Bhindi (Spicy Okra)

I did quite a bit of cooking today for later in the week.  It was raining, and my friend went home in the morning.  I made almond butter yesterday, that my friend ate a ton of, as did my downstairs neighbor. I followed to recipe I posted yesterday, but I added honey and cinnamon. I made a few other things, but I’ll add those recipes later. What I made tonight was an Indian dish called bhindi.  If you know people who cook these ethnic foods really well, you’ll know they don’t measure.  Everything is to taste or until it “seem right”.  I can’t give you exact amounts for this recipe, but I tried to take enough photos you can follow what looks right.

So what you’ll need is,

  1. a bag of frozen okra, or a fair bit of fresh
  2. a red onion
  3. cumin seeds
  4. coriander powder
  5. red chili pepper
  6. salt
  7. oil for the pan


My dear friend who taught me how to make all of my Indian recipes, who has sadly just moved to Germany 😦 , continually tries to get me to use more oil.  I personally don’t care for very oily food, but you do need enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  This dish, if prepared in India, would be made with mustard oil.  Mustard oil makes me terribly sick.  It is far too heavy, so I don’t suggest it.  I use olive or vegetable oil.  Anyhow, when the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds until they are fragrant.  They don’t need to brown. Then add the red onion.  Cut the onion very thin.  The long strands of onion add to the texture of the dish at the end. I mean THIN!Image

The cook the onion a bit, five minutes or so, and stir it coating the onion with the oil and cumin and add the other spices. The red pepper is to taste, if you add as much as I did it will be very spicy. ImageThen add the coriander.  I was a little heavy handed today, so use a tiny bit less than I did. Image

Add salt to taste.  I salt the dickens out of it, but I have a freakishly low blood pressure and just love salt. Then stir it all up so you have no more patches of spice. Then add the okra, if you add fresh okra also add water.  If you add frozen, there is no need. Image

Stir it occasionally until your brick of okra melts, and then cook it on a medium low heat for a long time. At least thirty minutes.  Do not cover it.  I cook it down until it’s almost dry.  Today I left a little more liquid in than usual because I am not going to eat it right away.

ImageIt is not a pretty dish but it is delicious.  If you use fresh okra it looks a little nicer.  I prefer to eat it the next day.  The flavors have more time to merry.  It has less heat and more taste to it when it can sit.

A very very high estimate of the calories for the whole thing is around 400 calories.  It has at least four servings, so only 100 calories a serving.  I make it very spicy so a little bit goes a long way.


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2 Responses to Bhindi (Spicy Okra)

  1. I am glad the almond butter worked for you! You can add any spice… So flexible.
    Okra is a great vegetable, I’ll need to get some!

  2. Kinenchen says:

    I just for a bhindi recipe from an Indian colleague. Thanks for reminding me how delicious it looks!

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