Bharli Bhendi

Step by StepJump to Recipe

When it comes to bhindi or lady’s finger/okra, I’ve usually seen that there’s a 50-50 division between people liking it and the ones not liking it. If you ask me, I love this vegetable. Yes, cleaning and chopping it with its slime gets a little tedious. But once it is cooked into a sabzi or fried, it’s simply sumptuous. One such dish is this Bharli Bhendi or tender okras stuffed with a typical Marathi style spiced coconut-peanut mixture. This is one of those Bhindi Recipes, which does take some time to prepare, yet is tasty. It is vegan too.

bharli bhendi served in a steel plate with chapattis and text layovers.

About Bharli Bhendi

Bharli Bhendi is a famous dry okra recipe from the cuisine of Maharashtra and this one especially, was shared with me by my friend. In Marathi language, the word ‘bharli’ means ‘stuffed’ and ‘bhendi’ is ‘bhindi or okra.’ Hence, the name.

Alongwith okra (bhindi), many other veggies like capsicum (Shimla mirch), potato, bitter gourd, brinjal, pointed gourd (parwal), apple gourd (tinda), large green chilies (mirchi), etc. are used to make ‘bharwan’ or ‘bharli’ dishes in Indian cuisine. These simply mean that the veggies can be stuffed with a spice mixture, grated paneer or even minced meat mixtures. Some of these variations that I have shared on the blog are:

If you love having stuffed bhindi or okra as a veggie in general as well, then along with this Bharli Bhendi of Maharashtrian cuisine, you should also try the North Indian style Bharwa Bhindi recipe. The major difference between the 2, apart from being from different regional cuisines is that the Punjabi style stuffed bhindi is a no onion, no garlic version.

In addition to this Bharli Bhendi, another personal favorite is this Bharli Vangi recipe which is simply Maharashtrian style stuffed brinjals. With some similarities in the spices and spice powders plus the addition of garlic and coconut, the flavors of the stuffed vangi is quite distinct than the stuffed bhendi. However, this preparation is also vegan.

More on this recipe

This one’s a simple and fuss-free recipe, as cooking of the okra hardly tales any time. The time that goes is in the preparation and stuffing of the recipe. Yet is fairly easy to make.

This Bharli Bhendi recipe uses goda masala. But if you do not have goda masala, then just skip it and add garam masala powder instead.

Fresh coconut, coarsely ground roasted peanuts and spices is what forms the stuffing mixture for this recipe. You can use desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut too. Garlic and fresh coriander leaves used in this recipe impart an exciting flavor of pungency and freshness to the stuffing.

Bharli Bhendi goes very well as a side dish with chapattis, parathas and even bread. You can also serve it along with Maharashtrian Varan Bhaat, North Indian dal-rice or South Indian Curd Rice.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Bharli Bhendi

Preparation

1. Heat a pan and add ¼ cup peanuts.

peanuts added to hot pan.

2. On low heat, roast the peanuts till crunchy and golden. Keep aside and allow to cool.

roasting peanuts in hot pan till crunchy and golden.

3. Rinse 20 to 22 medium size okra (bhindi) in running water for a couple of times. Then, dry them with a clean kitchen towel or naturally by spreading them on a plate.

rinsed and dried okra (bhindi) on a plate.

4. Slice off the crown and base tip of the okra. With a knife, give a slit on one side keeping about 0.5 to 1 cm space at the top and base. The okra should be intact. Make slits on every okra piece and keep aside.

slitting okra pieces without crown and base tip.

Preparing stuffing

5. In a grinder jar, add the roasted peanuts along with 1 chopped green chili, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves.

roasted peanuts, chopped green chili, chopped garlic and chopped coriander leaves added to a grinder jar for making the stuffing for bharli bhendi.

6. Without adding water, coarsely grind and keep this mixture aside.

ingredients ground coarsely without adding water.

7. In a plate or mixing bowl, take the ground mixture along with ¼ cup tightly packed grated fresh coconut, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon coriander powder, 2 teaspoons goda masala (or ½ teaspoon garam masala powder), ½ teaspoon lime or lemon juice, ½ teaspoon sugar or jaggery and salt as per taste.

ground mixture, grated fresh coconut, cumin powder, coriander powder, goda masala, lemon juice, sugar and salt added on a plate.

8. Mix the ingredients very well with a spoon or with your hands. Check the taste and add more of salt, sugar, lemon juice or spice powders, if required.

ingredients mixed together to make stuffing for bharli bhendi.

9. Now, stuff this mixture inside each okra. Stuff well.

stuffing mixture filled inside okra.

10. Stuff the masala in each okra and keep aside. There will be some leftover masala which we will use later.

okra pieces filled with stuffing mixture.

Making Bharli Bhendi

11. In a frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil and crackle ½ teaspoon mustard seeds first. Use a shallow frying pan and not a deep one.

crackling mustard seeds in hot oil in shallow frying pan.

12. Lower the heat, then add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and a pinch of asafoetida (hing).

turmeric powder and asafoetida added to the pan.

13. Stir very well and then add the stuffed okra pieces.

stuffed okra pieces added in the pan.

