Bharwan bhindi (stuffed okra)


I have at times found myself stuck in a round robin pattern of cooking food. The daily routine adds to the boredom of going out-of-the-way to cook something new. @home I hear complaints @dinner table “you made this … yet again …”. Today’s recipe emerged out of the need for change :).

Okra is a favorite veggie at my house. One complain I have though is that okra shrinks to almost 1/2 quantity after it is cooked. Also, the okra available in US contains bigger seeds as compared to the ones found back home. The bigger seeds make okra less enjoyable to some. Today’s recipe brings some relief to both these problems. You cook whole okra with some spices. This way the quantity is not reduced a lot and the seeds are masked by the stuffing :). Try this recipe and don’t give the picky eaters at your home a chance to complain :).


Okra 0.75 lb (small – medium-sized). NOTE: Place the okra in a colander and rinse under running water. Set it aside to drain of the water. Do this at least 2-3 hours prior to cooking. This prevents the okra from being sticky.

Spices for stuffing:

2 tbsp coriander powder

red chili powder (according to taste)

2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp fennel seeds powder (freshly ground preferred)

2-3 tsp dry mango powder

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

For tempering:

1 tsp powdered asafoetida

1 tsp 5 spices mixture – fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, onion seeds, mustard seeds


  1. Cut the ends of the okra. Make a vertical slit lengthwise in each okra. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through.
  2. Prepare the spice mixture: In a mixing bowl add about 2 tsp oil and spices for stuffing. Mix well.
  3. Stuff each okra with the spice mixture. If there is any spice mixture left use it in the tempering.
  4. In a pan add about 2 tsp oil. Once hot add the asafoetida and the 5 spices mixture. Once the seeds start to crackle add the remaining spice mixture prepared in step 2 (if you have any). Cook for 2 mins. Now add the stuffed okras. Stir well. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat. Stir occasionally. Cook until the okra is soft.


Serving tips

  • Enjoy these as a side. Tastes really good with warm rotis.

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