Ladies Finger Curry | Bhindi Curry

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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.

bhindi masala gravy recipe

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.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Ladies Finger Curry

Preparation

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.

bhindi, okra, lady finger

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.

bhindi for bhindi masala recipe

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.

chopped bhindi for making bhindi masala recipe

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.

making bhindi masala paste

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.

making bhindi masala paste

6. Without adding water, grind or blend to a fine and smooth paste. Keep aside covered.

bhindi masala paste

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.

chopped bhindi for bhindi masala recipe

8. Stirring often, sauté them till they are almost cooked, shrunken in size and lightly browned from the sides.

sauting bhindi for bhindi masala recipe

9. When done remove the sautéed okra and place them in  a plate or tray.

sauted bhindi for bhindi masala recipe

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.

making bhindi masala recipe

11. Add the ½ cup finely chopped onions.

onions for bhindi masala gravy recipe

12. Stir to mix.

onions for bhindi masala gravy recipe

13. Sauté the onions on low to medium heat till they start to turn light golden.

sauting onions for bhindi masala curry recipe

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
curry for bhindi masala gravy recipe

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.

making bhindi masala gravy recipe

16. Add the prepared ground tomato-yogurt-spices paste that we made before. Be careful while adding the ground paste as it splutters.

paste for bhindi masala gravy recipe

17. Stir and mix thoroughly.

stir bhindi masala gravy

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.

sauting bhindi masala gravy

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.

water for bhindi masala gravy recipe

20. Season with salt as required.

salt for bhindi masala gravy recipe

21. Add the sautéed okra.

preparing bhindi masala recipe

22. Stir again.

stir bhindi masala gravy

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.

simmer bhindi masala curry

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.

making bhindi masala curry recipe

25. Stir and then add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) to the Bhindi Curry.

coriander for bhindi masala curry recipe

26. Stir the curry again and then switch off the stovetop.

bhindi masala curry recipe, bhindi masala gravy recipe, bhindi masala

27. Serve Ladies Finger Curry garnished with a few coriander leaves or straightaway with roti or paratha or steamed rice.

bhindi masala gravy recipe, bhindi masala recipe

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Ladies Finger Curry | Bhindi Curry

This Ladies Finger Curry also called Bhindi Curry in Hindi, is a delicious recipe of sautéed okra in a tangy onion, tomato curry base. The recipe is also gluten-free.
4.94 from 63 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Cuisine North Indian, Punjabi
Course Main Course
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

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

Other ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • 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.

Sautéing okra

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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)

Nutrition Facts
Ladies Finger Curry | Bhindi Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 930mg40%
Potassium 503mg14%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1322IU26%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.2mg13%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1mg6%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 0.3mg15%
Vitamin B12 0.04µg1%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Vitamin D 0.01µg0%
Vitamin E 7mg47%
Vitamin K 29µg28%
Calcium 93mg9%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 58µg15%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 55mg14%
Phosphorus 87mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Ladies Finger Curry from the archives first published on January 2015 has been republished and updated in January 2023.

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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.

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154 Comments

  1. Awesome taste..im a beginner don’t knw much cooking but the recipes that you share are super easy to follow and the step by step photo idea is the best part. 🙂5 stars

  2. Hi Dassana
    This bhindi curry is awesome ..Thankyou for the recipe. .I have tried many of your recepies which came out so well .
    One question can i add baingan instead of bhindi in this masala curry?5 stars

  3. Hello from Berlin! Thanks for all you work and inspiring recipes. I am a newbie to indian cuisine and everything i tried so far following your suggestions just works perfect! This bhindi curry is so well balanced, goes smoothly and is absolutely mouthwatering!!!5 stars