I'm An RD: My Favorite Recipe For Healthy, Flavorful Bhindi Masala
Flavorful and healthy, bhindi masala has been one of my favorite plant-based South Asian dishes since childhood. It is made by lightly stir-frying okra with a variety of ingredients like ground spices, ginger, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and onions. This dish is often enjoyed with a traditional flatbread like roti, or warm long-grain rice, along with a yogurt raita.
Bhindi masala is a perfect example of how enjoyable and diverse veggies can be (which fits nicely with this year's National Nutrition Month theme: "celebrating a world of flavors"). This hot and savory dish can be perfect for those busy weeknights since you can also use convenient, pre-chopped frozen okra for the recipe.
While growing up, my mom always made sure to include bhindi masala on our weekly menu since it provides many health benefits and takes under 30 minutes to make. Okra is a nourishing vegetable that is rich in nutrients like vitamin C and folate. Plus, the gel-like texture found in okra is called mucilage, which contains soluble fiber and has been linked to healthy cholesterol levels. For anyone looking to incorporate more veggies, bhindi masala can be a colorful way to get your servings in for the day.
Servings: About 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 pound okra, stems trimmed, cut into ½-inch pieces (you can also use frozen cut okra)
- 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste (or 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic and 1 tsp. finely chopped ginger)
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 tablespoon amchur (dried mango powder)
- Dash of salt and pepper
- Optional: 1 chopped serrano pepper for garnish and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Rinse and dry each okra with a paper towel before chopping them into ½-inch rounds. On medium heat, saute the chopped okra in a tablespoon of oil and the ginger & garlic paste for about 10 minutes. Add oil if okra is sticking to the pan.
- In the same pan, add onions, tomato, lemon juice, and all the spices. As the tomatoes cook and soften, squish them with your cooking utensil. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes stirring in between. Add some more oil if ingredients stick to the pan.
- Lastly, sprinkle over cilantro and serrano pepper. Serve warm with rice, roti, or naan.
Huma Chaudhry R.D., LDN is a Chicago based clinical Dietitian, nutrition blogger, and recipe creator. She uses her nutrition expertise to help hundreds of clients feel confident in their food choices. Huma also enjoys sharing accessible nutritious living tips and diverse, plant-forward recipes across her social media platforms. For some of Huma’s influencer insights, check out her blog at doseofnutrition.com.