Bhindi Masala more commonly known as Bhendi Fry is a stir-fried dish of Lady Finger aka Okra aka Bhindi. It is prepared when the Lady Finger is chopped into small inch pieces and stuffed with a blend of masalas such as garam masala, red chili powder, coriander powder, etc. It has various places of origin such as Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Therefore this dish has the touch of a diversifying beauty whose key ingredients forms to be- Bhindi, Oil, and spices.
The School Time Love For Bhindi Masala
Remember the time when in the Tiffin box you used to have Bhindi Masala and all your classmates used to fall head over heels for your Tiffen and you? On the other hand, would just have to fight and struggle to rescue your Tiffen from them?! It was fun right! Indeed it was because this dish forms the perfect option for a school Tiffen box.
This dish is a clear demonstration of the saying, “Beauty lies in Simplicity” because it’s the inclusion of the basic ingredients and normal cooking procedure. It makes the dish taste so deliciously wonderful. Thereof, it further leads its way to prove that, for a dish to taste good you don’t need alpha modern ingredients nor the world’s best chef based cooking procedure. You just need simple ingredients with a whole lot of love!
Masala Bhindi’s Nutrient Content and benefits
Bhindi forms to be a fiber rich vegetable that aids in digestion, prevention of constipation, and problems related to the stomach. It is rich in Vitamin B, C, K, Potassium, and Calcium. So you see how this dish represents a complete nutrient profile that would form the best friend for your health.
Bhindi Masala Or Batter Fried Okra?
The Bhindi Masala or Stir-Fried Okra is not the same as Batter Fried okara. When it comes to batter-fried, it’s prepared by deep-frying. But, on the other hand, the Stir-fried okra is prepared by lightly frying (frying on a low flame) with a blend of aromatic masalas.
The best accompaniment to be served with Bhindi Masala
Bhindi Masala is generally served with steamed rice and dal. If you are a roti lover, then you can, of course, have the bhindi masala with roti in the form of a sabzi. But no matter, what you are having it with, it will still taste like the best thing in the words. If had with a Paratha, it will bring back all the school memories and make you nostalgic of your childhood. Let’s not waste another moment and get right to the recipe!
Bhindi Masala Recipe
- 250 grams of Bhindi or Lady finger
- 3 tbsp of salt
- ½ tsp of Vinegar
- 4 tbsp of oil
- 2 medium-sized onions
- 1 green chili
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes
- ½ inch of Ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of red chili powder
- ¼ tsp of Turmeric powder
- ¾ to 1 tsp of garam masala
- ¾ tsp of coriander powder (optional)
- 6 tbsp of water
- ½ tsp of Kasuri Methi
- Cubed Boiled Potatoes (optional)
The Bhindi Preparation:
Step 1: Firstly rinse 250 grams of Bhindi under running water.
Step 2: Sprinkle 2 pinch of salt and half a tsp of vinegar on the bhindi for around 15 minutes or so. Then rub and rinse it again under running water.
Step 3: Wipe the Bhindis dry with a soft cloth and chop it off from both ends.
Step 4: Now chop the bhindi into 3/4 inch pieces.
Note: Chop it in the mentioned inch. It shouldn’t be more than that because if you try to make them slimy now, then after adding it to the pan it will become more slimy resulting in very small pieces.
Step 5: On the pan, heat 1 to 2 tbsp of oil.
Step 6: Add the chopped bhindis from step 4 to the hot oil on the pan. Saute it well for 5 to 7 minutes on a medium flame.
Note: While sauteing, don’t mix it too much as it can get soggy. So mix it very gently once and leave it as it is without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 7: Well after sauteing, the Bhindi didn’t get completely cooked yet but you will observe that the sticky matter of it which is typically present in it will be gone.
Step 8: Transfer it to a platter.
The Bhindi Masala Preparation:
Step 1: Take 2 medium onions, 1 green chili, and 2 medium pure tomatoes. Chop them into small cubes.
Step 2: Make a fine paste of half an inch of ginger and 2 garlic cloves in a blender.
