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 flavorful 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
- 12 oz frozen baby okra (bhindi), thawed (if you can find fresh young okra, use that!)
- 3 tablespoons fat of choice (avocado oil, ghee, or schmaltz work well)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 Serrano pepper (or 1-2 thai bird chilies), minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ inch ginger, minced
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- Rinse okra, and slice into rounds. Spread them out onto a paper towel to dry while you prep the remaining ingredients. The okra must be completely dry.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of fat in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Next, add the cumin seeds and once they begin to brown or splutter, add the onions and serrano pepper.
- Saute for 10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown. Then add the garlic, ginger and spices mix well.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of fat and the okra. Stir-fry for 10-12 minutes or until the okra is dry and crispy.