Ladies Finger Curry also called Bhindi Curry in Hindi is a tangy and spiced recipe of sautéed okra in an onion, tomato, spices, yogurt curry base. The recipe is gluten-free. Serve this tasty Indian okra curry with flatbreads like chapati, roti or naan. It also pairs well with steamed rice or jeera rice.
About Ladies Finger Curry
This recipe gets its name as Okra is also called Ladies Finger in English. In Hindi, okra is referred to as ‘Bhindi’. This is a really good home cooked delicious curry made with fresh and tender okra pods.
I have kept the ingredients basic and not added stuff like cashews, poppy seeds, melon seeds, cream etc to thicken the curry. So anyone having Indian spices and ingredients at home can easily make this delicious Bhindi Curry.
Bhindi is a family favorite. Hence there are many recipes posted with okra on the blog. I have already posted a semi-dry North Indian, Punjabi style recipe of Bhindi Masala which is another gem made from okra.
Usually I make a dry or semi dry curry with okra. We have had bhindi curry a couple of times in restaurants. So I tried to make a restaurant version minus the cream or khoya (evaporated milk solids). The recipe was a success and it tasted awesome.
Since okra and tomatoes are two of the hero ingredients, make sure to use tender okra pods and sweet tasting tomatoes that are not very tangy or overly sour.
While writing this post, I still remember the flavors and taste of this Ladies Finger Curry. It was damn good. I love cooking more than being a foodie.
But for a reason, this okra curry was an exception. It reminded me of the flavor and taste of a Ladies Finger Curry I had many years back in Mumbai. The tanginess of the tomatoes complements the light sweetness of okra very well.
This Okra Curry pairs well with soft phulka, chapati or paratha. This mildly spiced okra curry also goes well with steamed rice.
How to make Ladies Finger Curry
1. First rinse 250 grams okra (ladies finger) very well in running water a few times. Then drain them completely in a strainer or colander.
2. Wipe each okra with a kitchen napkin. There should be no moisture on them. You can also allow them to dry naturally at room temperature, by spreading them on a large plate or tray.
3. Chop the bhindi into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. Keep aside. Do check for worms or black spots as you chop them. Discard the okra pieces if you spot any of these.
4. In a grinder or blender jar, take the following ingredients:
- ¾ cup roughly chopped ripe red tomatoes
- 1 inch peeled and chopped ginger
- 4 to 5 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped or 1 teaspoon, chopped
Remember to use ripe red tomatoes which are a bit sweet and less sour or tangy.
5. Add 2 tablespoon fresh full fat curd (yogurt) along with 2 cloves, 1 green cardamom, ½ inch cinnamon and 1 single and thin strand of mace.
Mace is optional and can be omitted.
6. Without adding water, grind or blend to a fine and smooth paste. Keep aside covered.
Sauté Ladies Finger
7. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy kadai (wok) or frying pan. Add the chopped okra and sauté them on a low heat.
8. Stirring often, sauté them till they are almost cooked, shrunken in size and lightly browned from the sides.
9. When done remove the sautéed okra and place them in a plate or tray.
Make Ladies Finger Curry
10. In the same kadai or pan, further add 2 tablespoon oil. Add tej patta (Indian bay leaf) and fry for about 5 to 7 seconds on low heat.
11. Add the ½ cup finely chopped onions.
12. Stir to mix.
13. Sauté the onions on low to medium heat till they start to turn light golden.
14. Lower the heat and add the ground spices listed below:
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
15. Stir the spice powders quickly. You can also switch off the stove top while adding and mixing spices powders, so that they don’t get burned.
16. Add the prepared ground tomato-yogurt-spices paste that we made before. Be careful while adding the ground paste as it splutters.
17. Stir and mix thoroughly.
18. On a low to medium-low heat sauté till the masala paste thickens and you see oil leaving the sides. This takes time, so be patient.
Stir often while sautéing. The masala paste will thicken, look glossy and the oil will separate. When you see these signs, then move to the next step.
19. Add about ¾ cup water and stir very well. You can also add ½ to ⅔ cup water for a thick curry or ¾ cup water for medium consistency.
20. Season with salt as required.
21. Add the sautéed okra.
22. Stir again.
23. Bring the Ladies Finger Curry to a simmer on a medium heat. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes till the curry gets infused with the aroma and flavor of the okra.
Don’t cook okra in the curry for a longer time as then they become mushy.
24. Add ½ teaspoon kasuri methi, crushed (dry fenugreek leaves). If you want, you can also add 1 or 2 tablespoon of low-fat cream or light cream or cooking cream at this step.
25. Stir and then add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) to the Bhindi Curry.
26. Stir the curry again and then switch off the stovetop.
27. Serve Ladies Finger Curry garnished with a few coriander leaves or straightaway with roti or paratha or steamed rice.
