This curried okra recipe, or bhindi masala, is a simple semi-dry curry featuring fried okra in a fragrantly-spiced tomato-based sauce. You’ll need just a few ingredients, a selection of Indian spices and about 20 minutes to get this vegan okra curry on the table.
There are some ingredients that have the ability to truly divide people. You either love them or you hate them. Okra, along with tofu and beets (two of my favorite things) is one of them.
I’m not really sure what aversion people have to tofu, it’s wonderful! (Have you seen my black pepper tofu? It will change any tofu hater’s mind). But okra I get, it’s slimy. Okra is one of those things you need to study up on before attempting to cook it for the first time or you’ll regret it.
But no worries, there are a variety of tricks you can use to get that slime out and make a palatable and delicious curried okra dish. The technique I’ve use here is the same as with my vegan gumbo recipe.
Cook the okra first in a bit of oil, turning it frequently until it softens and browns on all sides and stops releasing its goo. Then, have the okra chill out on a plate for a bit while you fry up some onion, garlic and ginger and make the wonderfully spiced tomato gravy. Finally, fold the okra back into the sauce and you should have a delicious snot-free vegan okra curry.
It’s no secret that I love curry and bhindi masala is one of my favorites – I always order it if I see it on the menu at an Indian restaurant, but in fact it’s so simple to make at home.
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Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side
This okra curry recipe, or bhindi masala, is a simple semi-dry curry featuring fried okra in a fragrantly-spiced tomato-based sauce. You’ll need just a few ingredients, a selection of Indian spices and about 20 minutes to get this vegan okra curry on the table.
5 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 2 tablespoons oil, divided
- 3 cups (300 grams) chopped okra (fresh or frozen)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated or pressed
- 1 long green, mildly spicy chili, sliced
- ½ tablespoon grated ginger
- 4 whole canned tomatoes, chopped
- 3 teaspoons coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 3 – 4 tablespoons juice from the canned tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon mango powder / amchur (optional but recommended)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Sliced green onion or cilantro, sliced red chili, for garnish (optional)
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon oil and the chopped okra. Fry, flipping and stirring frequently, until the okra is browned on all sides and the slime disappears – about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the mustard and cumin seeds. After a few seconds, once they pop and darken it colour slightly, add the onion and fry until it softens. Add the garlic, ginger and green chili and fry until fragrant.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, coriander powder, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes so that the spices cook and the tomato breaks down. If you like a little more sauce, you can add 3 – 4 tablespoons of the juice from the tomato can.
- Fold in the okra, garam masala, mango powder (if using) and salt. Once the okra is heated through, serve with rice or roti and garnish with green onion and red chili, if desired.