Bhindi Masala ~ Okra Masala

June 21, 2011 · 11 comments

in Cuisine : Indian, Cuisine : North Indian, Vegetable(dry)


Okra or Bhindi, the slimy vegetable that many people dislike, it just so happens that I “heart” this vegetable. It will easily go to the top of the list of my favorite vegetables. Well, I am strange that way – love okra, love bitter gourd (that most people just cannot stand!) and love eggplants! One thing that is close to hating, if at all you can call it that, is mushrooms, especially the button / white mushrooms. I find it difficult to stand the chewiness of it – its a texture issue, nothing to do with the taste, whatsoever. Portobello and shitake if cooked well, I like them, eventhough not love them. But still if mushroom is all that is there to eat, I can do that, just that there is no love here.

My love for okra could be that it was a staple vegetable while growing up and amma used to make a nice and crispy stir fry with just salt and red chilli powder and my-oh-my, that tasted soo good with some curd rice. Talking about curd rice and growing up eating okra, I was reminded of a blog post I read a really long time ago, What not to do with a Tam brahm  (if you have some background of tam brahms (a community in South India) or know any, this becomes even more hilarious). See now you know why I love okra, its in my genes! :)


So anyway, Okra is not only a South Indian favorite, many parts of Northern India also serve this vegetable. Bhindi Masala is one popular version of it. Actually do I know any other non-South Indian version of preparing okra? hmm I’ll have to think about that. So, for now here is the recipe of this delicious bhindi masala which is good paired with some plain tadka dal and rice or chapatis.


Bhindi Masala / Okra Masala – The Recipe


  • Okra / Bhindi – 10-12, top removed and cut diagonally
  • Red Onion – 1/2, sliced
  • Tomato – 1, sliced
  • Canola Oil – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder / Cayenne – 1 to 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala (optional) – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste



Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the onions to it and saute till they turn lightly brown and some of them are caramlised a little, this gives the okra masala a sweet taste to it. Now add the tomatoes to it and saute to 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the turmeric powder, cayenne and garam masala to it. Mix well.

Add the okra to the pan as well and some salt. Increase the heat to medium high. Saute till the okras become soft. You can sprinkle some water to help the okras become soft or if the onions and tomatoes are browning more than needed.

Serve hot with some dal as a side for rice or chapatis!


Check out this recipe at Seasonal Sundays, a season inspired series over at Real Sustenance, this time the theme being summer, of course.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura @ Family Spice June 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Yummm!!! I love okra! I think this one of those misunderstood vegetables. This reminds me of this Persian okra stew we make. I love the colors of your pictures. Beautiful!


2 Manju June 24, 2011 at 10:50 am

Purabi Naha – Manju, this dish looks amazing. Bhindi is my all-time favourite, but we get those mainly in Indian stores here (I am from Hong Kong), and they are so expensive! Gone are the days when I used to buy two kilos of bhindis at a time in Mumbai. We cook bhindi differently…didn’t try Okra in a masaledaar way as in your case. I think, your dish will taste superb!!! Thanks for sharing this and for visiting my blog. Looking forward to see you again!


3 Manju June 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Sorry guys, the comments somehow disappeared this morning! no idea why. So I had to fish them out from my emails and post here manually. Too precious to lose.


4 torviewtoronto June 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

wow what a coincidence we make very similarly :) we love okra this way thank you for the comment it was an old post I put the picture on the wonderful photo site recently


5 Vaishali June 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

I heart okra too– and eggplant and bitter gourds and mushrooms. :) Your bhindi masala looks mouthwatering. And enjoyed the read on Tam Brahms because my husband is one, and yes, I can now see where the bhindilove comes from.


6 Carrie July 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I have literally never cooked Indian food in my life (except for those awful boxed curries), and I just made this with some fresh okra from my friend’s garden. It was fantastic, and SO simple. Thanks so much for posting and making this so easy!


7 Manju July 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Aww thanks Carrie. I am so glad you liked it! :)


8 David November 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I’ve eaten bhindi masala three times now and I love it. I’ve only ever had okra breaded and fried before I ever had bhindi masala. I am addicted to a restaurant that is an hour from me, and it’s worth the drive. The owner shared how to make it and yours is very similar except she said that a must is the garam masala, and she actually gave me some to take home so I can cook it since I can’t find that spice anywhere else. Amazing food, and yes, okra is good, but I’ve only ever had it this way and breaded. Thanks for sharing how to prepare this. She didn’t give me measurements so I will use yours. Much appreciated!


9 Katie February 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Do you have a recipe for that dal? It looks beautiful.


10 Danica February 12, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Seems really easy to make it! I’m going to try it soon! Thanks!

The Memoirs of a Mommy


11 Manju February 15, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Thank you Danica! Hope you like it :) Do let me know.


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