Bhindi Masala Gravy- A rich, creamy and restaurant-style dish. The main ingredients are Ladies Finger, Onion & Tomato. Bhindi Masala is a delicious gravy and pairs well with rice & roti. This is a pretty popular side dish in India and is prepared in many ways. The one I am sharing here is my version of this gravy adapted from the one I have relished at a local restaurant in my hometown.
Ladies Finger / Bhindi
Bhindi is also known as Okra, Ladies Finger, Vendakkai (in tamil ). Ladies finger is hands down one of my favourite vegetables. But, I know a lot of people dislike this vegetable because of its slimy texture. If cooked the right way, there is no vegetable that can taste as good as this one. So, if you are someone who hasn’t tried this vegetable, this recipe is a great start. If you are someone who enjoys bhindi but haven’t tried this gravy version, then go ahead and make it soon! Am sure you will be impressed.
This is one vegetable that I regularly pick from the Indian Grocery store. I enjoy cooking Ladies Finger in various forms. South Indian stir fry, Sambar, Mor Kuzhambu, Bhindi Kurkuri are some of my favourite dishes. Rice+Rasam+Bhindi Fry is my all-time favourite combination. Bhindi Masala tops the list though. It is a delicious gravy that can be part of your regular menu or can be made for a lunch get together with family & friends.
What is Bhindi Masala
Bhindi Masala is a popular North Indian Gravy made using Ladies Finger, Onion & Tomato as the main ingredients. Bhindi is cooked in a creamy gravy with mild spices and is usually served with rice/roti. This is a fairly simple gravy made using regular ingredients from the pantry. Also, a quick but flavourful recipe. Can be put together in 30 mins.
Though the semi gravy version is more popular, this style of Bhindi Masala is my favourite. Back when I was in Chennai, a Popular Hotel Chain called Saravanaa Bhavan served some amazing Bhindi Masala Gravy. This gravy was always a part of my weekly order from there. I loved eating it with Vegetable Fried Rice. Not a traditional combination but I enjoyed this particular combination from this Hotel. Once I started cooking, I listed down the dishes I wanted to try. Bhindi Masala topped that list. After a couple of tries, I finally nailed this gravy. And now, it’s a regular in our house.
Ingredients needed for Bhindi Masala
To make this delicious gravy we need,
Bhindi – Look for fresh, tender ones.
Onion, Tomato, Ginger & Garlic – These are the main Ingredients for the gravy. Ginger garlic paste can be used as well.
Cashewnuts – For the rich and creamy Texture
Yogurt – Gives a little flavour to the gravy. Use hung yogurt that is unflavoured.
Regular Spice Powders – Salt, Turmeric Powder, red Chilli Powder, Kashmiri Chilli Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder
Lemon Juice, Cilantro for garnishing
How to avoid Slimy Bhindi
Bhindi has a unique texture which makes it slimy or sticky. To avoid it, always pat dry the Bhindi after washing and before chopping the Ladies Finger. Wipe each bhindi with a kitchen towel and then cut it.
Always stir fry the bhindi in a little bit of oil, at medium-high heat. Do not cover the pan or add any water. Also, while cooking bhindi, try to be a little generous with the oil. This will give a crunchy texture and not make it slimy.
Lemon Juice/Yogurt also helps in reducing the slimy texture.
Bhindi Masala can be served for lunch or dinner along with Dal , Rice & Roti. It is a wonderful lunchbox option as well.
Bhindi Masala also tastes great with naan, Paratha or even Poori.
How to make Bhindi Masala – Step by Step Instructions
Add 3 tbsp oil to a pan. Once hot, add the cut bhindi. Fry till it turns crisp. At this point, you can see the bhindi has shrunk a bit. Keep it aside. In the same pan, add the onion. Saute till it turns slightly brown. Add tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Ginger garlic paste can be used as well. Saute till tomatoes turn mushy.
Add cashew nuts and saute for a few minutes. Allow it to cool and grind to a fine paste. Add oil to the pan. Once hot, transfer the ground paste to the pan. Saute for a minute. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, cumin & coriander powder. Mix and saute well till the raw smell of the powder goes.
Add 1 tbsp yogurt, mix well. Add a cup of water. Bring the gravy to a slight boil. Adjust salt & spice. Add the bhindi to the gravy. Give a good mix. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve bhindi masala with rice or roti.
Tips & Suggestions
Always choose some tender, fresh Bhindi for this recipe.
Wash, pat dry and then cut the Bhindi before using it.
Ginger & Garlic can be skipped.
Cashew & Yogurt gives a rich and lovely texture to the gravy.
Fry the bhindi in oil well before adding to the gravy.
Bhindi Masala Gravy / Ladies Finger Masala
- 500 gms Bhindi / Ladies finger
- 2 Medium Onions
- 3 Medium Tomatoes
- 4 tbsp Oil
- 1 inch Ginger
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 tbsp Yogurt
- 10 Cashewnuts
- 1 cup Water
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves to garnish
- Wash the bhindi and wipe it thoroughly using a paper towel.
- Cut into small – medium pieces.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Once hot, add the bhindi and fry for 6-8 minutes on medium high flame until slightly crisp.
- Once done, remove the fried bhindi and keep aside. I fried them in batches for even crispiness.
- In the remaining oil in the pan, add the chopped onion and saute till it turns slight brown.
- Add ginger, garlic and tomato and fry for around 3-5 minutes until they are mushy.
- Add cashewnuts and saute for 3 minutes.
- Switch off and let it cool. Once cooled to room temperature, grind it to a fine paste.
- In the same pan, add a tbsp oil. Once hot, add the ground paste.
- Now add the salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, kashmiri chilli powder, cumin & coriander powder.
- Cook till all the spices blend in and the raw smell goes away.
- Now, add a tbsp of yogurt. Mix well. Add 1 cup water to get a nice gravy consistency.
- Check for salt and spices. Adjust if needed.
- Add the roasted bhindi. Mix and cook well for 2 minutes. Add some lemon juice, coriander leaves and switch off. Serve.