Bhindi Masala is a simple North Indian dish of okra, onion, garlic, tomato, garam masala and coriander. It's packed with flavor, tastes delicious and very healthy. 100% plant-based, gluten-free and full of good plant fiber.
HISTORY OF BHINDI MASALA
Grown first in Eritrea and the highlands of Sudan, bhindi is said to have travelled with the Bantu tribe who migrated from Egypt around 2000 BC.
Bhindi masala is one of the most popular vegan dishes in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. It's enjoyed by millions of people everyday.
ABOUT THIS RECIPE
'Bhindi' is Hindu for 'Okra' and 'Masala' is the name for an Indian curry base of onions, garlic, spices and tomato. So Bhindi Masala is okra cooked in an Indian spiced tomato curry. Totally delicious, and what I love about most Indian food is that is is naturally vegan and very healthy.
Okra is one of the most widely used vegetables in Indian cuisine, due to okra been available all year round, it's ease and versatile to add into so many dishes.
STAR INGREDIENTS FOR BHINDI MASALA
- Bhindi (okra)
- Coconut oil
- Garam masala
- Pink salt
HOW TO MAKE BHINDI MASALA
This recipe is fairly straight forward to make. We start off by frying the sliced okra in a pan with a little oil for about 4 minutes until the natural starchy slime disappears. Transfer this to a bowl and set aside.
For the masala, add the coconut oil to a frying pan and toast the cumin seeds on medium heat until fragrant. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook out for a few minutes.
Next, add the diced tomato, sea salt, spices and cook out the masala until it forms a kind of paste. Add some water to moisten it up at this stage.
Now, in with the pre-fried okra, along with a few more splashes of water. Cook everything together for 4-5 minutes. Check the seasoning and add a few pinches of salt and lemon juice if necessary.
Finish with some chopped coriander and VIOLA, Bhindi Masala is ready to serve.
BHINDI MASALA STEP-BY-STEP RECIPE METHOD
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VARIATIONS OF BHINDI MASALA
You can add other vegetables into this recipe at the same stage you add the tomatoes. Bear in mind the size you cut the vegetables and how long they take to cook. Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Sweet potato
WHAT TO SERVE BHINDI MASALA WITH
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BHINDI OR OKRA
Lady’s Finger / Okra / Bhindi is a great source of nutrients, It even aids in weight loss, controls blood sugar levels, promotes skin health as well as improves digestion.
Bhindi is a fiber rich vegetable that helps with improving digestion and preventing constipation.
It's a good source of vitamin B, C, K, potassium and calcium.
Bhindi is a low calorie vegetable that keeps you feeling fuller for longer, therefore it's a great ingredient to incorporate into weight management plans.
Bhindi is a good source of anti-oxidants which helps reduce oxidative stress and effectively eliminates free radicals in the body.
Here is a link to the Indian Times with an article on Okra which may be of further interest to you.
CHEFS TOP TIPS
How to avoid slimy okra
- The key is to choose tender green okra and when you snap the end, it should break off easily.
- Don't chop the okra to small.
- Don’t stir continuously when sautéing or cooking. Stir very occasionally or just toss them. Add a little extra oil if necessary, this helps reduce slimness.
- Adding 1tsp of lemon juice also helps reduce slime.
- Make sure that you wash Okra / Bhindi properly and pat dry with zero moisture before chopping and cooking them.
No, do not cover. Saute bhindi uncovered until all the slime dries up. Covering the pan brings out their moisture and turns them slimy.
When okra is cooked, you will see them turn from green to dark green colour. They will have no slime left either.
The retain a vibrant green colour, stir-fry bhindi in a pan until cooked, avoid overcooking with a lid on.
This can be 2 reasons. Either the bhindi is overcooked or kept warm for a long time. It will also discolour when left in the fridge for a couple of days.
No, it's best to wash when okra are whole. This way they absorb less liquid and will not become so slimy.
Okra pods are long, slender, and elegantly shaped, just like a ladies finger!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, leave a rating and comment below. Remember to tag #holisticchefacademy if you make it. I love to see your recreations! Happy cooking my friends.
Bhindi Masala (Indian Okra Masala)
- Chopping board
- Chefs knife
- Frying pan
- Wooden spoon
- 500 g Okra Ladies finger / Bhindi
- 40 ml Coconut oil
- 1 tsp ` Cumin seed
- 100 g Onion finely chopped
- 3 clove Garlic finely chopped
- 2 each Red chili - Thai to taste
- 300 g Tomato - cherry ripe
- 1 tsp Pink salt to taste
- 200 ml Water - filtered as required
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Garam masala
- 1 tsp Methi
Herbs to finish
- 20 g Coriander cilantro - chopped
- Assemble all ingredients.
- Wash and slice the okra.
- Dice the tomato.
- Finely chop onions, garlic, chili.
- Get cooking: Add ½ the coconut oil to frying pan, cook the okra for 5 minutes until sliminess is gone. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan: add the remaining coconut oil and toast the cumin seeds until fragrant.
- Now add the onion and garlic - cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add the chili, tomato and salt - cook out until saucy - about 5 more minutes.
- Add the spices and cook out on medium heat for 3 minutes - top up with some water to make a nice sauce consistency.
- Add the okra back into the sauce, top up with a little water and cook out for 5-6 minutes until cooked.
- Check and adjust seasoning with sea salt, lemon juice and add fresh chopped coriander (cilantro)
- Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy!