Bharwa Bhindi (Stuffed Okra)

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Bharwa bhindi is a delicious and flavorful Punjabi recipe of sauteed okra stuffed with a flavorful mix of ground spices. This North Indian style stuffed bhindi is a vegan recipe made without onion and garlic. These succulently cooked okra taste too good as a side with roti, paratha, naan or as a side with dal and rice. If you love okra, then I am sure you will like this recipe.

bharwa bhindi

About Bharwa Bhindi

In Hindi language, the word ‘bharwa’ means stuffed and ‘bhindi’ is okra or lady finger. So in English, the recipe translates to stuffed okra.

There are many regional variations to make this recipe. What I share is a Punjabi style recipe that I have been making for many years.

Earlier I have shared an equally delicious Maharashtrian style recipe of stuffed okra known as Bharli Bhendi that is made with coconut, spices and herbs.

This stuffed bhindi recipe features ground spices, okra, salt and oil. That’s it! So you see it is easy to make this one. Do note that rinsing, drying and then stuffing the bhindi does take some time.

Apart from prepping bhindi and stuffing masala in them, there is no other prep work – like chopping onion, tomatoes etc. So pretty easy to make.

The spices added are typical Indian spices easily available in any Indian kitchen. The spices that I use for bharwan bhindi are similar to the Bhindi Do Pyaza that I make. Adding dry mango powder (amchur powder) makes the okra tangy and sour.

Also this is not a spicy bharwa bhindi as I have used Kashmiri red chili powder. Plus the other spice powders like coriander, cumin and turmeric also contribute their flavors and tastes.

My time saving tip to prep okra

When I buy weekly veggies, I always rinse vegetables like carrots, beans, capsicum, cabbage, okra etc with some baking soda and vinegar. Later I arrange them in a large tray or plate. Let them dry naturally for some hours.

Then I keep them in cotton bags in the vegetable box in the fridge. This way the vegetables stay for a longer period of time.

So when I make bhindi, I have them already rinsed and dried. So it is just slitting and then stuffing the masala in them.

This saves time when making any bhindi recipe. You can even rinse the okra a couple of hours before making the bhindi and let them dry naturally in a tray or plate.

stuffed bhindi served in a plate
Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Bharwa Bhindi

Prep Okra

1. Wash 250 grams whole bhindi (okra) in water very well. Drain all the water. Then wipe them dry with a kitchen towel. You can even keep them spread on a plate and let them dry naturally.

The bhindi should be completely dry before you proceed with the second step. Slice of the crown part of each bhindi. This part is discarded.

chopping bhindi crown with a knife

2. Next slice of the base tip. This part is also discarded.

chopping bhindi base tip with a knife

3. Next with a knife give a slit on the bhindi without breaking it into two parts. The whole bhindi (okra) should be intact.

slicing bhindi

4. With your thumbs and fingers gently open the sliced part and check to see if any worms are there. If there are worms or black spots, then discard the bhindi.

opening the sliced bhindi

Making Stuffing Masala

5. Take all the dry masala powders in a bowl:

  • ½ tablespoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder (Skip fennel powder if you do not have it)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon black salt and ½ teaspoon salt. If you do not have black salt, then skip it and add white salt as per taste.
dry spice powders in a bowl


6. With a clean dry spoon mix all the entire spice powders and salt very well. Keep aside.

spice powder mix in a plate

Stuff Okra with Spices

7. Now stuff the masala in the bhindi one by one with a small spoon or with the help of your fingers.

stuffing bhindi with spice mix

8. Do the stuffing with the entire lot of bhindi.

stuffed bhindi with spice mix

Slow Cook Bharwa Bhindi

9. Take a heavy pan or kadai (wok). Preferably use a large kadai where you can arrange all the bhindi in a single layer without getting them heaped on top of each other. This facilitates even cooking of the okra.

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in it. Keep flame to a low and add 1 pinch asafoetida (hing). Stir. If you do not have asafoetida, then skip it.

