Punjabi Bhindi masala is stir-fried okra made with onion, tomato, and spices, a classic preparation for a side dish. Serve with warm rotis alongside dal tadka!
It is also known as ladies’ finger and is one of the most loved vegetables in India. It’s cooked dry, used in sambhars, stews, made with tomatoes or with gravy, depending on the type of cuisine.
What is Bhindi or Okra?
Okra is a fruit that is typically eaten as a vegetable. This fuzzy green “veggie” is a fruit because it’s the seed pod of the okra plant. It has a mild, grassy taste and a slimy texture.
There are so many delicacies you can make with bhindi. It’s easily available around the world. Outside India, you can find bhindi in Indian stores/Asian stores, and in supermarkets. If not fresh, you can find it in the frozen section. You can also grow bhindi in your home garden.
How do you pick good Okra?
Look for okra which is bright green color, fresh, tender, and have no spots on them. Fresh bhindi is easier to cook. It may take longer to cook if they are hard and old.
How to remove sliminess from Okra?
Wash the okra and spread them on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and let them dry for a while before using it.
If you are short of time wipe the washed okra completely and then proceed to cut them.
Make sure the cutting board, knife, and hands are dry while cutting the okra.
While cooking do not overcrowd the pan.
Add a souring agent while cooking. This can be amchoor or raw mango powder, tomatoes, etc. The souring agent helps cut out the sliminess.
While cooking, do not cover the okra with a lid, because the covering will trap the stream and releases moisture.
Cook the okra slow, which helps in reducing the sliminess and it remains crunchy.
Benefits of Bhindi (Okra)
✓ low carb and high fiber profile
✓ rich in folic acid and vitamin B6
✓ about 100 grams of okra generates only about 33 calories
✓ great addition to keto diet.
Step by Step Instructions
- Rinse bhindi very well under running water and drain them.
- Pat them dry by wiping each bhindi piece or spread them on a clean paper towel to let them air dry.
- Chop off both the ends and discard them. Cut each bhindi into 3/4 inch pieces.
How to cook Punjabi Bhindi Masala?
4. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped bhindi to the pan. Let it cook on medium heat for 10 mins, then lower the heat to low and cook 5 more minutes. Stir often.
5. You can transfer them to a plate and prepare masala in the same pan. Or make a little room in the pan, add cumin seeds, chopped garlic, and ginger. Saute them for few secs.
6. Add sliced onion and green chili to the pan. Mix well and fry for 5-7 mins.
7. Once the onion is golden brown and bhindi is also cooked, add spices – red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, dry mango powder, and salt. Mix and stir it for 1-2 mins.
8. Add chopped tomatoes, mix and let it cook for a min.
9. Finally, add lots of chopped cilantro leaves(optional), lemon juice and turn off the stove.
10. Serve as a side dish with dal or as a main dish with hot rotis!
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