Okra or Ladies’ Fingers is a vegetable that is not so well liked by people of all ages because of its slimy interior. Some even find it repulsive. But as a fac, okra is really good for one’s body. It is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and heaps of other nutrients. The slimy juice of the vegetable helps to improve your bowel movement. It’s not so popular and hence not much experimentation has been done with it. Well, I like this vegetable a lot and sometimes I even eat it raw. It tastes good. Try it!
Okra is sometimes associated with stabilizing blood sugar levels. It also has low Glycemic level, because of which it is mainly associated with lowering cholesterol levels. It even helps to keep your skin rejuvenated. There are a lot of homemade tricks involving this vegetable to make a face pack. It even helps to bring luster to your dull hair. Since this vegetable is grown in tropical climate it grows well in India, because of which each state has its own way of serving this vegetable. From fries to what not, this vegetable can be used in varied ways.
To minimize the sliminess of the Okra, it should washed well and wiped dry with a cloth before it is cut up to be cooked. You can also cut the vegetable and put them under hot sun for about half an hour. It removes the sliminess of the okra like magic.
Let’s not delay anymore. Let’s Go!
1 Bharwan Bhindi
This dish is my favorite when it comes to Bhindi- that is what okra is called in Hindi. Who doesn’t like stuffed vegetables? This dish is not an easy dish. Though the procedure may seem simple, it takes so much to actually stuff the okra that a sane person can go insane. It is that tedious a job. But the end result is truly good. This dish is luscious. Spices are stuffed inside each okra and then they are pan seared (just thinking about them makes me drool), which makes them the best. The sliminess of the okra vanishes because of the heat leaving behind a crispy and tasty veggie. Try this Punjabi dish, it is really popular though tedious, but good.
2 Bengali style Okra
Bengalis either like okra or hate it. Those who love it are a fan of the dish I am going to mention now. It is the Bengali style okra fry. The Bengalis use a lot of spices in their recipes that make them tasty and spicy. They have a lot of curry in their dishes. In this dish, turmeric powder, cumin powder and some other spices are used to stir fry these okras to perfection. This dish is best suited to be eaten with rotis, but the Bengalis have them with rice. It tastes good with both of them and this dish provides justice to this vegetable.
3 Bhindi Fry
This dish is a good tiffin box recipe. It is a dry version that uses onions, tomatoes and the regular spices to cook. There are varieties of Bhindi Fry recipes but the one I am mentioning here is different. There is another dish that uses Besan or gram flour to make the recipe that is literally fried in oil. I will be talking about that recipe a little later. In this recipe, the okra is wiped dry and then cut. It is then cooked along with caramelized onions and tomatoes. This dish is a heart winner and goes best with Phulkas.
4 Aloo Bhindi
I love the combination of potatoes with absolutely everything. Adding potatoes to a dish increases the carbohydrate content of a dish and makes it delicious. I love them along with mushrooms. But let’s keep them aside for some other time. Now we are here to talk about the combination of potatoes and okra. There are a lot of variations as the spices added to the dish may vary but it still tastes good. I know that now I sound biased, but I just love this vegetable be it any form. And I want my readers to place their trust in me and try this dish and I guarantee, you will love it.
5 Rajasthani Besan Bhindi Masala
So this was the dish that I was talking about earlier. In this dish, the okra are given a generous coating of besan and spices and then deep fried in hot oil to get crispy fries. Ooh, it is really good. It can give the French fries a run for its money. These little sticks of goodness are really healthy as they are tasty. They are the best side dish for the curries which do not have many spices in them. It adds the much needed crispiness to the dish. That is another needed element that we all want in our dishes.
6 Bhindi achaari
I had already mentioned about a lot pickles in my other articles including the carrot and beetroot. This time I present to you another pickle and that is with okra. We Indians cannot get enough of pickles. They are the heart and soul of side dishes. Some even want pickles to be present every time they eat a meal. People from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana even eat rice with pickles alone. They really like spicy food. Mango powder is also added to this dish that gives it sourness and makes it even more delectable. Try it.
7 Andhra Bhindi
I was talking about spicy food and Andhra and here I have a dish from that place. I am warning you in advance, those who cannot eat spicy food should just skip this part of the article and move ahead. It comes with a spicy warning. Anyways coming back to matters, this dish is prepared in a typical Andhra way with lot of spices and of course chili powder. They deep fry the okras and then sprinkle the spices over the top.Yet anoter fried recipe. Okras taste really good fried up.