You can use any neutral flavored oil. Keep the heat to a low.

asafoetida in oil in a kadai

10. Then immediately add the stuffed bhindi in the oil.

adding bharwa bhindi to kadai

11. Gently mix and stir.

stir and mix bhindi

12. If any masala remains you can add it to the bhindi. Also, add the masala which must have fallen on the chopping board while stuffing bhindi.

adding leftover masala to bharwa bhindi

13. Gently mix and stir again. The bhindi should not be on top of each other. Hence arrange them separately so that each bhindi is evenly cooked.

Cook the stuffed bhindi on a low flame. Do not cover the kadai or pan with any lid as this can make your okra slimy.

Let the bhindi cook on a low flame. We don’t want the masala to burn hence the bhindi needs to be cooked on a low flame. Also do not add any water as okra cooks in its own juices.

slow cooking bharwa bhindi in the kadai

14. Ensure that you check the bhindi in between and also give a gently stir after every 3 to 4 minutes. Cook on a low flame. After giving a stir make sure each stuffed bhindi is arranged separately for even cooking.

stir occasionally and slow cooking bharwa bhindi in the kadai

15. Slow cook till the bhindi is fork tender and well cooked. At this point, check the taste of bhindi and if salt is less then sprinkle some salt from above and stir.

The amount of time to cook okra depends upon the thickness of the pan you are using and heat intensity. So saute the okra until they are cooked well, softened and have become fork tender.

slow cooking bharwa bhindi in the kadai

16. Take ½ teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) in your palms. Crush kasuri methi and sprinkle on the bharwan bhindi. Also add ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder. If you do not have kasuri methi, then skip adding.

adding crushed kasuri methi to cooked bharwa bhindi

17. Mix very well. Switch off the flame. Add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves. You can also consider adding mint leaves if you don’t have coriander leaves.

adding coriander leaves to cooked bharwa bhindi

19. Mix again.

mix coriander leaves with bharwa bhindi

20. Serve bharwa bhindi with roti, paratha and yogurt or raita for a comforting and satisfying meal. It also goes well with a combination of dal and rice. Simple Indian home food.

You can garnish it with coriander leaves. You can even squeeze lime or lemon on bharwan bhindi before you serve.

stuffed bhindi served in a long plate

Serving Suggestions

  • Bharwa bhindi makes for an excellent side veggie dish with roti, phulka, paratha and naan.
  • You can also serve it with dal and rice
  • Stuffed bhindi can also be served as a starter.
  • I serve bharwa bhindi with roti accompanied with curd. Sometimes I serve with dal-rice or khichdi.

Helpful Tips for Best Stuffed Bhindi

  1. There should be no trace of water on the bhindi. Hence we dry them with a kitchen napkin. If there is water or water droplets then the bhindi becomes slimy. This bharwa bhindi dish is not at all slimy or gooey. It is a dry dish with the okra succulently cooked absorbing all the flavors of the spices.
  2. Make sure to use fresh tender okra pods. Don’t use okra that are stringy, fibrous or have become hard.
  3. Use fresh spice powders and not outdated or stale ones. Better to use homemade spice powders.
  4. You can always add more salt or any spice powder later if you feel any of it is less.
  5. For a more tangy and sour taste increase the quantity of dry mango powder by ¼ to ½ tablespoons or more.
  6. You can even drizzle some lime or lemon juice on the bharwa bhindi while serving.
  7. Oil can be added as per your needs. 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil works well for 200 to 250 grams of okra.
  8. The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  9. Garam masala can be skipped if you want.
  10. Skip asafoetida for gluten-free stuffed okra.

