This is a delicious bhindi masala recipe that I make often and is a punjabi recipe of a semi-dry spicy okra curry – best enjoyed with phulka or mild roti. Gluten free, vegan and healthy.
About this recipe
Hindi word for okra is “Bhindi” and “Masala” refers to a stir-fried base of aromatics like garlic, ginger, onions with the usual herbs, spices and tomatoes.
So now you get the meaning of Bhindi Masala – okra cooked in a spicy and tangy base of ground spices, onions and tomatoes. The combination of spices used here is usually added to many Punjabi recipes.
Long ago in a restaurant, I had a bhindi masala and it was yummy. This bhindi masala recipe reproduces the bhindi masala that is served in restaurants.
I usually add kasuri methi to my recipe. Kasuri methi are dried fenugreek leaves that have a beautiful aroma. It is optional to add kasuri methi, but if you want restaurant-style bhindi masala, try adding it.
Bhindi or okra is our favorite vegetable. We usually prefer the dry or semi-dry version of any sabzi with okra.
Most of the Indian recipes I make with okra are easy, healthy, and simple to make. The same goes for this bhindi masala recipe.
Also Read: Kadai Mushroom (Cooker And Instant Pot)
How to make Bhindi Masala
Prepare the okra
1. Using a colander, rinse 250 grams of bhindi (okra) well in water. Distribute them on a platter or plate and let them dry under the fan. You can even wipe down each bhindi with a clean tea towel.
2. When completely dry, cut each bhindi into one or two inch pieces.
Sauté the bhindi
3. In a thick kadai or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the chopped okra. You can use any neutral taste oil. I mainly use sunflower oil or peanut oil.
4. Stir and mix the chopped bhindi very well with the oil.
5. Now sauté the bhindi, stirring often over low to medium-low heat.
6. Sauté the bhindi until tender and cooked through. On the chopped okra, you should see a few blisters or golden spots. Remove the sautéed okra and set aside.
Taste the sautéed okra. The crunch shouldn’t be there. Instead, you should taste a well-sweetened bhindi. This means that they are well cooked.
Frying or sautéing the okra in oil minimizes the stickiness and viscosity of this bhindi masala recipe.
7. Remove the cooked bhindi to a plate and set aside. Also chop the onions, tomatoes, green peppers and keep them aside. Crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle to obtain a ginger-garlic paste.
Sauté onions, tomatoes, spices
8. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same kadai or pan. Add 1 medium chopped onion (? cup chopped onions).
9. Mix and start to sauté the onions over low to medium heat.
10. Sauté the onions until they become translucent.
11. Then add 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste.
12. Stir and sauté until the raw aroma of ginger and garlic is gone.
13. Then add 2 medium chopped tomatoes (1 cup chopped tomatoes).
14. Mix well and start to sauté the tomatoes over low to medium-low heat. If the mixture of tomato gets too dry and starts sticking to the pan, add about 3 to 4 tbsps of water. Mix well and continue to sauté.
15. Sauté the tomatoes until they become soft and soft.
16. Now add ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder, ½ teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder or ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder.
17. Then continue to add ½ teaspoon of dry mango powder (amchur powder), ½ teaspoon of fennel powder (ground fennel – optional) and 1 teaspoon of coriander powder.
If you don’t have dry mango powder, add ½ teaspoon of dried pomegranate seed powder (anardana powder).
You can add lemon juice, but I suggest squeezing fresh lemon juice over the bhindi masala while eating it. Adding lemon juice directly can make the dish very tangy.
18. Mix the spices very well and sauté for a few seconds.
Make Bhindi Masala
19. Add the sautéed bhindi.
20. Season with salt to taste.
21. Mix very well.
22. Now add ½ teaspoon of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) which has been crushed. If you don’t have dried fenugreek leaves, just skip them.
23. Stir all the mixture well. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring in between. Check the taste of the bhindi masala and add more spice powders and salt if needed.
24. Finally, add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Mix again. You can also chop mint leaves if you don’t have cilantro (cilantro) leaves.
25. Serve Bhindi Masala hot or lukewarm.
Like all other dry bhindi recipes, this bhindi masala is also served best with chapati or naan or paratha or soft phulka and cucumber or vegetarian raita on the side. They also go well as a side dish with dal-rice or any rice-curry combo.
Bhindi masala can also be packed in a lunch box with paratha or roti.