Bhendi chi bhaji in English translates to Okra Stir Fry Veggie and in Hindi is called Bhindi ki sabji. Bhendi chi bhaji / bhindi ki sabji is a delicious everyday Indian vegetable preparation.
Bhendi is also known as Bhindi, Okra or Lady’s Finger. It is the most popular and nutritious vegetable prepared almost in every household across India. This is a diabetic-friendly, fiber-rich, vegan and beginner-friendly recipe.
When I crave homecooked comfort food, the one vegetable that pops up is Bhindi / Okra that I like to have along with hot steamed rice and dal (Maharashtrian Varan). This is what I call, a combo made in heaven 😄
To make this Bhendi chi bhaji / sabji, roughly cut bhindi / okra is tossed with finely chopped onions and tomatoes along with some flavourful spices.
Bhendi chi bhaji is often made at my place and served with roti, phulka or dal rice.
This is very simple, easy and quick recipe to make. The green nutritious bhendi/okra is tossed in onion tomato masala that is spiced up with fennel seeds that imparts a delicious sweet aroma to this dish.
Other spices such as red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala add a depth of spice and flavour to this recipe.
Many times due to it’s sticky nature, this vegetable is mostly avoided by many. But let me assure you that, if you use the below-mentioned tricks, you will have less sticky bhindi/okra on your plate.
This vegan okra sabji makes a perfect option for a lunch box for kids and elders along with roti, chapati or phulka. Kids love this bhendi bhaji / bhindi sabji as it’s not too spicy.
Apart from being a delicious vegetable, this bhendi/okra is a powerhouse of nutrition. It is rich in folic acid, magnesium, antioxidants and vitamin C and A. Okra is high in fibre hence aids in weight loss and is diabetic friendly too.
This bhendi chi bhaji / bhindi ki sabji is a staple at my home. Apart from this okra sabji, we make the Maharashtrian version of this bhendi chi bhaji without onion tomtoes using goda masala (A special blend of Maharashtrian masala), that one 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 bharli bhendi, which is stuffed okra, 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. I have shared the detailed recipe on My blog. If interested click here to see bharli bhindi recipe.
Last but not the least, we have kurkuri bhindi which 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, it’s 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 Bhendi chi bhaji / sabji today!
For making all these variations of bhindi/okra recipes I prefer to use Kokam instead of amchur powder (raw mango powder) whenever needed. Now kokam is not available worldwide and I often get asked about this tangy fruit.
Kokam is used to get rid of stickiness from the okra.
What is Kokam?
Kokam is a tropical tree from India also known as Garcinia indica, that produces a dark purple fruit.
This kokam gives a nice taste and tanginess to the dish.
Kokam is mostly used in Southern parts of India unlike in the North where raw mango powder is used extensively.
Bhendi / Okra: I have used 500 gms of bhendi/okra here that I washed and completely pat dried using a kitchen towel. I cut off the top and tail part and cut into 1-inch pieces which I further slit in between not all way through though.
Onion & Tomato: The base of this vegetable is made with onions and tomatoes which gives this stir fry a nice texture and flavour.
Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds impart a nice sweet aroma to this dish.
Kitchen King Masala: I have used kitchen king masala here which is available at any Indian grocery store. If you can’t get this, use 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder along with 1 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder or any spice powder it will still taste delicious.
Salt & Sugar: I have used 1 teaspoon of sugar to balance the tartness of the tomatoes. It is optional but I would highly recommend you add sugar. Salt is used for taste.
Kokam: To make bhendi/okra less sticky a souring agent is always required. I have used kokam here, but if that is not available, use 1 teaspoon of raw mango powder also known as Amchur Powder
Spices: I have used a handful of staple spices such as turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
Oil: For cooking.
Always make sure to dry bhendi/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 bhendi chi bhaji / bhindi ki sabji with simple basic ingredients in your home kitchen.
Serves: 3 Persons
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cooking level: Easy
Taste: Mild Spicy
- 1/2 kg Bhindi (Okra)
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 1 Tomato finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
- 2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 2 teaspoon Kitchen King Masala OR Garam Masala Powder
- 1 teaspoon Amchur Powder (Raw Mango Powder) OR 3 Kokum Petals
- 1teaspoon Sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- Wash and pat dry okra / bhindi. Make a slit in between (not deep), and cut bhendi into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Now in a thick bottom kadhai / pan (preferably non-stick) heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- Add fennel seeds and let them sizzle for 5 seconds. Add turmeric powder along with finely chopped onion and tomatoes, and stir well.
- Cook this mixture till tomatoes are tender.
- Now it’s time to add the okra / bhendi. Mix okra well in the onion tomato masala.
- Now without covering the vegetable, cook bhindi / okra on low to medium flame for about 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add spices and seasoning. Red chilli powder, kitchen king masala or(1 tsp garam masala & 1 1/2tsp coriander powder), sugar and salt. If you are using kokam petals, then add the kokam now.
- Cook bhendi / okra on a low to medium flame till okra is cooked perfectly. Now if you are using raw mango powder or lemon juice add it right now just before switching off the flame and mix well.
- Flavourful vegan bhendi chi bhaji / okra stir fry is ready.
- Serve with a flatbread of your choice or along with dal rice.
If you do not have kitchen king masala use Garam masala along with coriander powder or any curry masala instead.
If kokam is not available, use amchur powder (dry mango powder) or lemon juice instead.
If using raw mango powder or lemon juice, then add these just before switching off the flame.
Normally I like to make a shallow slit to okra which helps the spices get inside of it. But it’s optional.
You can first shallow fry the bhendi / okra and then add it to onion tomato masala, but this makes the bhendi too oily, hence I personally avoid it.