AFF Indian Subcontinent: Bhindi Masala

It’s nearly halfway through May and here is my first post for the month. What have I been up to? Well, to paint you a picture, I have average of 3-4 shows per week, along with about 4-5 rehearsals with the 2 different bands I have. Which means most nights I’m not at home and some of the afternoons are spent doing soundchecks for shows etc. As a result I’ve been eating mostly the same thing at home and when I’m out, I’m at the mercy of event organisors and the venue hosts. I’m sure you won’t be interested to see which vegetable soup I had for dinner last week, so I do apologise for the lack of new recipes.

It doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing my homework however, as I bookmarked a few recipes to cook for the next few weeks including dishes for the Asian Food Fest’s Indian Subcontinent month and the next month which I am hosting. Anticipating a lot more blogging in June!

Looking through my blog, I realised I haven’t posted any Indian recipes. Both of us love curries, but strangely I have not cooked curries for a long time. Well, this month is a good opportunity to rectify that, and the first dish I’ve cooked utilises one of my favourite vegetable, Okra, aka Ladies finger, aka Bhindi in their language. Someone once mention that Okra looks like a shooting star, well I do agree it’s a very pretty vegetable and it’s also full of goodness for you.

Growing up, Okra is a common dish at home and I enjoy it simply stir fried with a bit of garlic. I don’t mind the slime and in fact this stuff helps to lubricate soothe the gut. Naturally, I am attracted to Fish Head Curry solely because of the tender Okras soaked in the flavourful spicy broth. So why not make a curry full of it instead so Frank can enjoy as well, I thought. Mention Fish Head and he will run for cover. Hehe. Presenting Bhindi Masala, a Punjabi semi dry side dish that is vegan, commonly served with chapatis, roti and naan.

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi Masala (serves 3-4) Recipe adapted from

300g Bhindi/Okra
1 medium size Red Onion, chopped
3-4 medium size tomatoes, chopped (this time I’ve used canned whole peeled tomatoes with half the liquid)
½ inch ginger and 2-3 garlic, minced and crushed
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander Seeds
½ teaspoon Chili Powder (more if you prefer spicier)
½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
Salt to taste
Coconut Oil (or other oil you prefer)

As I couldn’t find amchur powder (dry mango powder) and Dried fenugreek leaves, I omitted both.

Rinse the Okras well and let dry. Remove the base and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Prep other vegetables as indicated.

Heat coconut oil in pan and stir fry Okras for a few minutes until they are tender. They do soak up a bit of oil so I suggest using around 2 tablespoons. Coconut oil is good for you anyway!

Once the Okras are cooked, remove from pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the onion until translucent. Then add the ginger and garlic to cook for about 1 minute.

And tomato and cook until they become soft and mushy, then add all the spices, one by one. If the mixture becomes too dry, add some water or in my case, remaining liquid from the can. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked okras and season to taste. Once the okras are well heated through, turn off the heat and serve warm.

So pretty!

I of course served mine with some Cauli rice for a Paleo Vegan meal.


I have made mine mild for the Ang Moh taste bud, and I really shouldn’t be eating too much spicy food with the frequent gigs. This is so delicious! I love the tang from the tomatoes and the sweetness of onion, backed by the aromatic spices. The okras are still slightly crunchy and for there’s no slime at all, which is great for those who fear this vegetable.

Do you love Indian food? What’s your favourite dish?

I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest Indian Subcontinent Month, hosted by Alvin of Chef and Sommelier

15 Comments Add yours

  1. evehewitt says:

    looks amazing!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Thank you! I’m just glad I have leftovers! 😀

  2. blogggeraa says:

    that looks incredible!! I must try to make that cauliflower rice! I’m only on day two on my paelo journey and I feel like i’m going to turn into an egg if I eat anymore!!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Not that there’s anything wrong with eating eggs. But do try cauli rice, it’s so simple and goes well with almost everything!

  3. suituapui says:

    Gee!!! Yours looks so nice. Those at the nasi kandar stalls sure don’t look enticing, whole okras, all discoloured from the cooking – I would just skip their veg. Haven’t tried veg at an Indian restaurant…other than their palak paneer.

    1. kellysiew says:

      I don’t mind the discoloured ones but of course it’s nicer when still a little bit crunchy. Palak Paneer is nice! I have never been to an Indian restaurant in Bintulu tho. Parents are not the adventurous type when it comes to food.

  4. clumsy mel says:

    I love okra and masala as well, I would cook a big pot and keep in fridge and pack into lunch box on the next day. It could made me swallow 2 bowls of rice easily!! I wanna try your recipe out!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Ooh! I didn’t let it go to the next day, wonder if the colour will change overnight?

  5. doubtless says:

    I love okra too, this looks stunning, I know i’d enjoy this much!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Make it at home! Hardly take anytime.

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  9. cinnaspring says:

    I found you through Plate Culture! Lovely recipes you put up, and now I just have to try these spices with the lady fingers!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Thank you for dropping by! Hope you try the recipe soon!

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