Masala Bhindi: Okra Sans Onions

2 Feb

I’m on a run of no onion recipes. This is another such. Masala bhindi (okra) that uses dry spices only – no onions, no tomatoes. [All my tomatoes went into the tomato-toor dal you see alongside the picture below the recipe!]

I like it when the plate has a range of colors on it. Green, yellow and white today – what say?

You Need:

  • Bhindi (Okra/ladies finger) – 400grams
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chili powder – to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh coriander leaves – a small bunch, finely chopped

How To Make Masala Bhindi:

Before you cut the okra, wash and pat dry.

To dry the okra: Shake the water off the bhindi and dab well with an absorbent kitchen towel. You might want to do this an hour before you start to cook so that all the water evaporates. You can put it under the fan to quicken the drying. It’s important to have the bhindi completely dry before you cut it, bhindi can turn slimy otherwise.

Cut the okra into 1.5 inch pieces. The knife might turn slimy as you cut. Keep a tissue paper handy to wipe the coating from your knife as needed.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Splutter the cumin and add asafoetida, then slide in the cut okra pieces. Cover and cook on medium heat for 6-7 minutes, tossing occasionally. Uncover, mix in the dry spices and cook till the bhindi turns crisp. A couple of minutes before turning off the heat, mix salt.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve masala bhindi with rice and toor dal.


  • Pick okra that is tender, green (no black spots) and when you cut, the seeds are soft and white.
  • Use asafoetida (hing) sparingly if it is a new spice to you. It has a strong taste and it might take a little getting used to. If you do like asafoetida, try other recipes that use this spice: asafoetida gallery.

Masala Bhindi with Rice and Tomato Toor Dal


4 Responses to “Masala Bhindi: Okra Sans Onions”

  1. Lakshmi August 19, 2015 at 8:05 PM #


    I just happened to chance upon your blog and simply love it! :)
    Your recipes are so simple they make me want to try them. Please do keep posting; I am definitely going to be a regular visitor!

    – Lakshmi

    • S August 19, 2015 at 9:44 PM #

      Hi Lakshmi. Your feedback made me very happy. Thank you!

  2. Joy Anita Blackshire December 31, 2016 at 4:20 AM #

    Thanks for sharing
    I always need new ideas being a vegetarian

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