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Okra Masala

by Sophie

Okra Masala or Bhindi Masala is a spicy, tangy and stir-fry or dry Indian curry dish best enjoyed with Indian rotis or flatbreads. And, the flavors of this okra curry is simply addictive.

The usage of okra in Indian cuisine is close to end-less. This beautiful, dark-green vegetable is often used in stir fry recipes, traditional Indian curries, fritters, and in lentil dishes. Because of its neutral flavor, okra is loved by most people. And, it’s one of my favorite veggies too. Learn more about okra and it’s health benefits here.

This year, I made an effort to grow okras in my vegetable garden and to my surprise, it is the best and easy-to-grow plant that gave the maximum harvest till date. Although I cook okra almost every week, this is the first recipe that I am sharing on the blog. And, guess what! I cooked this beautiful dish using Mealthy’s 10-inch Nonstick Pan.

Mealthy 10-inch Non-Stick Pan:

Mealthy Nonstick frying pan
Pinit

I am a big fan of PFOA-free cookware and the Mealthy frying pan fulfills my criteria. The 3mm non-stick layer is carefully amalgamated between the topcoat and the stainless steel base layer to create a perfect cooking surface for easy and even cooking. Some of the best highlights of the pan are:

  • Stainless steel base made from heavy-duty, ergonomic steel
  • Scratch-resistant stainless steel layer with hexagonal details
  • Honeycomb, laser-etch technology
  • A safe, non-heating hollow-core handle
  • And, an included 15-years of guarantee

If you are tired of that anodized and nonstick cookware that scratch easily, then the Mealthy Nonstick Frying Pan is for you. Want to learn more? Click on the below link and use the code “MYDAINTYSOULCURRY” for some instant discount if you decide to purchase one.

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[This post contains affiliate links. Upon buying a product using an affiliate link helps the affiliate (that’s me) to earn a certain amount of commission. But by doing so, you will not be paying anything extra but will get a discount due to my referral code.]

Tips to Make The Best Okra Masala:

Okra is notorious for its slimy texture. Even while cutting, you may see that unpleasant slime oozing from the pods and sticking to your knife. Some of the best tips to cook okra the best way (that I have learned from my mom and from my experience) are:

  • Wash and pat dry okras and leave them in the colander till they are completely dry before cutting them. Water makes the slime situation even worst and you will never want that.
  • Wipe clean your knife if you are slicing or dicing okras repeatedly. That way, you can easily handle cutting the okras without having the knife slipped because of the accumulated slime.
  • Do not boil or steam okras. As these vegetables are notorious for slime, they will release a lot of mucousy-like things once in contact with water.
  • Stir fry okras first before adding them to the masala. That results in perfectly cooking okras.
  • Adding an acidic ingredient like dry mango powder works great in minimizing the slime in the okras while cooking.

How to Make Okra Masala?

As you already know that I made this dish using the Mealthy Nonstick Pan, I highly recommend using a nonstick pan for this recipe. However, if you wish to cook this in the instant pot or any other pan, feel free to do so. Here are the steps involved in making Okra Masala.

Clean and Cut Okras:

  • Select the best okra pods for this step. Clean them thoroughly under the running water and pat they dry until they are dry to touch.
  • You can also leave them on a paper towel till the last droplet on these beautiful, green pod dries out. (I really emphasize to dry your okra pods thoroughly before cooking)
  • Using a clean knife, cut the tips and the bottom of the okras. We don’t need these in our Indian okra curry. After cutting a few pods, just wipe clean the knife before cutting a few more.

Chop Other Veggies:

  • We need a medium-sized red onion(not white or yellow) for this recipe. Peel and slice or dice the onion, and set aside.
  • Chop or slice a few garlic pods and green chilies too.

