Sunday, June 5, 2016

Bhindi fry - Okra stir-fry

Bhindi or lady finger or okra is one of my favourite vegetables. I am so enticed by the simple flavours in the Punjabi dish version of this unique vegetable. With only a few ingredients and less than 20 min to prepare it, the flavours in this dish are worth talking about.

This green vegetable is slim as a lady's finger, so rightly called. It has a neutral taste but don't go by its simple looks, it is packed with fiber, Vitamins and minerals. When I had just gotten married I had no experience of cooking and even selecting vegetables while buying. I remember going to the supermarket and asking a lady to help me select the 'good' bhindi pods. In the store, select the pods that look crispy. One can check that by trying to break the tip of the pod. If it breaks with ease and a crunch, you have found the right bhindi. Also, choose the smaller pods, as they are fresher and tend to be free of worms and will have lesser or smaller seeds. Avoid the pods that look over-ripe, mushy, dull coloured or sunken. If you want your bhindi to be crispy and not slimy or mushy or lacy upon cooking, then you must wash the lady finger whole and then spread them on a newspaper or large cloth to dry overnight or at least an hour before chopping and cooking.

The recipe I am sharing today is a typical Punjabi way of cooking bhindi as a stir fry with lots of onions. Onions are sliced and a few small sized onions are added whole to the stir fry. Just a few slits on top and they are added to the wok. This one tastes great when cooked in slightly smoked mustard oil as it gives the strong pungent flavour of mustard to the bhindi.

Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Serves: 4

Lady finger (500 gm), washed and dried overnight or until completely free of moisture
2-3 onions, sliced
1-2 small-sized onions, whole
2-3 green chilies, chopped
1-2 green chilies, whole
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp amchur or dry mango powder
2-3 tbsp mustard oil
salt, to taste


1) Start by chopping the dried bhindi into one-inch pieces. Keep aside.

2) Heat mustard oil in a wok, Let it smoke a little and then turn of the gas.

3) Carefully put onions (both sliced and whole) to it and now turn on the gas.

Add in the green chilies and saute on low flame until onions look golden brown but not burnt.

4) Add all the spices and mix well. Put in the chopped bhindi. Mix well but be careful to not break the bhindi pieces. Saute for 2-3 min. Now cover the wok with a lid and allow the bhindi to cook for about 7-10 min.


5) Open the lid, saute and check if the bhindi is done. If not, cover and cook for another 3-5 min.

6) Serve hot with chapatti.

Hope you liked this simple recipe!

How do you like to make your bhindi?

Do you like the aloo-bhindi version - a stir-fry with potatoes or do you like it to keep it simple with loads of onions?

Tell me all, I'd love to know what you think!

Thanks for reading! :-)

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