Crispy Indian Okra (Bhindi)

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This crispy pan-fried okra is a popular Indian recipe also known as bhindi. It's a delicious way to eat okra! Recipe by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

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.

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

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.

This crispy pan-fried okra is a popular Indian recipe also known as bhindi. It's a delicious way to eat okra! Recipe by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

I love okra. I love it crispy and truthfully, I even like it when it’s slimy – cooked with Indian spices and eaten with either my paleo naan (pictured) or paleo 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 typically use 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.

This crispy pan-fried okra is a popular Indian recipe also known as bhindi. It's a delicious way to eat okra! Recipe by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

I typically make this dish using ghee and it’s delicious. Avocado oil works too – it’s a great neutral oil. I hope you love this as much as I do 🙂

Crispy Indian Okra

This crispy pan-fried okra is a popular Indian recipe also known as bhindi. It's a delicious way to eat okra! Recipe by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

Crispy Indian Okra

4.88 from 25 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 12 oz fresh or frozen baby okra bhindi, thawed if using frozen
  • 3 tablespoons fat of choice ghee, avocado oil
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
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Just for fun, here’s a picture that I took of this dish from 2013:

Crispy Indian Okra

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Daniel François Gauthier says

    Namaste,
    i actually started looking into the bhindi recipe.I made mine a bit different in that i used a sightly spicy clove garam masala with a bit of madras curry…Just so it is very mild . cooked the okra in a chicken soup base made from the chicken carcass, stripped the pieces of chicken, added a huge bunch of coriander (cilantro) a carrot, about 4 oz of celery top (so i have chopped leaves to give more flavor) and one big leaf of swiss chard . . I looked at the recipe for amchoor ki. What would be the quantity to use if I were to use fresh unripe mango instead of powder?

  2. Maxi says

    Your example with brussels sprouts is so relatable – I’m converted about okra too now, it is fantastic this way!:)

  3. Trevor B says

    5 stars
    After pan frying, I put the pan in the oven under the broiler to get the okra, onions and garlic extra crispy. Turned out great. Really recommend the extra step of broiling if possible.

  4. Caroline says

    5 stars
    Made this , but unfortunately it was SO good that it never reached the table !!! It was eaten before I could serve it ! Will be making this again most definitely!

  5. Mary Circo says

    5 stars
    You did it again Ashley….another amazingly flavorful and mom approved dish!! My 3 yr old and husband also loved. Thank you!!!

  6. Manasi Sadashiva says

    Hi Ashley! Okra is our favorite. The only challenge is that we don’t find fresh okra that often. Hence it’s a rare delicacy for us.. while I was reading thro your recipe, I noticed that you used frozen okra.. I tried it once and it ended up all slimy because once I thaw it, it’s wet. So stopped buying the frozen. I wanted to know how do you cook it and make sure it turns out nice and crispy. Thank you!!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Manasi, fresh is preferable but I know it can be hard to find. I use frozen okra often for that same reason. You do have to dry the frozen after thawing in order to make it crisp – you can lay it on a clean kitchen linen or paper towels and then pan-fry until dry, maybe add a bit more oil if needed. Let me know if that helps!

  7. Deepa says

    Hi! Is it possible to freeze this subzi after cooking it? I was planning on doubling the batch. This recipe looks great! Thanks 🙂

  8. Desiree beer says

    Are the okra’s not going to be slimy? Is it because you use baby okra’s? I love okra’s but sometimes they get to be to slimy and I have no idea why and what that I am doing wrong

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