Making Okra Masala:

Easy Indian style Okra curry
Pinit
  • Start by heating the Mealthy frying pan or any pan of your choice. Add 2 tsp of oil and add the okras.
  • Give them a good toss and cook them for at least 5-8 minutes under low to medium heat until the pods are 80% cooked. At this point, the okra pieces will have light brown spots on them and yet holding their shape perfectly.
  • At the end of this process, okras will have very minimal to no slime in them.
  • Transfer the sauteed okra pieces to a bowl and reheat the remaining 1 tsp oil.
  • To the oil, add cumin seeds and allow the seeds to lightly pop in the hot oil.
  • Now add garlic and green chilies, and stir continuously till the garlic strands are light brown.
  • Add onion slices and give a good stir.
  • Allow the onions to soften (takes about five minutes) and then add all spices mentioned, followed by salt and mix well.
  • At this point, you may add a tbsp of pre-cooked Indian curry paste (recipe here) or just proceed to the next step.
  • Add chopped, deseeded tomatoes and cook for about a minute. (Tomatoes still intact and in their shape)
  • Now add the sauteed okras and mix well.
  • Cover and cook for about 5-minutes and allow the juice from the veggies dry out a little before turning the heat off.
  • Add garam masala and cilantro, and some lime juice if needed.
  • Serve with Indian rotis and rice.
  • Instant pot method is in the recipe card.

Pin this recipe! Click here to Pinit !

Indian Okra Curry

Okra Masala

Stir-fried okra masala lightly tossed in Indian spices and cooked till perfection. A tasty side for an elaborate Indian meal or any dinner.
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: curry, Side Dish, sides
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: 30-minute vegan dinner, Mealthy nonstick pan, Okra curry, okra masala
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • Mealthy Nonstick Pan

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp Cooking oil (Divided)
  • 3 cups Chopped Okra (500 grams or approximately a pound)
  • 3-4 Green chillies (chopped or slit)
  • 1 Medium Red Onion (sliced)
  • 4 Garlic pods (chopped or sliced)
  • 1 Medium Tomato (Diced and seeds removed)

Spices

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder (Optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Dried mango powder (Amchur)

Tempering

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds

Garnish

  • Lime juice and cilantro

Other Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Indian Curry Paste (Optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp roasted chickpea flour (instant pot method only)

Instructions

Clean and Cut Okras:

  • Select the best okra pods for this step. Clean them thoroughly under the running water and pat they dry until they are dry to touch.
  • You can also leave them on a paper towel till the last droplet on these beautiful, green pod dries out. (It is important to dry your okra pods thoroughly before cooking)Using a clean knife, cut the tips and the bottom of the okras. We don't need these in our Indian okra curry. After cutting a few pods, just wipe clean the knife before cutting a few more.

Chop Other Veggies:

  • We need a medium-sized red onion(not white or yellow) for this recipe. Peel and slice the onion, and set aside. Chop or slice a few garlic pods and green chilies too.
  • Proceed to the next step.

Making Okra Masala:

  • Start by heating the Mealthy frying pan or any pan of your choice. Add 2 tsp of oil and add the okras. Give them a good toss and cook them for at least 5-8 minutes under low to medium heat until the pods are 80% cooked.
  • At this point, the okra pieces will have light brown spots on them and yet holding their shape perfectly. At the end of this process, okras will have very minimal to no slime in them. Transfer the sauteed okra pieces to a bowl and reheat the remaining 1 tsp oil. To the oil, add cumin seeds and allow the seeds to lightly pop in the hot oil.

Add Other Veggies:

  • Now add garlic and green chilies, and stir continuously till the garlic strands are light brown. Add onion slices and give a good stir. Allow the onions to soften (takes about five minutes) and then add all spices mentioned, followed by salt and mix well. At this point, you may add a tbsp of pre-cooked Indian curry paste (recipe here) or just proceed to the next step.
  • Add chopped, deseeded tomatoes and cook for about a minute. (Tomatoes still intact and in their shape)Now add the sauteed okras and mix well. Cover and cook for about 5-minutes and allow the juice from the veggies dry out a little before turning the heat off.
  • Add garam masala and cilantro, and some lime juice if needed.
  • Serve with Indian rotis and rice.

