red chili powder, ground coriander, and garam masala mix well. Cook for 2 minutes or just until the onions start to soften a bit.
- Add the reserved okra and cook uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the okra is cooked to your desired consistency.