Bhindi Masala Recipe (Okra Masala)

Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala)

Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala)

Bhindi Masala is a delicious Indian recipe of sauteed bhindi (okra) in onion, tomato and spices.

‘Bhindi’ in Hindi is also known as ‘Okra’ and/or ‘Ladyfinger’ in some parts of the world. ‘Masala’ here literally means the spices base for the bhindi.

Bhindi Masala is a staple at my home! It is the kind of dish you take for granted while growing up but miss it as soon as one stops making it at home. Bhindi hits home every time I make it. For me growing up dal, Bhindi Masala and Roti/Rice were pure comfort food for me and still are!

This Bhindi Masala is a very classic recipe. Like so many other Indian recipes, there are several very similar variations of it across India. There may be a few tweaks in the spices and proportions use but by and large, the fundamentals are the same- a tomato-onion gravy spiced with basic spices and mixed with the pan-fried bhindi.

This is one of my father-in-law’s favourite recipes. I know lots of people stay away from cooking bhindi due to the sliminess. The vegetable exudes a substance called mucilage which makes it slimy. I have given some tips in the ‘Tips and Variation’ section of how to reduce sliminess while cooking it.

Other recipes you might like to try are Baby Corn Masala, Paneer Bhuna Masala, Green Peas Masala, Bhindi Do Pyaza, Kurkuri Bhindi/Okra and Masala Baby Corn.


For Sautéing
2 teaspoons mustard oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
250 grams okra (Bhindi- cut 1-inch pieces)
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder

For Gravy
2 onions
3 tomatoes
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon asafoetida
1-2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves
½ cup finely chopped onions
2 teaspoon coriander powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1 teaspoon garam masala



To sauté the bhindi, heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds begin to splutter and turn golden add the bhindi, salt and turmeric and cover and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. (We want to cook the bhindi al-dente at this stage as it will be cooked in the gravy later too).

Turn off the heat and put it aside.


Grind onions and tomatoes into a smooth puree.

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the cumin seeds begin to splutter and turn golden add the garlic and onions. Sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.


Next add the onion-tomato puree, coriander powder, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.


Add ½ cup water and kasuri methi and cover and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

Next add the sauteed bhindi and garam masala. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes to infuse the bhindi with all the flavours.

Enjoy the Bhindi Masala hot with roti, rice or any Indian Bread.

Tips & Variations

  1. Preparing bhindi can take some time. Hence, I sometimes use frozen bhindi and it works well. Just make sure to thaw it before cooking.
  2. Like I mentioned before about the sliminess in the bhindi. Bhindi exudes a substance called mucilage which makes it slimy. So, to make it less slimy bhindi needs to be prepared well. Always wash and pat dry the bhindi before chopping. The more moisture is on the surface of bhindi, the slimier it will cook. Hence, wash and dry them completely before chopping. I usually wash and pat dry each one with paper towel or kitchen towel or leave them to air dry overnight.
  3. The second way to reduce sliminess is to sauté the bhindi in little oil before adding it to the masala. This method always works for me so, I always follow it. It took me about 5-6 minutes to fry the bhindi on medium heat until it stopped being sticky. Some people fry it longer until it is fully cooked and turned deep forest green colour. However, for me, it is important for the bhindi to cook enough to stop being sticky and it retains its shape.
  4. I prefer cooking the bhindi al dente while sauteing as it can turn into mush when you add in the gravy. Also, I prefer the crunchy texture in the end instead of soft mushy bhindi.
  5. I would highly recommend cooking bhindi on medium heat or the bhindi will brown quickly even before the sliminess can go away.
  6. Onions and tomatoes are a key ingredient in this recipe as they form the base of the gravy. So, I would recommend using ripe tomatoes.
  7. Bhindi Masala is a semi-dry gravy hence we do not add a lot of water to gravy. I would recommend only adding water towards the later stages if you feel the gravy is too dry.