More Bhindi recipes you may like

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bharwa bhindi recipe

Bharwa Bhindi

4.74 from 19 votes
Bharwa bhindi or stuffed bhindi is a lightly spiced, tasty recipe where okra is stuffed with spice powders and then slow-cooked. These succulently cooked okra tastes too good as a side with roti, paratha, naan or dal-rice. This bharwa bhindi is also made without onion and garlic and a vegan recipe . 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Cuisine North Indian
Course: Side Dish
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil – peanut oil or sunflower oil or any neutral flavored oil
  • 1 pinch asafoetida – optional
  • 250 grams bhindi or 20 to 24 small to medium sized okra

Ground Spices Stuffing

  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ tablespoon dry mango powder (amchur powder)
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black salt – optional
  • ¼ teaspoon regular salt or add as required
  • ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder – optional
  • ½ teaspoon kasuri methi crushed, dry fenugreek leaves – optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves – optional

Instructions

Preparation

  • Rinse the bhindi in water very well using a colander or strainer. Drain all the water. Then wipe them dry with a kitchen towel. You can even keep them spread on a plate and let them dry naturally. The bhindi should be completely dry before you proceed with the second step.
  • Slice of the crown part of each bhindi. This part is discarded. Then Slice of the base tip. This part is also discarded.
  • Next, with a knife give a slit on the bhindi without breaking it into two parts. The whole bhindi (okra) should be intact. 
  • With your thumbs and fingers gently open the sliced part and check to see if there are any worms. If there are worms or black spots, then discard the bhindi.
  • Repeat the above steps with all of the bhindi. 

Stuffing masala

  • Combine all the spice powder ingredients and salt except asafoetida in a bowl. Mix very well.
  • Stuff the masala in each bhindi with a small spoon or with your fingers.
  • Repeat with the entire lot of bhindi.

Slow cooking bhindi

  • Take a heavy pan or kadai (wok) large enough that can accomadte the okra in one single layer. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in it. Keep flame to a low and add 1 pinch asafoetida (hing). Stir. If you do not have asafoetida, then skip it.
  • Then immediately add the stuffed bhindi in the oil and gently stir.
  • If any masala remains you can add it to the bhindi. Also, add the masala which must have fallen on the chopping board while stuffing bhindi.
  • Gently mix and stir again. Cook the stuffed bhindi on a low flame. Do not cover the kadai with any lid as this can make them slimy. Let the bhindi cook on a low flame. We don't want the masala to burn hence the bhindi needs to be cooked on a low flame. Also do not add any water.
  • The bhindi should not be on top of each other. Hence arrange them separately so that each bhindi is evenly cooked. Cook the stuffed bhindi on a low flame.
  • Ensure that you check the bhindi in between and also give a gently stir after every 3 to 4 minutes. Cook on a low flame. After giving a stir make sure each stuffed bhindi is arranged separately for even cooking.

Making bharwa bhindi

  • Slow cook till the bhindi is done and well cooked. At this point, check taste of bhindi and if salt is less then sprinkle some salt from above and stir.
  • Take ½ teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) in your palms. Crush kasuri methi and sprinkle on the bharwa bhindi. Also add ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder. If you do not have kasuri methi, then skip adding.
  • Mix very well and switch off the flame.
  • Lastly, add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves and mix again. Instead of coriander leaves you can also use mint leaves.
  • Serve bharwa bhindi with rotis and yogurt or raita. It also goes well with a combination of dal and rice. You can garnish it with coriander leaves. You can even squeeze lime or lemon on bharwa bhindi before you serve.

Notes

  • There should be no trace of water on the bhindi (okra). Hence we dry them with a kitchen napkin. If there is water or water droplets then the bhindi become slimy. This bharwa bhindi dish is not at all slimy or gooey. It is dry dish with the okra succulently cooked absorbing all the flavors of the spices.
  • Use fresh spice powders and not outdated or stale ones. Better to use home made spice powders.
  • You can always add more salt or any spice powder later if you feel any of it is less.
  • For a more tangy and sour taste in the dish, increase the quantity of dry mango powder by ¼ to ½ tbsp or more.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Bharwa Bhindi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 406mg18%
Potassium 291mg8%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 835IU17%
Vitamin C 22.9mg28%
Calcium 81mg8%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Bharwa Bhindi recipe post from the archives (first published in March 2012) has been republished and updated on 17 June 2021.

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50 Comments

  1. As it is my favorite dish i didn’t know how to cook
    I tried it and it was awesome????????????

  2. Hi Amit ,
    Can I help you for creating an mobile app???
    You can reach me.

    1. Thanks Ganesh. Right now we dont have plan for an app. we have removed your contact details for privacy reasons.

  3. Your step by step instructions makes every body who is cooking a real chef..

    Thanks a lot Amit ..

