Bhindi Masala

The only other recipe I’ve posted for bhindi/okra involves frying it with onions and trying to keep it as dry as possible. Keeping it dry—both as you get it ready to cook and while you cook it—is usually pretty much the only way to keep it from getting mucilaginous. Of course, in some recipes that quality is prized—see gumbo—but I’m with those who generally does not enjoy slimy bhindi. But it doesn’t have to be the case that bhindi cooked with any kind of a sauce becomes slimy. Here’s one of them. The key is to fry the okra first till almost crispy, then make the sauce and toss them together at the end. You can adjust the ingredients to make the sauce more or less spicy but I like to make it so it’s spicy, sweet and tangy all together. As a bonus, it’s very easy to make with limited ingredients and it comes together very quickly. Give it a shot. 


  • 3/4-1 lb bhindi/okra, each pod with the stem end removed and sliced in half, lengthwise.
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly.
  • 1/2 tblspn grated ginger.
  • 1/2 tspn haldi/turmeric powder.
  • 1/2 tspn hot chilli powder.
  • 1/2 tspn coriander seeds and 1/2 tspn cumin, ground together.
  • 1/2 cup pureed tomato.
  • 1 tblspn balsamic or other sweet vinegar.
  • Salt.
  • Oil, preferably pungent mustard oil.


  1. Heat about 2 tblspns of oil in a wok and fry the sliced bhindi/okra till almost crisp. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  2. In the same oil, saute the onions over medium heat till beginning to brown around the edges.
  3. Add the ginger and saute for another minute.
  4. Add all the powdered spices and sauteed for another minute or so.
  5. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and salt and cook over medium low heat till the oil separates.
  6. Add the fried okra to the pan, toss to coat with the sauce and cook over medium heat for another few minutes.
  7. Serve with dal and rice/chapatis.

2 thoughts on “Bhindi Masala

  1. Well this was an excellent reminder for me to check out your recipes again, as we are on another Indian food home-cooking stint. We did a successful red lentil dal the other day using a Jaffrey recipe. I think first I want to use your techniques from the mutton korma using beef (warning: I will add cream!), and then also your Kerala fish curry recipe, and Cathy wants to do the palak paneer (no cream!) . I will keep you posted…


  2. I’m not sure if you have been posting more vegetarian recipes because of my request or if it’s just coincidence but I wanted to let you know that it hasn’t got unnoticed. It’s appreciated! However, I have not seen a decrease in the use of “quite good”. :P


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