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Bharli bhendi is known as stuffed okra in English and bharwa bhindi in Hindi. It is the most popular and nutritious vegetable prepared almost in every household across India. This is a diabetic-friendly, fiber-rich, no onion no garlic, vegan and gluten-free recipe.
Bharli bhendi (stuffed okra) is often made at my place and served as a side dish dal rice, moong dal khichdi, biryani or pulao.
Making Bharli bhendi (stuffed okra )is very simple, easy and quick to make. The only time that is consumed is for stuffing each and every okra / bhindi individually.
The green nutritious Bhendi/ bhindi/okra is slit in the middle and flavourful spice mix of red chili powder, raw mango powder (amchur powder), roasted gram flour is stuffed into it.
The addition of raw magno powder (amchur powder) adds a nice tart to this bharli bhendi (stuffed okra). Here in this recipe, I have not used onion and garlic but if you want you can add it to the filling which will enhance the taste of this okra / bhendi.
This vegan bharli bhendi (stuffed okra) makes a perfect option for a lunch box as a side dish with vegetables and flatbread. Kids love this bharli bhendi (stuffed okra) as it’s mildly spiced, tangy and little sweet.
Apart from being a delicious vegetable, this bhendi/ bhindi/okra is a powerhouse of nutrition. It is rich in folic acid, magnesium, antioxidants and vitamin C and A. Okra / Bhindi is high in fiber hence aids in weight loss and is diabetic friendly too.
Bhindi / Okra is a staple at my home. Apart from this bharli bhindi, I make Maharashtrian style bhendi chi bhaji (stir fry okra) that is made using goda masala (A special blend of Maharashtrian masala), this is a no onion no garlic okra stir-fried recipe.
Then comes the takaatli bhendi, which is okra cooked in buttermilk. Not many are fans of this recipe but I absolutely love it. Again there is bhendi masala which is tossed in onion tomato masala that is spiced up with fennel seeds that imparts a delicious sweet aroma to this dish.
Then we have this stuffed okra / bharli bhendi / bharwa bhindi, wherein the okra is slit in the middle and filled with flavourful masala and shallow fried. This bharli bhendi / stuffed okra makes a nice side dish for meals. This is also called as bharwa bendi Maharashtrian style or crispy bhindi fry with peanut powder & besan.
Last but not the least, we have kurkuri bhindi that is crispy okra. These are made by cutting okra into thin julliens and coated with flavourful masala along with gram flour or rice flour and then deep-fried. This kurkuri bhendi is super addictive. Once you start eating, believe me, its really really hard to stop 😅
I would share all these recipes with you all soon. Till that time, let’s see how to make this flavourful, delicious, tantalizing Bharli bhendi / stuffed okra / bharwa bhindi today!
To make this stuffed okra / bharli bhendi, besan (gram flour) is slightly roasted which is added to the spice mix and stuffed in okra. Then it is shallow fried in pan in a single layer without covering the pan.
After every 3-4 minutes the okra / bhendi needs to be turned around to make sure it is cooked evenly from all the sides. This takes approximately 15-20 minutes. This okra / bhindi needs to be cooked on low flame as possible as we do not want to burn the bhendi or the masala.
- Always make sure to dry bhindi/okra properly with a kitchen towel after washing.
- Use a souring agent like kokam, amchur powder (Dry Mango Powder), lemon juice or tamarind pulp. The souring agent is a real key in making this okra less sticky.
- Never add water while cooking okra/bhindi and never cover and cook. If covered while cooking, it loses its green colour and makes the bhindi/okra soggy.
Let’s see how to make bharli bhendi / stuffed okra/ bharwa bhindi with simple basic ingredients in your home kitchen.
Serves: 2 Persons
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking level: Moderate
- 200gms Bhendi (Okra/Ladyfinger)
- 1 cup Besan (gram flour)
- 2 tbsp Goda Masala or Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Red chilly powder
- 2 tsp Cumin powder
- 2 tbsp Amchur powder OR Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Sesame seeds (Til)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Roasted peanut powder (find recipe for homemade roasted peanut powder here)
- Oil for frying
To roast gram flour (besan)
In a thick bottom pan or kadhai add 2 tablespoons of gram flour (besan) and roast it on a low flame till it leaves its delicious aroma. It takes hardly 7-8 minutes, transfer on to a dish to cool it off.
Note: Normally it is advised to roast besan (gram flour) for this recipe, however, I prefer to skip this step and add the besan (gram flour) as it is. Hence it’s up to your preference if you want to roast or add as gram flour as it is.
Let’s start making Bharli bhendi / stuffed okra / bharwa bhindi:
- Wash and pat dry bhendi / okra.
- Cut the edges and make a slit in between.
- In a bowl add besan (gram flour), goda masala or garam masala whichever is available, red chilli powder, cumin powder, raw mango powder (amchur powder), white sesame seeds, salt, sugar, roasted peanut powder and mix well.
- Check for seasoning.
- Now fill this spicy, sweet, tangy filling into the slit bhendi / okra.
- In a pan/tava add oil and place the stuffed bhendi/okra. Place the bhendi / okra in a single layer. Make sure not to cover the pan.
- Drizzle extra oil over the bhendi if required. After every 3-4 minutes keep turning the okra until done to make sure it is cooked evenly from all the sides.
- This takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Make sure to cook on low flame as possible as we do not want to burn the bhendi or the masala.
- Use the tip of knife or toothpick to see if the okra is cooked or not.
- If the toothpick or knife goes across the okra without resistance, bharli bhendi / stuffed okra is ready
- Serve as it is as a snack or as a side dish with meals.