  4. Hi…
    I’m a regular visitor of your site..so often that every night before preparing my dinner I flip through the page and decided what I will cook today…
    Thank for this Bharwa Bhindi recipe. I prepare it everybody in the office praise for my cooking expertise but true credit goes to you.

    1. thank you for this lovely feedback on the recipes and also bharwa bhindi. glad to read. well, the recipe does help when making a dish, but the credit also goes to the person who is making the recipe. and here the credit goes to you too. thanks again and happy cooking.

  5. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I look forward to your recipes, which are easy to follow. My friends think I am a gourmet Indian cook, thanks to you. This will soon be on the menu for my next Indian meal. Thanks again.5 stars

    1. most welcome valerie. thanks for sharing your experience. i hope the bharwa bhindi recipes goes good for you. thanks again.

  6. Hello dear
    I have been following your website from quite sometime now… And I find all the recipes absolutely delicious appreciate and love to eat.
    I am not a big fan of cooking all time but during festivals from last more than 1 year I have been taking tips from your recipes. Thanks for keeping us motivated and loved by posting such yummy food.5 stars

    1. Welcome Tanu. Glad to know that blog is helpful to you. Thanks for your positive feedback.

  7. Mam, Can I add little water to spices and then stuff it into the bhindi .And how it will taste if I add fried onions ,as you mention that no garlic n onion.Please let me know .your all recipes are too good .Thanks5 stars

    1. kabita, firstly thanks. you can add fried onions. with fried onions bhindi will taste good. you can also add little water in the spices to make a spice paste.

    1. you can use lemon juice. just mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (add more as per taste) some lemon juice with the masalas.

  8. Hi D.Amit,
    I have tried a couple of ur recipes like Gulab jamun, palak pakoda. It really tastes awesome. The best part of ur recipe is the step by step photography. It makes cooking simpler for the beginners as well. Thanks a lot. Keep
    posting many more such beautiful
    Creation of urs ?. Take care ?

    1. there was a time i would make bharwan capsicum in microwave. now i don’t do much of microwave cooking. spread some oil on the veggies and mix evenly. stuff the masala or filling in the veggies. place them in a microwave safe bowl or tray. cover with a microwave safe lid. microwave for 3 to 5 minutes. timing will vary on the microwave oven and the microwave power. you can sprinkle some water if you want on the veggies.

  9. Barwa Bhindi recipe by Dassana Amit published on24 Jan 2015 was Awesome, very simple n accurate ,specially the pictures made it even more precise , it really ended my search for bharwa bhindi that i wanted to make, Thank you Dassana.

  10. Hi amit..tried this bharwa bhindi receipe of yours ystdy. I really appreciate the way you explain everything with pictures.. Things become very simple to understand. the proportion of all the spices went on very well.. Bt only if problem was that my bhindi became soggy at the end..
    I did make sure that I dried the bhindis properly bt dnt knw y it became soggy..
    Can u suggest anything in this regard.5 stars

    1. thanks deepti for your kind words. the bhindi has to be fried in medium hot oil. then the fried bhindi will not be soggy. if you fry at a low temperature then the bhindi will absorb more oil and become soggy.

  11. This is osam v simple procedure… I will surely try it..Thanks n keep posting4 stars

  12. Thanks a lot . Always wanted to know how to do Bhagwan bhindi. Will try it. I am sure everybody in my house will like it

  13. Love the masala Bhindi, this very tasty dish which i cook in short period of time.

  14. Love that masala for stuffing.. i should make this for hubbs when we get some okra next.. okra isnt locally available, so its a once in a while event:)
    I see you found the award that i passed on to you. 🙂 Keep whipping up these fun recipes!

  15. Bharwan Bhindi is my fav….I also prepare it the similar way but I do add garam masala to it along with rest of the spices. Sometimes I also add chopped potatoes to this dish..it comes out well!

  16. All time favorite..use almost the same spice mix for a quick stuffed okra.