Crispy Dry Masala Bhindi
Updated: Nov 25, 2021
Crispy Dry Masala Okra
Bhindi (okra / ladyfinger) stuffed with dry spices (sukhe / sookhe masale) and cooked till crisp and crunchy. Delicious!
This one’s quite a simple, quick fix recipe to put together. There’s no elaborate onion tomato masala paste, no lengthy cooking process, no frills! No fancy spices either. The only time consuming part of this recipe of Crispy Dry Masala Bhindi is washing and wiping the okra absolutely dry.
If you’re a fan of kurkuri bhindi / crunchy fried okra, don’t miss out on this recipe of crispy dry masala bhindi!
Can’t get your okra recipes to be crisp? Read below for tips and tricks to avoid activating the slime in okra while cooking and get that crunchy texture.
For this recipe of Crispy Dry Masala Okra, try and pick out smaller okra from your vegetable vendor - ones that are about 3-4 inches long and not too thick. These ones crisp up easily and have delicate fibre, making it easier to eat.
A tip for cooking crisp bhindi is to cook it uncovered, preferably on high or medium high heat. This ensures that the ladyfingers (is it even called that anymore?) do not release their slime and the texture goes crisp and yumm.
Wash the bhindi well and wipe dry before cutting. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, cut and then wash the bhindi. If you cook wet okra, you will end up with a slimy mess.
Another trick to crisp (non-slimy) bhindi is to add a souring agent; think lime juice, amchur (dry mango powder), chaat masala, anardana powder (dried pomegranate seeds powder). This, again, stops the okra from releasing its slime.
Usually this recipe of dry okra masala is made using a “good quantity” of cooking oil, which helps pretty much fry the okra and give it that necessary crunchy texture. I don’t. If you follow the tips given above, you won’t really need as much cooking oil to crispen the okra.
This recipe of Crispy Dry Masala Bhindi / Okra is naturally gluten free, vegan and vegetarian.
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Time taken: 15 minutes
Ingredients to make Crispy Dry Masala Bhindi
250 gms bhindi / okra
2 tbsp cold pressed mustard oil
½ tsp turmeric powder / haldi
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder / dhania powder
½ tsp cumin seeds powder / jeera powder
½ tsp garam masala (optional)
½ tsp amchur / dried mango powder
Salt to taste
Method of making Crispy Dry Masala Bhindi
Wash the bhindi well. Using a kitchen towel, wipe dry each okra individually. This is an important step; read recipe notes above to know why we’re doing this.
Next, cut out the tops of the bhindi and make a slit in each okra from the middle. We’re not cutting or slitting the okra in halves. Just making a cavity of sorts to fill the spice powder in. The bhindi is still whole, with a slit / opening on one side.
Leave the slit okra on your kitchen counter for a few minutes, to dry out any excess moisture that the kitchen towel may not have soaked up. In the meantime, let’s get the dry masala mix ready.
Add all the spice powders in to a bowl along with salt and give everything a good mix.
1 tsp of red chilli powder may not work for all, adjust to your preferences. If you don’t like the flavour (or heat) of red chilli powder, use black pepper powder. Or use a mix of both.
If you don’t have garam masala, leave it out. The main spice powders required for this recipe of dry masala bhindi are: turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin seeds powder, red chilli powder and salt. I did say this is a fuss free recipe! Nothing fancy here.
Oh and, the amchur / dried mango powder is optional too. Switch it up with lime juice or anardana / pomegranate seeds powder or simply some chaat masala (in which case, reduce the quantity of salt). Or leave it out completely. Read notes, again, to know why we’re adding a souring agent (nope, not just for its flavour.)
Go easy on the salt in this recipe of dry masala bhindi. It’s actually quite easy to add more than required here, looking at the quantity of the spice powders. Less salt in a recipe is always better and easier to fix (simply add some more salt!) than an over-salted recipe.
Before you start stuffing the ladyfingers, heat cold pressed mustard oil in a cooking pan and bring it to smoking point. Switch off the heat and leave the mustard oil to cool. If you’re using your regular cooking oil, skip this step.
To stuff the ladyfingers, take a good pinch of the dry masala mix and fill it in each okra.
Once all the ladyfingers are stuffed with the dry masala powder, heat the mustard oil again and add the dry masala stuffed bhindi to the pan.
Cook the dry masala stuffed okra on high or medium high heat. Move it around in the pan often to stop it from burning on any side and also to cook all the bhindi evenly.
Once all the ladyfingers are cooked crisp (to a dark green, kind of brown), take it off the heat. Do not cover. Serve immediately.
Cooked okra loses its crunch if it’s left out for some time. I recommend cooking this recipe of dry masala bhindi just before serving. Or cook it a couple of shades lighter so that you can reheat it, till crisp, when serving.
Dry masala bhindi needs no garnish, really. Serve it with this recipe of toor dal tadka, a vegan / vegetarian bean curry like rajma masala, lobia curry or chole masala and baingan ka raita on the side. Ofcourse with roti, and steamed rice or pulao.
Here, I served dry masala bhindi with aloo baingan and on another day with whole moong dal. On both occasions, with cucumber raita.
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