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Besanwali Masala Bhindi spicy masala bhindi/okra recipe in Indian flavors with chickpea flour and Indian spices.
A no-onion no-garlic, gluten free and vegan dry vegetable curry/subzi.
Easy and quick to make Besanwali Masala Bhindi, relished with rotis paranthas or pooris.
Besanwali Masala Bhindi,can also be made as a side dish with your favorite Dal/Lentil or vegetable curry for a wholesome meal with rice and chapatis. Bhindi or Okra aka Lady’s Finger as it is popularly known in India, is one of the most commonly made and a favorite vegetable among all the age groups. Kids especially eat this vegetable with chapatis or paranthas without any fuss and love to take this for there school lunch.
Bhindi/Okra is a very versatile veggie and it is cooked in many versions and ways depending on the region and state. In North Indian states of U.P and Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, it commonly cooked with onion and Indian spices like coriander powder, fennel and cumin seeds, red chilli powder.
Many people down Southern and Western, states make in yogurt based gravy or in peanut and coconut masala and some stir fry it with curry leaves and spices. Whatever way it prepared, it a part of everyday meals and festive menus.
This Besanwali Bhindi recipe is an easy and quick version of Stuffed Bhindi, where spices are mixed with besan or chickpea flour and stuffed vegetable through slits made in bhindi and then the vegetable is cooked in oil.
My naani used to cook masala bhindi this way many times. Bhindi is my favorite vegetable right from my childhood days and I loved having it with hot ghee chapatis and chilled meethi dahi(sweet yogurt). Once when naani was visiting our our place, I just told her that I really like her bhindi masala recipe and the next day when we came back from school, she had prepared it for me. Perfectly cooked bhindi coated in masala!!
This quick and easy version comes handy for busy mornings or preparing and elaborate meal for parties and get-togethers. Bhindi is cut into half and cooked with besan and spices instead of stuffing it vegetable. This saves time to stuff the masala n bhindi. which can take time when preparing for a big crowd. The taste and the texture of bhindi is just like the stuffed one and veg, and bhindis are all coated well in masala, which we call ‘Lipta hua’ in local Hindi dialect in Western U.P.
Cooking Bhindi can get tricky as many people complain of the stickiness in the vegetable.It is due to a slime like substance that makes bhindi sticky and spoils the texture of cooked vegetable.
Few pointers to keep in mind while cooking this vegetable..
- Select soft bhindis, thick bhindis are over ripe and have lot of seeds which spoil the taste of vegetable.
- Wash Bhindi properly in running water.Pat dry the bhindis with a kitchen towel or tissues.
- While cooking, if the vegetable starts getting very sticky or there is lot of slime in it, this trick by my mom always a saver.. squeeze some lemon juice in bhindi, and the cook as per the process till all the vegetable is cooked.
- After adding oil with spices, cook it in open pan for 2-3 minutes, then close the lid so that it gets cooked well. Then, again when before switching off the gas saute it in open pan on medium to high flame taking care not to burn it.
How to make Besanwali Masala Bhindi..
To make Besanwali Masala Bhindi, use properly dried fresh bhindi or okra. Besan or Chickpeas flour and powdered spices for Masala Bhindi.
Dry Powder Spices used for the vegetable …
Coriander Powder(dhaniya), Fennel Powder(Saunf Powder), Red Chilli Powder, Dry Mango Powder(Amchur) and Turmeric Powder. All the spice powders are available at Indian Grocery stores outside India .
Other spices used are cumin seeds(jeera), fennel seeds(saunf) and asafetida(hing).
For Gluten-free version avoid, asafetida
In North India, people use Mustard oil to cook most of the dry vegetables, which is used for making bhindi to. Use of oil differs from region to to region like, in Southern states of India Coconut oil is used and in Western India, peanut oil is used. North eastern and eastern India most people use Mustard oil but it varies as per one’s preferences. In case you do not cook in with above mentioned oil, Olive oil or any other good plant based oil can be used to cook the vegetable.
Step to make Besanwali Bhindi Masala
First prepare the veggies(Wash and Cut)
Wash bhindi and pat dry it dry on a kitchen towel or paper tissues.
Cut both the ends of Bhindi, the head and the tip of tail.
Lengthwise cut bhindi into half and if it is very long you can again halve the pieces.
In a bowl, mix all the powdered dry spices.
Heat oil in a pan (heavy bottomed or non-stick), add hing(optional), cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle add besan and roast for a 1-2 minutes. Then add masala mix and roast the chickpea flour with spices for another 2 minutes on low flame.
Add cut bhindi to masala and saute well.
Add Fennel seeds and amchur or dry mango powder and salt. In case you do not have dry mango powder add 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice. Cook in for few minutes in open pan, after that cover it with lid.
Cook till bhindi is till it is on the crispy side. Keep the flame low and keep on lightly stirring the vegetable so that it doesn’t burn.
Before switching off the flame, take off the lid add kadhai masala(optional) and cook the vegetable for another 2 minutes.
Switch off the flame and transfer masala bhindi to serving bowl.
Besanwali Masala Bhindi
- Kadhai or Heavy Bottomed Pan
- 300 gm Bhindi/Okra 14.5 Oz or 3 Cups(when cut)
- ¼ Cup Chickpea Flour
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil/any other vegetable oil
Dry Spice Powders
- 2-3 tbsp Coriander Powder/Dhaniya Powder
- 1-2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder/Haldi Powder
- 1 tsp Dry Mango Powder/Amchur
- Wash Bhindi properly to wash off all the dirt.
- Keep it in strainer for few minutes till the water drains out.
- Wipe off all bhindi with a dry kitchen towel or paper tissues.
- Cut both the ends of Bhindi, the head and the tip of tail. Lengthwise cut bhindi into half and if it is very long you can again halve the pieces.
- In a bowl, mix all the powdered dry spices.
- Heat oil in a pan (heavy bottomed or non-stick), add hing(optional), cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle add besan and roast for a 1-2 minutes. Then add masala mix and roast the chickpea flour with spices for another 2 minutes on low flame.
- Add cut bhindi to masala and saute well.
- Add Fennel seeds and amchur or dry mango powder. In case you do not have dry mango powder add 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice. Cook in for few minutes in open pan, after that cover it with lid.
- Cook till bhindi is cooked on the crispy side. Keep the flame low and keep on lightly stirring the vegetable so that it doesn't burn.
- Before switching off the flame, take off the lid and cook the vegetable for another 2 minutes.
- Switch off the flame and transfer masala bhindi to serving bowl. Serve hot with chapatis.
Do make this spicy bhindi vegetable and relish with fresh chapatis or parantha. Since masala bhindi is made with dry spices with no water and onion or tomato, it stays longer and can be carried taken as travel food with paranthas(Tikadia) or pooris.
Make it during the festivals when you abstain from from no-onion no-garlic food. One of the best side dishes with Dal Chawal or any other lentil with chapatis. Spice level(red chilli powder) can be adjusted as per one’s preference and heat tolerance. Below pic shows Besanwali Masala Bhindi with Dhuli Masoor Dal.
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