This is an everyday simple bhindi recipe, Pakistan style and I bet, this will be the most delicious bhindi masala that you would ever eat. Make non-slimy, yummy bhindi masala in less than 30 minutes from scratch!
Many people dislike bhindi because of its slimy, sticky gravies. Making the best Pakistani bhindi recipe is all about how to make a non-slimy lady finger (bhindi).
Bhindi also known as Okra and ladyfinger, is a delicious vegetable. The dry Pakistani bhindi recipe with lots of piyaz (chopped onion), tomato, and Indian spices is called Bhindi masala or Okra masala.
Bhindi masala is a staple food in most Pakistani homes, due to its amazing benefits. It's high in fiber and the slimy stuff in it is actually good for joints and knee lubrication.
Some people even recommend, eating 4-5 raw okra every day to increase lubrication in the knee. Read more about Okra benefits at Healthline.
What is the secret to this recipe?
The secret to the bhindi recipe is making sure it doesn't turn slimy. Remember the less liquid you add to okra, the less sticky it is. There are various methods to make okra less sticky or slimy. Here are two popular ones.
Frying okra: This method is widely used in which you shallow fry okra in oil until half-done. Obviously, this method makes okra very oily and unhealthy.
Dry roasting Okra: The simple and healthy method is to cook bhindi in an empty skillet or pan without oil. until half-cooked. Then add it to the dry gravy in the end. This is the method that I used in this bhindi recipe.
We all love visuals, below is the visual of the ingredients of Pakistani Bhindi masala recipe.
- Okra: Select okra carefully. Fresh, small organic okra makes the best bhindi masala.
- Indian spices: Most spices like turmeric, coriander, and cumin are commonly available. Fenugreek seeds help digestion which is optional.
- Onion: Most people prefer loads of onion in bhindi masala but you can use less if you like.
- Tomato: You can substitute tomato with tomato paste or puree. I do that all the time.
- Ginger, garlic, and green chili: Use chopped garlic that easily turns golden in the tempering. If you use freshly minced ginger and chilies, the taste would be enhanced.
- Tamarind: This ingredient add some tartness to the bhindi masala. I sometimes substitute it with imli chutney or other tamarind-based sauce like BBQ sauce. Just skip the sugar if using any sauce or chutney. I use tamarind for the same purpose in my bitter melon recipe.
- Sugar: Very little sugar addition helps enhance the taste of veggies.
- Oil or fats: Use any neutral cooking oil. In Pakistan, mustard oil is used to cook vegetables.
Preps for Cooking
Basically, you dry out excess water in okra. If using fresh okra, wash it thoroughly and drain all water.
Okra should be absolutely dry before cutting, if not the slim liquid will make chopping messy. So first wash and dry Okra on a towel, and air-dry further for a few minutes.
Chop the bhindi as shown in photographs. If any bhindi is hard and fibrous to cut. Simply discard it. This is important because a few pieces of fibrous bhindi when get mixed with good bhindi spoil the texture completely and fibrous bhindi are not even chewable.
How to make it?
This bhindi masala recipe is quick and easy to make.
- Put chopped bhindi and ½ teaspoon salt in a pot and cook it without oil with constant stirring on medium heat.
- The sticky thread visible in the pic will burn and we will have half done Okra/bhindi which is not at all slimy or sticky. Set aside and use it as needed in any bhindi recipe.
- Simultaneously, in another pan heat oil, fry garlic, cumin, and fenugreek for a few seconds. When garlic is lightly golden add all the remaining spices. (You can use the same pan bhindi too.)
- Give it a stir and fry for another few seconds. Add onions and cook until soft as shown in picture 5.
- Add tomatoes (I used homemade pureed tomatoes, you can be used chopped too), cover, and keep cooking the tomato-onion gravy until all water dried and oil separates on the side of the pan. This step is important as bhunna is key to Pakistani cooking.
- Add the roasted and half-cooked bhindi/okra to the tomato gravy and cook until soft and fully done.
- Add tamarind pulp and a ½ teaspoon of sugar. (You can substitute tamarind pulp and sugar with tamarind chutney or even barbecue sauce.)
- Do a taste test, and add more than ½ tablespoon of extra tamarind pulp if needed. Make it chapatti! Garnish with a green chili slice.
- Pakistani bhindi is ready to eat.
What to serve with?
Bhindi masala tastes great with most Indian flatbreads like Kulcha, naan, roti, or chapati. It tastes great with zeera rice, matar pulao, or plain rice. Serve it with your favorite chutney or pickle and fresh salad.
How to store bhindi?
Like most veggies, freshly cooked bhindi masala tastes best and has the highest nutritional value. You can store leftover bhindi in the fridge for 2-3 days. After that, it is still edible but not as nutritious and tasty. You can freeze bhindi too. Unlike other veggies, bhindi retains its shape and taste upon freezing.
Frequently Asked Question
Bhindi gets slimy in presence of water. So dry your bhindi complete before chopping. For nonsticky bhindi dry roast or stir fry bhindi until partially cooked before using in any recipe.
No! you cannot wash bhindi after cutting as this can make bhindi very slimy and difficult to handle.
Most people avoid covering bhindi to avoid excess moisture due to condensation that can make bhindi slimy. If you need to cover bhindi, cover the lid partially letting the steam escape while cooking.
If you try this bhindi recipe, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments. Your 5-ratings motivate me to do my best. Stay connected for more recipes and videos on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
Bhindi Recipe (Pakistani)
- 500 gram okra, (bhindi)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup oil, (teel)
- ½ tablespoon chopped garlic, (lahsan)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or powder, (zeera)
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, optional
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder, (sookha dhanya)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, (haldi)
- ½ tablespoon ginger paste, (adrak)
- 1 tablespoon green chili paste, (hari mirch)
- ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon tamarind pulp
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 3-4 medium green chilli, slitted and seeds removed
- Wash and dry okra on a towel. Chop off the end and cut the okra in small pieces.
- Dry roast okra in a pan on medium heat with constant stirring so the sticky threads burns for 5-7 minutes. We needs the okra to be slightly soft and half cooked. Set aside.
- Simultaneously, heat oil in a seperate pan and fry garlic, fenugreek and cumin until lightly golden. Add the remaining ingredients in spices list. Give it all a stir and fry for few second.
- Now, add chooped onion and fry until onion are translucent and soft.
- Then add the tomatoes, tamarind pulp and sugar. Cover and cook until gravy is thick and oil separates on the sides of the pan.
- Next add the roasted okra in the onion tomato gravy and mix well. And cook for 5-7 minutes without covering the lid. Add the slitted green chillies.
- Yummy Okra (bhindi ) is ready.