Okra Masala (Bhindi masala)

You must follow the instructions to the letter to prevent slime / gum from the okra, including the drying part.

For best results and taste, the tomatoes should be really ripe, and a good okra (when buying or picking from the garden) is straight and soft, not curly and hard.


  • A bag of okra/ladyfingers (300-500g)
  • 4-6 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 2-3 onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil (for the frying)
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Some ginger and garlic, cut in small pieces, or ginger and garlic paste (1-2 teaspoons each)
  • Chilli powder (to taste, I only add 1/3 of a teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Half a teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole mixed masala spices

You can also replace the above spices with 2-3 teaspoons curry powder instead.


  1. Wash and pat dry with a towel the okra BEFORE cutting.
  2. Cut the okra with dry hands, clean and dry cutting board and knife.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a wok or deep pan and fry the okra in small batches on its own for 5 minutes in low-medium heat. Do NOT cover with a lid and don't stir too much (if at all) or you'll increase the slime / gum. Don't add salt either as that increases moisture, therefore again = slimy okra.
  5. Add some lemon juice to the okra (to get rid of / prevent the gooey slime/gum) and fry a bit more until cooked (don't overcook it, about 2 extra minutes more).
  6. Drain the okra from the oil and set aside.
  8. In a different deep pan or pot, with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, saute the onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and spices, until a bit soft, but not overcooked.
  9. Turn off the heat and gently mix the cooked okra with the rest of the food in the pot.
  10. Serve with yogurt or flatbread / pitta / roti / naan etc.