Note: Keep the ingredients from step 1 and the ginger garlic paste from step 2 aside for now. It will be further required as the cooking process proceeds.
Step 3: Heat 1 to 2 tbsp of oil in a pan on high flame.
Step 4: As the oil turns hot, add half a tsp of cumin seeds to it. After some time you will see the cumin seeds will start to splutter.
Step 5: Then add the chopped onions and green chili from step 1 to the oil.
Note: The green chili is optional. The chili makes the taste hot and spicier. So if you are making it for kids at home, you may wanna skip this ingredient.
Step 6: Saute the above mixture of ingredients till the color of the onions transforms from a light purple-pinkish color to a golden brown color.
Note: The color has to turn golden brown. If you add any further ingredients to the mixture before the onions turn golden brown then the masala won’t be properly cooked.
Step 7: Now, add the ginger garlic paste which was already prepared to the mixture.
Step 8: Saute this mixture well for a few minutes or until the oil separates.
Note: The ginger-garlic in the mixture will take around a minute or so to get properly cooked and leave its raw flavor.
Step 9: Add 1 cup of chopped tomatoes and half a teaspoon of salt to the above mixture.
Step 10: Saute the mixture properly. Keep on cooking it until the tomatoes become completely mushy and pulpy.
Step 11: Then add salt, ½ to 1 tsp of red chili powder, ¼ tsp of turmeric, ¾ to 1 tsp of garam masala, and ¾ tsp of coriander powder to the mixture.
Note: A welly created tangy garam masala should be used. Not the basic type of garam masala. It should be a good flavorful one and the addition of the coriander powder is optional. If the garam masala is not tangy, you can add one tablespoon of amchur powder or half lemon juice.
Step 12: Saute the masalas well for a few minutes. This step will take some time as we do not want any raw flavors of the masala.
Step 13: Then add 6 tbsp of water which is around a little less than half a cup to the masala mixture.
Step 14: Crush around half a tsp of Kasuri Methi nicely in your palm and then add it to the above mixture.
Step15: Add the already prepared fried bhindis to the mixture.
Note: Now, you can also add boiled potatoes if you want. Some people like it with potatoes, some don’t. So it’s totally up to you.
Step 16: Cover it and let it cook for about 10 minutes on a low to medium flame until the bindi turns to be soft and tender. Keep checking it in between.
Now, the decision is up to you whether you will cook the bhindi to be dry, semi-dry or a gravy filled bhindi.
Case1: If you prefer it to be dry:
Then stretch the 16th step to a further 2 to 3 minutes which will eventually soak up the moisture making it form a dry consistency and your Bhindi masala is ready to be served. But do not overcook as it will make the bhindi soggy which would not taste pleasing.
Case 2: If you prefer semi-dry Bhindi Masala:
Just let it cook for only ten minutes and your semi-dry Bhindi masala will be ready. You do not need to cook it any further or add anything to it.
Case 2: If you prefer gravy filled Bhindi Masala:
When you are at the 16th step, you can add about one cup of water to the Bhindi. Then let it cook for about ten minutes. After that, open the lid and check if the consistency is right or not. If you want more gravy you can add more water to it.
That’s how you make the Bhindi Masala! Enjoy!
Some Important points
- While purchasing bhindis, people often end up facing the query of what type and texture of bhindi to go for. The right type of bhindi is tender and young. They are bright green in color.
- To preserve the green color of the bhindi, always stir fry it on the pan until they wilt.
- The sauteing of the bhindi will surely eliminate the typical sticky texture of the bhindi. But for more perfection, you can add a good amount of oil while sauteing the bhindis. Avoid using wet Bhindi while cooking. They are also the reason for the sticky texture. You can also add more salt to get rid of the unwanted sticky texture in the Bhindi Masala recipe.
- When you keep the dish in a refrigerator for many days, it develops an unwanted black color. So to avoid this black color always make sure that there’s no moisture trapped in the container in which you have stored it.
So what are you waiting for? Shop for the mentioned ingredients and make yourself this Desi established particular. With groovy layers of spices and everyone’s favorite vegetable- Bhindi, you will relive your childhood days!