Instant Pot Method

  • Set the IP to a saute mode and heat 2 tsp of oil.
    Pressure cooking in instant pot
  • Temper cumin seeds, add garlic and onions.
  • Now add okra and cook for a minute till okras start to brown a little.
  • Add spices, tomatoes, and salt and mix well.
  • Allow it to cook for a minute and turn the cooking mode to pressure cook.
  • Close the lid, seal the vent, and set the pressure cooking time for a minute in low pressure. The pressure will build with the liquid released from okra and tomatoes.
  • After the cooking time, QPR immediately and open the lid.
  • If you see some liquid, press the saute button again and cook till the water dries out. Always stir the veggies gently at this point.
  • Add garam masala and cilantro, and lime juice if needed.
  • Gently stir the okras and turn off the instant pot saute mode.
  • Keep the IP open for five minutes and then serve the okra masala. [In the Instant Pot Method, you can also add a tablespoon of roasted gram flour or chickpea flour and 1/2 tsp of more dry mango powder if the okras feel little sticky after cooking.]
  • Enjoy with roti, rice or naan.
    Easy Indian Okra curry

Notes

  • Okras do change color when cooked in the spices. If your okras look brownish-green, then it’s normal.
  • You may not cover and cook okras after adding to the pan. It’s a personal choice. 
  • Store this curry in an air-tight container for 3-days in the refrigerator.
  • In the Instant Pot Method, you can also add a teaspoon of roasted gram flour or chickpea flour and 1/2 tsp of more dry mango powder if the okras feel little sticky after cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g

How Do you Cook Frozen Okra Without It Being Slimy?

Clean and pat-dry okra after washing and rinsing. Frozen okra can be directly sauteed before adding to this dish. Adding an acidic ingredient also helps minimizing the slime. Chopped tomato, a dash of vinegar or lemon juice are good choices to avoid slime.

What Makes Okras Slimy?

Okra pods are naturally mucilaginous, which is why they release slime when cooked. However, the pods release more slime when they come in contact with the water. Therefore, it is important to wash and dry the okra pods before cooking.

What is the Best Way To Cook Okra?

Stir-fry is the best way to cook okra. However, you can always bake, air-fry or deep-fry okras for the best results. Okras are also used in soups and lentil curries.

How Do You Cook Okra Without Sticking To The Pan?

Okra when releases slime can stick to the pan. Avoid using a stainless steel pan while cooking okra. Instead, use a seasoned cast iron pan or a nonstick pan like the one am using. Also, make sure to sauté okras first before adding spices or seasoning. That helps cooking okras perfectly without them sticking to the pan.

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11 comments

Laura | Wandercooks October 12, 2019 - 8:02 pm

5 stars
YUM! Always on the look out for a new and interesting Indian dish and this one hits all the right spots! Thanks for the hot tips, they were really helpful 🙂

Reply
Jere Cassidy October 12, 2019 - 8:09 pm

5 stars
I grew up eating okra and it never looks as delicious as yours does. All these spices added to it makes this dish sound amazing.

Reply
Denay DeGuzman October 12, 2019 - 9:47 pm

5 stars
I love Indian curry, and I’m a huge fan of okra! I can hardly wait to make this healthy, tasty recipe!

Reply
Beth October 12, 2019 - 9:56 pm

5 stars
The colors and flavors in this dish have stolen my heart! Fabulous!

Reply
Tayo October 12, 2019 - 9:56 pm

5 stars
I love okra dishes and have made a few African okra soups. I’ll be trying this next!

Reply
Dannii October 16, 2019 - 2:00 pm

5 stars
I have only tried okra a couple of times, so I am looking for new ways to enjoy it.

Reply
Jamie October 16, 2019 - 2:12 pm

5 stars
This is one of my favorite Indian dishes to order so I’m so happy I found this recipe for making it at home!

Reply
Sara Welch October 16, 2019 - 2:14 pm

5 stars
What a flavor packed meal! This looks amazing; worthy of a restaurant, indeed!

Reply
Emmeline October 16, 2019 - 2:16 pm

5 stars
This is such an informative post! I learned so much! Now okra is not common at all in Sweden but this sounds like a delicious dish – do you think I can swap it out for some other veggie? What would you reccomend?

Reply
Jessica Formicola October 16, 2019 - 3:23 pm

5 stars
I made this for dinner last night and it was incredible! I can’t wait to try it again!

Reply
Jacqui Debono October 16, 2019 - 5:22 pm

5 stars
I need to try okra, as I haven’t yet! This looks like the perfect recipe (especially with some roti and your lemon rice!)

Reply

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