Crispy Indian Okra (Bhindi)

Crispy Indian Okra

Crispy Indian Okra

This crispy Indian okra (bhindi) recipe tastes like spicy fried green beans only it’s much, much better.

Chances are if you ask someone what okra tastes like, they’re going to tell you it tastes slimy. This okra is definitely NOT that. It’s crispy and slightly crunchy and it’ll absolutely have you wanting more.

The fact is that okra has an unfair rep. You know how people hate on brussels sprouts? It’s because they’ve never had oven-roasted brussels sprouts. How can anyone hate those crispy little guys – I mean, they’re fantastic. Okra is the same. If prepared properly/according to taste, you’re going to like it. I think the “dry-fry” or stir-fry method is the best way to cook okra.

I love okra. I love it crispy and truthfully, I even like it when it’s slimy – cooked with Indian spices and eaten with warm roti. When Roby and I were first married, he told me he didn’t like okra. Now, he requests this crispy and spicy okra dish often. If you think you hate okra, this recipe may change your mind. I’m pretty confident in this statement as I’m married to living proof.

For those of you who don’t do slimy, make sure you buy baby okra. Baby okra is tender and slender and perfect for this crispy okra recipe. Whenever I prepare this dish, I buy a 12 oz package of frozen baby okra. You can find this at your local Indian or ethnic store. It’s super cheap – maybe $3 max.

I typically make this dish using ghee and it’s delicious. Most recently I made it using chicken schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) and it was also awesome. Use what you’ve got but I’d suggest one of those two if possible. I hope you love this as much as I do :)

5.0 from 3 reviews
Crispy Indian Okra
  • 12 oz frozen baby okra (bhindi), thawed (if you can find fresh young okra, use that!)
  • 2 tbs Grassfed Organic Ghee or schmaltz
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 thai birds chilies, minced, adjust to taste
  • ½ inch ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ¼ tsp salt adjust to taste
  1. Wash okra and cut off ends. Slice okra lengthwise into thin strips and spread them out on a paper towel to dry while you prep the rest of your ingredients. Make sure the okra is dry.
  2. Add ghee or fat of choice to a pan on medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and once they begin to brown, add onions and green chilies.
  3. When the onions turn golden, add ginger, garlic and spices.
  4. Add okra and fry until the okra looks dry and crispy (it took me about 10-12 minutes).


  1. Phyllis says

    Being a true blue Southerner, I love Okra. I prefer it fried and batter mine with almond meal, but this recipe sound delicious. Must try it.

  2. Allison says

    I just made this with some slight alterations.
    I used fresh okra, coconut oil- more than 2 T, what I thought could have been cumin powder, but very well could have been crushed coriander, I didnt add in the thai chilis but opted for crushed red pepper and probably tripled the ginger and tumeric. In addition, I had about 5 of those little sweet tomatoes and I added those near the end. It was very good and I will cook it again. I’ve never cooked with okra before and was surprised by the slime on my knife after cutting them. Live and learn.

  3. Lisa says

    This is delicious! I used only a bit of avocado oil for “dry frying.” This was the first time my 9-year-old had okra and he loved it! I’m bookmarking your site, as I also made the slow-cooker chicken curry tonight and it is delicious!

  4. Sura says

    Such a simple yet delicious recipe. I bought some smallish okra at my local Persian-Jewish market and wanted to cook it Indian style. One of the other shoppers told me to buy only the smallest, or the frozen baby ones, as you do. He opted for frozen; nevertheless I went for fresh. Then I went online and found you!! as well as many other recipes. I picked yours after looking at some of your other recipes and bio. One of the best Indian restaurants in West Los Angeles specializes in Kerala cuisine.

    I added olive oil to the butter, used a dry red chile instead of the fresh green one, but otherwise followed your recipe and directions. It was delicious. My 22 year old daughter tried it for lunch, and liked it too, rather to my surprise and delight. She had never seen an okra before, and did not know its name. Thanks.

  5. Catherine says

    I have always yearned to be able to make bhindi like my Punjabi mother-in-law used to make but previous tries have been very disappointing. Once a year in Wisconsin we get fresh organic okra so I grabbed it and then found your recipe. My daughter and I worked on it together and I must say it’s the closest we’ve come yet! Even the guys liked it (as you predicted). Thank you for your delightful site – we will be checking you out again soon!

  6. Kristin says

    thank you so much for your easy, and delicious recipes! I have been wanting to learn how to cook curries and subszis but could never get them to have any depth of flavor. I feel so much more confident now, because you have made it easy.

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