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

Crispy Okra

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, Coconut Flour Naan, or Basmati Rice. 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 🙂

More Amazing Indian Recipes

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

4.95 from 70 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 12 oz fresh or frozen 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 teaspoons minced garlic (approx. 2 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger (approx. ½ inch)
  • ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

Instructions
 

  • If using fresh okra, rinse and dry, then slice into rounds. If using frozen okra that's been thawed, spread them out onto a paper towel to dry while you prep the remaining ingredients. Try to get the okra as dry as possible.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of ghee (or oil) 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 and ginger and mix well.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil and the okra, salt, and turmeric. Stir-fry for 10-12 minutes or until the okra is dry and crispy (don't worry, any sliminess will disappear! Just keep stirring). Reduce the heat to medium at any point if needed.
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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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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. Deb_ A Baking Nurse says

    5 stars
    Hi, excellent base recipe- I tweaked it. Had a craving for fried okra from my Trinidadian childhood memories. I wanted to a quick recipe- this did the trick- served with plain rice & dhal- yummy!
    I used a bag of frozen, whole okra(did not thaw), vegetable oil, large red onion, 2 cloves fresh garlic, fresh ginger, long green chillies, whole cumin seeds, whole fennel seeds, salt & freshly ground black pepper.
    Added to my saved recipes.
    Thank you from the UK via Trinidad & Tobago

  2. Esther says

    Excellent, easy to make. I made it with frozen okra cut in rounds. First time ever I got non-slimy okra. Love all your recipes.

  3. Hanna Rifkin says

    As a dietitan and lover of Indian cuisine, these recipes look spot on! But, I can’t share them with clients if they don’t have nutrition facts. Do you know the carb amount for the crispy bhindi?

    Thank you in advance.

  4. Sonia M says

    5 stars
    Wow, just made this it turn out delicious. I had a browse through your recipes, they look amazing. Will try more soon. Thank you.

  5. 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?

  6. Maxi says

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!!!

  10. 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!

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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

  13. Suraiya Rehmani says

    10/10
    Tried this recipe today, and I tell you, have not had better tasting Okra ever.
    Okra is my favourite vegitable, and have been eating it made by my mother and then mother-in-law and sisters.
    Made it the first time today and wow. I am love with it. Will make it over and over again.
    Noticed that there was no tomatoes in this recipe.. May be that is why so krispy.

    Loved it.

  14. Courtney says

    5 stars
    It’s been years, but I decided to try okra again after talking with an Indian woman on an airplane recently. I wasn’t confident in my ability to “crisp” the okra in the final cooking and the slime factor really worried me, so I decided to fry the okra first, set aside, and then fold it in after everything else was cooked. It wasn’t crisp-crisp okra, but it wasn’t slimy or over mushy 👍 Another thing I did was sprinkle some crisp fried quinoa on top for the crunch. Maybe this might help others worried about slime or mush. The seasoning was just right. Thanks!

  15. JJ says

    Indian food always eludes me although I usually have good luck with your recipes. I had to just use regular sliced frozen okra from the store (not baby). I don’t think I could get mine dry enough maybe? Basically the “slime” made it just stick to my kitchen towels (I love okra even when it’s slimy). Mine never ended up being dry/crisp – it stayed mushy. Any tips/tricks? I thought the flavor was good.

  16. Karen De Witt says

    5 stars
    Delicious. I first ate okra that I liked from a Northern Indian restaurant and this recipe comes closest to the way it served okra. I used fresh okra bought from the Sunday farmers’ market in Baltimore. Three servings and I ate them all, no nan, no rice, just okra. Will be using this recipe again and again.

  17. Gizem says

    5 stars
    Loved this! absolutely delicious! I couldn’t even imagine my 2 year old would love it too; it was the bonus. Also recipe is very easy. I will cook the same recipe with different vegetables.

  18. Risha Thakrar says

    3 stars
    Very tasty but my okra was soft and mushy after 15 mins of cooking. Added lemon juice to get rid of the slime. Not sure what went wrong?

  19. Karen Eliot says

    5 stars
    I made this with frozen okra and ground cumin instead of seeds & ginger powder instead of fresh ginger since that’s what I had. I followed the rest of the recipe as written except I did not dry the okra so it did not come out crispy. However, it was still very delicious and I will definitely be making this regularly. Great recipe!

  20. Marta says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve never liked okra, but I got some in my CSA box this week and was looking for a new way to use it. This was so good, I’d actually buy okra to make it!

    • Dean says

      4 stars
      Hi.

      Just made ur okra dish for lunch. Thx for sharing. First time cooking okra. Was worried when it started sliming but soon realized that frying the fk out it is the trick. Came out good. Added garbanzos for protein. They browned up nicely too. I’m inspired and want to try an Italian version….Onions, garlic EVOO garnish with fresh summer tomato and basil for color. Might have try a Southern recipe too. Back to the farmers market…

  21. Lisa says

    4 stars
    This was delicious, but I did modify the recipe and added mango powder…it’s the secret to making okra not slimy…

  22. Veronica says

    5 stars
    Cooked okra for the 1st time according to this recipe, and it’s amazing! Easy, crispy and flavorful! I’m in Nigeria and got fresh baby okra, and all other veggies were fresh, too. Loved it) thank you for sharing this recipe

  23. Debbie McCarthy says

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe. I used okra that we froze from our garden and it was spectacular. I can’t wait to try it with fresh okra.

  24. Connie says

    What kind of bread is this pictured with? The warm roti link connects to paleo roti, but it doesn’t look as white and thick as in the photo (even with the lighter golden flax). – Thanks

  25. Bree Bella says

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this recipe – I echo the others when I say it is the first dish I’ve made that actually tastes convincingly Indian. Small amendment I made: added some chopped cherry tomatoes when adding the garlic and ginger and spices and whatnot, and really enjoyed the additional flavor and texture. Look forward to trying the Baingan ka Bharta recipe that I found on this site (https://myheartbeets.com/baingan-ka-bharta-indian-eggplant/), as that is truly my favorite Indian dish! Thanks for the recipes!

  26. sue pearson says

    5 stars
    absolutely love this dish! since I cannot use onions, I used onion powder. I will definitely make this again!

  27. Becky says

    I just made this and really enjoyed it. Thanks. I love Indian food. When the spices hit the oil I immediately started coughing though. I had the exhaust fan on. Have you heard of others having this problem cooking Indian food? Any tips or ideas to avoid this?

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. Sura says

    5 stars
    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.

  31. Lisa says

    5 stars
    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!

  32. Allison says

    5 stars
    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.

  33. 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.

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