More Similar Recipes To Try!
Gluten Free Recipes
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Ladies Finger Curry | Bhindi Curry
For tomato paste
- 3 tomatoes – ripe, red, medium-sized or 150 grams tomatoes or ¾ cup roughly chopped tomatoes
- 1 inch ginger – peeled and chopped
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves small to medium-sized, peeled
- 1 to 2 green chilies or 1 teaspoon chopped
- 2 tablespoons Curd (yogurt)
- 2 cloves
- 1 green cardamom
- ½ inch cinnamon
- 1 single thin strand of mace – optional
- 2 tablespoons oil – for sautéing okra
- 250 grams bhindi (okra or lady finger)
- 2 tablespoons oil for making curry
- 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf),small to medium-sized
- 1 onion – large-sized or 2 medium onions or 100 grams or ½ cup finely chopped onions
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¾ cup water or add as required
- salt as required
- ½ teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), crushed
- 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- First rinse ladies finger (okra, bhindi) very well in running water a few times. Then drain them completely in a strainer or colander.
- Wipe each bhindi with a kitchen napkin. There should be no moisture on them. You can also allow them to dry naturally at room temperature, by spreading them onto a large plate or tray.
- Chop the okra into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. Keep aside.
- In a grinder or blender jar, take the roughly chopped ripe red tomatoes, chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies.
- Add the fresh full fat curd/yogurt along with cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon and mace.
- Without adding water, grind or blend to a fine paste. Keep aside covered.
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a heavy kadai or pan. Add the chopped okra and sauté them on a low heat stirring often.
- Stir and sauté them till they are almost cooked, shrunken and lightly browned from the sides.
- When done remove the sautéed okra and place them in a plate or tray.
Making ladies finger curry
- In the same kadai or pan, add 2 tablespoon oil. Add tej patta, and fry for about 5 to 7 seconds.
- Add the finely chopped onions. Stir to mix.
- Sauté the onions on low to medium heat, stirring often till they start to turn light golden.
- Lower the heat. Then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
- Mix the spice powders quickly. You can also switch off the stove top while adding and mixing the ground spice powders, so that they don't get burned.
- Add the ground tomato-curd-spices paste that we made before. Be careful while adding ground paste as it splutters.
- Stir to mix. On a low to medium-low heat sauté till the masala paste thickens and you see oil leaving the sides.The masala paste will become glossy, thick and you will see oil separating the sides.
- Next add about ¾ cup water and stir to mix. You can also add ½ to ⅔ cup water for a thick curry or ¾ cup water for medium consistency.
- Season with salt as required.
- Add the sautéed okra. Stir and mix again.
- Bring the okra curry to a simmer on a medium heat. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes till the curry gets infused with the aroma and flavor of the okra.
- Don't cook okra in the curry for a longer time as then they become mushy.
- Add the crushed dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi). If you want, you can also add 1 or 2 tablespoons of low fat cream or light cream at this step.
- Stir and then add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves to the curry.
- Stir again and turn off the stove top.
- Serve Ladies Finger Curry garnished with a few coriander leaves or as is with chapati or paratha or steamed rice.
- Use fresh, tender and green okra pods to make the recipe.
- Since tomatoes form the base of this curry, ensure to use tomatoes which are sweet and not very sour.
- If in case the curry becomes too tangy, balance the tangy taste, by adding ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar or add about 1 to 2 tablespoons cream.
- For a thicker curry, add less water.
- To make a vegan version, use plant based yogurt.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Ladies Finger Curry from the archives first published on January 2015 has been republished and updated in January 2023.
Comments are closed.
Awesome recipe. I made this last night for dinner and for the first time feel like I cooked something that really tasted like a dish I could have eaten in an Indian restaurant! I’m so proud of myself. I substituted a few tiny pinches of freshly ground nutmeg for the mace since I don’t have any. I will try more of your recipes for sure. Thank you so much!
Welcome Cory. Glad to know this. Yes do try more recipes from the blog.
Hi Amit. I tried this reCipe And it was suppppper yummmy. I never thought, okra can be turned into such a nice dish.thnx a ton.
Welcome Leena. Glad to know that you liked the recipe.
This came out very well!!! All your recipes which I’ve tried so far are brilliant!
thanks janani for sharing positive feedback on recipes
Tried today. It came out really well. Thanks
thank remya for sharing the positive feedback on the bhindi masala gravy recipe.
I don’t care for whole spice pieces in gravy, even if they are blended because I always end up getting pieces of whole spice in bites of food. Can I temper the clove and cardamom in oil with tej patta? what do you suggest? many thanks!
welcome tiffany. yes you can do so.