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 .
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.
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.
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.