bindi (aka ladyfingers, okra)

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(click on image for larger view)
bindi I’ve been meaning since March (!) to post about this.

I used to detest this vegetable. Eeewww – too slimy! The only way I could stand to eat it was in chicken gumbo soup (served nice and hot – in a dimly lit room – so that I couldn’t see any slime that might be lurking in the bowl. :lalala:)

And then we went to India and one of our friends made okra for us Indian style: dry fried until it is chewy and a little bit crispy. It’s WONDERFUL. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t prepare okra this way!

Here’s how we cook okra:

sorry, no measurements – just wing it
revised 14 October…

  • vegetable oil (mustard, safflower, sunflower…)
  • whole dried chillies
  • turmeric
  • ginger, minced
  • okra, chopped in thick coins
  • garam masala
  • salt & pepper


  1. Heat oil in a wok.
  2. Add turmeric, ginger and whole dried chilies and cook until the chilies are darkish brown. (a minute or two)
  3. Add ginger and stirfry til golden.
  4. Add turmeric and stirfry briefly.
  5. Add chopped okra and stirfry til almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Add garam masala (available at Indian grocery stores; you can also make your own) and cook for another three minutes or so.
  7. Add salt and pepper.

Serve bindi in a thali with dahl, rice, another vegetable such as aloo methi, poppadam and lime or mango pickle.

(click on image for larger view)

Remind me to post about how easy it is to reheat and crisp up storebought poppadoms!!
This entry was posted in food & drink, main course, posts with recipes, spicy, vegetables on by .

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6 responses to “bindi (aka ladyfingers, okra)

  1. bing

    Reminding … ???

    I cook storebought papapadums over a burner on the stove, using a wire rack to keep it away from direct contact. I love the way a little spot changes to a lighter colour, and then the light colour rushes across the rest of the papapum.

    But all the storebought ones I’ve tried have been too salty; I still eat them occasionally, but I don’t enjoy them as much as the restaurant ones. Do you know of a brand that isn’t too salty? Or maybe deep-frying them reduces the saltiness?

    The bindi _looks_ good …

  2. tph

    “[…} Do you know of a brand that isn’t too salty? Or maybe deep-frying them reduces the saltiness?”

    Hi Bing,

    I know what you mean about saltiness. Papad come in many varieties and many have different textures. I find that the smoother the papad the saltier it is likely to be.

    The variety I like the most is LIJJAT papad. But again they make different kinds. Get their rough looking textured **papad with black pepper**. (You pretty much have to look through the packaging to see what you’re getting.) There is no salt listed in the ingredients. They also make varieties that come with cumin seeds, red chilies, etc. etc. but they’re not as good.

    This is the only kind of papad that I bought in India years ago. Mostly because it’s what my friends served. I get mine from Kohinoor Foods here in little India.

    Because the label is in Hindi, here’s a link to a photograph of the package. The big letters say “LIJJAT PAPAD”. Nice bunny too don’t you think?

    photograph of LIJJAT PAPAD

  3. ejm Post author

    You’re brave, Paz!! The slidiness of okra is exactly why I prefer it prepared Indian style.

    Thanks for posting the Lijjat photo and link to Kohinoor foods, T.

    Eeeewwwwwwww!!! I didn’t notice that the bunny had fingers! I will have to avert my eyes from the package even more than usual. (I find the pink to be particularly lurid.)


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