14. Stir the okra well.

stuffed okra pieces stirred well.

15. Now, cover the pan tightly with a lid and cook Bharli Bhendi on low heat. If you want, you can sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons water at this step before covering the pan.

cooking bharli bhendi in the covered pan.

16. Check in between and if the mixture looks dry or getting too browned, then sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons water all over and stir. Cover and continue to cook.

cooking bharli bhendi.

17. When the okra is half done, add the leftover stuffing masala.

leftover stuffing mixture added to the pan.

18. Stir. Sprinkle some water, if required. Cover and cook.

cooking bharli bhendi.

19. It takes about 15 to 18 minutes for the bhindi to cook on low heat. When cooked, this is a dry sabzi. So, there should be no water in the okra.

cooking bharli bhendi.

20. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve Bharli Bhendi with chapattis or as a side dish with dal-rice, amti dal or varan.

bharli bhendi served in a steel plate.

Expert Tips

  1. Make sure to rinse the okra well. Use a clean kitchen towel to dry or spread them on a plate for drying them naturally.
  2. Prepare the okra pieces by slicing off the crown and base tip. Keeping the okra intact, slit on one side keeping about 0.5 to 1 cm space at the top and base.
  3. Ensure that you are not adding any water to grind the stuffing masala.
  4. Reserve the leftover stuffing masala. This is added while cooking the stuffed okra pieces while in the frying pan.
  5. While cooking the stuffed okras, if it turns dry or is too browned, sprinkle about 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Then, stir, cover and cook further.
  6. Alternatives: Garam masala powder in place of goda masala and jaggery in place of sugar.

More Bhindi Recipes To Try!

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

bharli bhendi recipe

Bharli Bhendi

Bharli bhendi is a delicious recipe of stuffed okra with a spiced coconut-peanut filling.
4.75 from 27 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine Maharashtrian
Course Side Dish
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

main ingredients

  • 200 grams okra (bhindi or bhendi or lady finger) or 20 to 22 small to medium sized okra
  • 3 tablespoon oil for sauteing okra
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • a few chopped coriander leaves for garnish

    (cilantro leaves)

stuffing masala (to be ground coarsely)

  • 2 to 3 garlic chopped + ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves + ¼ cup roasted peanuts + 1 green chili, chopped

other ingredients to be added in the stuffing masala

  • ¼ cup tightly packed grated coconut or ¼ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder

    (ground coriander)

  • 2 teaspoon Goda Masala or ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon lime or lemon juice or add as per taste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar or powdered jaggery or add as per taste (optional)
  • salt as required

Instructions
 

preparation

  • Heat a pan and add 1/4 cup peanuts.
  • On a low flame, roast the peanuts till they are crunchy and golden. Keep aside and allow them to cool.
  • Rinse 20 to 22 medium sized bhendi (okra or bhindi) in running water for a couple of times. 
  • Then dry them with a clean kitchen towel or dry them naturally by spreading them in a plate.
  • Slice off the crown and base tip of the bhendi. With a knife give a slit on one side. Make slits on all the okra and keep aside.

preparing stuffing for bharli bhendi

  • In a grinder jar, add the roasted peanuts along with 1 green chili, 2 to 3 garlic, and 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves.
  • Without adding water coarsely grind and keep this mixture aside.
  • In a plate or mixing bowl, take the ground mixture along with 1/4 cup tightly packed grated coconut, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp goda masala or 1/2 tsp garam masala powder, 1/2 tsp lime or lemon juice and 1/2 tsp sugar or salt as per taste.
  • Mix the stuffing mixture very well.
  • Now stuff this mixture in each bhindi very well.

sauteing and making bharli bhendi

  • Heat 3 tbsp oil and crackle 1/2 tsp mustard seeds first. Use a shallow frying pan.
  • Lower the flame and then add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and a pinch of asafoetida.
  • Stir very well and then add the stuffed okra. Stir the okra well.
  • Now cover the pan tightly with a lid and cook the okra.
  • Do check in between and if the mixture looks dry or getting too browned, then sprinkle some water (about 1 to 2 tbsp water). Stir, cover and continue to cook.
  • When the okra is half done, add the remaining ground stuffing masala.
  • Stir. Sprinkle some water if required. Cover and cook.
  • It takes about 15 to 18 minutes for the okra to cook on a low flame. This is a dry okra curry when cooked. So there should be no water in the okra.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve bharli bhendi with chapatis or a side dish with dal-rice or varan-bhat.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Bharli Bhendi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 281 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Sodium 597mg26%
Potassium 427mg12%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1443IU29%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Vitamin E 9mg60%
Vitamin K 66µg63%
Calcium 105mg11%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 71µg18%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 69mg17%
Phosphorus 92mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Bharli Bhendi recipe from the archives was first published in May 2015. It has been updated and republished in April 2024.

Share This Recipe:

WhatsAppPinShares7.4k

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food
Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking

More Vegetarian Recipes You'll Love

Comments are closed.

4.75 from 27 votes (11 ratings without comment)

61 Comments