8 Bhindi ka Salan
Here I present to you another dish from Hyderabad involving okra. This gravy goes really well with Hyderabad Biryani and is often served in restaurants along with it. This dish uses yoghurt which gives it a rich flavour and also tamarind pulp which gives it a sour taste. Again there are variations but here I am strictly talking about the one from the Hyderabadi cuisine. Unlike the other dishes that I had mentioned this dish does not use fried up okras rather they are cooked in the gravy.
9 Bendakaya (okra) Pulusu
This dish is from the southern Indian cuisine. The dish is the one that would be mentioned first if we talk about okra dish from the parts of Southern India. In this dish the okras are cut and then cooked along with tomatoes and tamarind pulp and onions to cook the gravy. It is usually eaten with rice but they taste equally nice with dosas. Weird combination, right? But it is true. This dish is also from the Andhra cuisine.
10 Bharli Bhendi
Bharli bhindi is from the Maharashtrian cuisine. In this dish the okras are cut half in the middle vertically and are then filled with a coconut and spices filling and then cooked. This is another stuffed okra dish. Stuffing okras makes them taste better and I my opinion sweeter. We don’t give much importance to the Maharashtrian cuisine but I think it is delicious. All the recipes that are my favorite are from the Maharashtrian cuisine. Try this cuisine.
11 Goan Bhindi Bhaji
In this dish the okras are cooked along with onions and tomatoes. But there are a lot of recipes involving no oil. This dish is really good though a little sour. But the okras in the dish are sweet which the ultimate motive of cooking okra is. Okras are the best when they attain that sweetness after cooking for some time. I know that everyone would be confusing it with another Bhaji, but here it simply means cooked.
12 Okra Sambar
There are different varieties of Sambar other than the plain old one. This is from one of those varieties. In this Sambar, Okras are used in abundance as a result of which it leaves behind its distinctive flavor. This dish is really good, and the sliminess of the okra is also nonexistent. I love Sambar as every South Indian does and this one comes right after the old one. Believe me it is that good.
13 Shahi Bhindi
Like all Shahi recipes this one also makes use of the usual ingredients of onions, tomatoes and cashews. This dish has the name Shahi because of the cashews. Shahi dishes were in fact served to the Kings in the earlier times, because a common man could not afford to buy these ingredients and also because of its rich taste. Cashews add much creaminess to this dish, it becomes absolutely addictive. But again like every dish that tastes good has high calorie content this one does too. Cream and curd are also present in this dish that increase its creaminess.
14 Bhindiwala Meat
This is another weird combination that surprisingly sets well together. In this dish the meat is cooked first along with other spices like cardamom and cloves and then the okras are added. The okra in this dish increase the meatiness in this dish that is a plus point. Adding vegetables in a meat dish increases the taste of the meat. It is a trick that my mom uses in her dishes. She mostly uses potatoes.
15 Bhindi Masala
Now, this dish should not be confused with other dishes that I have mentioned above in this article. This is a sole dish. In this dish, the okras are sautéed along with cumin seeds and sometimes caramelized onions. This dish is often confused with Bhindi stir fry but this is different form that because in this dish cumin is used.
16 Bhatia Bhindi Kadhi
This dish is from the Bhatia community. This sweet and sour dish makes use of bananas for the sweet flavor. Pigeon peas are used along with okra to make this lip-smacking dish. Have them the way Bhatia have them i.e., with phulkas or rice.
17 Okra Poriyal
Poriyal in Tamil means stir fry. In this dish no spices are used and okras are just stir fried in some oil, mustard seeds and onions. The okras are then left to caramelize in the heat. As the okras start attaining a black color they are removed and served hot. They taste best with rice and sambar.
18 Bendakayyi Gojju
This dish is from the state of Karnataka. This dish is somewhat similar to the Bhindi Masala but then again it is different. You can call it the Karnataka version of bhindi masala. This Gojju is popular among kids who like to have them whenever possible. It makes the kids like this vegetable even more.
19 Garlic Okra
I love the taste of garlic. It really adds power and a surprise element to dishes. The smell of garlic is loved by some but some even resent it. I happen to love it and thus this dish is added as one of my favorites. The addition of garlic along with okras really sets off the dish and gives it a different dimension. You should try it to know what I am talking about.
20 Dahi Bhindi
It is obvious from the title that the okras in this dish is cooked in Dahi i.e. curd or yoghurt. The curd in this dish provides acidity to this dish and even increases the sweetness of the okras. This dish is not that delicious but is still good enough to be considered.