BHARWAN BHINDI – A SPICE STUFFED INDIAN OKRA RECIPE

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Description

Incredibly easy to make Indian okra recipe stuffed with a selection of spices and lightly stir-fried. This dish can be eaten as a starter or main with any Indian bread.

Easy Okra Recipe

Okra or ‘bhindi’ in Hindi or Ladies Finger whatever you call it, is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. I was not fond of it whilst growing up and my hunger would suddenly appear to vanish every time I saw it served.

But everything changes once you leave home and fend for yourself! I realised that Okra was actually a very easy dish to cook especially on weeknights.  You could add it to other grains such as lentils, pulses or brown rice. Add it with other proteins such as chicken, fish or prawns, add with other vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, leeks and many others.

Such a versatile vegetable which you must surely try at least once just to see if it suits your taste. There are various easy Okra recipes for you to try.

Make other Indian okra recipes like a Curry such as this South Indian Style Okra Coconut Curry, or this Bhindi Masala (Spiced up Okra)

And then, there are the Okra Stir fry versions for you to try. Like the once below:

Spicy Okra, Capsicum and Peanut Stir-fry without Onion – Garlic

Classic Southern Fried Okra with Cornmeal 

Italian Okra and Beans 

Okra Buying Guide

The first thing for you to start enjoying this vegetable is to make sure you buy the right kind. Where possible avoid buying those that come in a pack and definitely not if they are pale green or yellow in colour.

Okras should be tender, soft and smooth to touch. Ensure they are no holes on the outer skin as that would mean its been sheltering worms.

My personal favourite are the tender baby okras as they are crisp and take much less time to cook.

Press okra between your index finger and thumb to check its softness. If it feels smooth and tender then it may have lesser seeds and more fresh.

Tips to Make Slim Free Okra

Okra can be a bit tricky to cook for the first time. This is because of the sticky slime that oozes from okra as soon as you start cutting it. Here are few tips to help make it easier for you to cook and prevent from making a gooey slimy mess.

  1. Depending on the recipe and style of your dish, it’s recommended to wash and dry okra before you cook it to reduce the sliminess.
  2. Few people also recommend soaking it in a portion of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 part water.
  3. Avoid any contact with water when cutting okra. Make sure that the chopping board and your knife is dry.
  4. Slightly spray or brush your knife with oil to prevent the slime from sticking to the knife while cutting okra, if it still gets sticky then wipe the knife dry.
  5. DO NOT cover the pan with a lid when you cook okra. This will release moisture and make it slimy. This is especially important if you plan to make a stir-fry okra, like this recipe.
  6. Add a souring agent such as lemon juice, vinegar, tamarind water to reduce the sliminess after cooking the okra for about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Adding salt at the end of cooking prevents okra from sticking.
  8.  The Indian granny trick is to add a pinch of baking soda or a tablespoon of chickpea flour to cut through the sliminess.
  9. Cook Okra on high flame and reduce heat once the sliminess seems to have reduced.

I personally enjoy stir-fried or baked okra recipes compared to curries or stews. This spices stuffed Indian Okra recipe is a  family favourite of ours which is so easy to make, almost as easy as it takes for it to disappear from the plate.

Ingredients

Baby Okra - 500 gms
Olive oil - 8 tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander powder- 2tbsp
Cumin powder- 2 tbsp
Fennel seed powder - 2 tbsp
Garam Masala powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric- 1 tbsp
Amchur powder (dry mango powder) or Chaat Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 2 tsp
* Click to ingredient to choose one

Directions

1
Make the dry spice mix
2
Mix all the ingredients listed under spices and mix well with salt.
3
Keep aside.
4
Prepare Okra
5
Wash orka under cold water and rub it dry with a tissue. Slit from between without removing the head.
6
Stuffing the Okra
7
With the help of a knife or the handle part of a spoon, fill in the cavity of the okra with the spice mix prepared ealier.
8
Fill in all the okra peices and set aside.
9
Stir - Fry the Okra
10
Heat oil in a pan.
11
Add the stuffed okra pieces to hot oil and coat well gently shaking the pan with your hand. Try not to use a spatula for moving the okra peices in the pan.
12
Stir fry the first 3 minutes on high heat and coat it well with oil.
13
Now lower heat to medium low and let the okra get cooked without covering the pan. Stir frequenly from time to time ensuring that the spices and the outer cover of okra does not get burned or too brown.
14
This should take 10- 15 minutes depending on the size and quality of the okra.
15
Once cooked serve tangy spicy Stir Fried okra or Bharwan Bhindi hot or cold!