Stuffed Okra ( Bharwa Bhindi)

Stuffed Okra is definitely a dish with a “Wow!” factor. Okra (aka Bhindi or Ladyfinger) are kept whole, slit along one side and stuffed with a flavorful blend of spices. Many people are hesitant to cook okra due to their perceived sliminess as well as the amount of oil that is needed in the recipe. In fact, some of the most delicious recipes (especially in restaurants) are made with fried okra. A two step cooking process, microwave and stove top, not only makes this recipe for Stuffed Bhindi efficient but you can save quite a bit of fat and calories from the reduced amount of oil.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Serves – 4


Okra (Bhindi) – 1 lb (500 g), tops removed and slit down one side
Oil – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 1/2 Tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 Tbsp
Dry Mango Powder – 1 Tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste

For the Seasoning:
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Carom Seeds (Ajwain) – 1/4 tsp (optional)
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Onion – 1 small (150 g), sliced
Tomato – 1 large (150 g), chopped


1. Wash and dry Okra.
2. Cut off the tops and slit one side to split open.
3. Coat Okra with one tsp of oil.
4. Mix all the dry masalas (spices) and stuff in the Okra.
5. Place stuffed okra in a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave for 5 minutes.
6. Take out and mix gently and microwave for another 2 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a non-stick pan.
8. Once hot, add mustard seeds and allow them to pop.
9. Add Cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle.
10. Add carom seeds (ajwain) and cook for 30 seconds.
11. Add Asafoetida and Turmeric powder.
12. Add Onions, increase the heat and allow the onions to caramelize (stirring often).
13. Add a little salt (just for the onions) or the balance of the stuffing masala.
14. Mix in the cooked Okra and allow them to brown a little.
15. Mix in tomatoes and allow them to soften.
16. Serve hot with roti or chapati.

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0 thoughts on “Stuffed Okra ( Bharwa Bhindi)

  1. Hello to 2 beautiful ladies

    I tried for the first time cooking from your website. It was abasutely hit in my home. My mother said Peanut complements with peanuts and ting of coconut flake. I tried 1/2 and 1/2 both ways. Sorry to tell you, may be I am used to “motherly style cooking”. No offense, but coconut ting and roasted ground peanuts do taste better. May be you want to try it your self and check out your taste bud and see what it says…..

    I don’t need to browse any more for any of the Indian recipes. You have gotten more then what works in my home.

    Thank you for inspiring.


  2. hey i must tell u two r doing great job n i love you fr sharing ur knowledge wd us n i tried it n it came out good but me n my husband felt it shd be a a bit only a bit more cooked so shd i microwave it more?

  3. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I like many of your recipes as they are simplified and can be attempted easily. I want to share with you a tip which is useful for most okra dishes. When the okra is almost done or even after it is done, sprinkle some water to it and let it cook for a minute or two. You will be surprised at the lush green color it turns to and the dryness disappears. I always do this when I make stuffed or plain okra.

  4. Just curious… in this type of recipe, would it be better to toss the ingredients everytime rather than use a laddle/spoon?

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Yes, if you are good at tossing, it would work well. However, when the pan is hot and the ingredients are also hot, you want to be careful about things flying all over the place :).

  5. Ladies,

    It is wonderful to see this recipe as I have recently become acquainted with okra.

    I have noticed that at the end of many of your videos you say, “It is ready to serve.” Do you mean “as is” or as a topping over something else? The Indian restaurants I go to have so many delightful items from which to choose and almost everything covers rice or lentals. I am puzzled by this.

    One last thing, have the two of you written a recipe book that is for sale? I would dearly love to go out and buy one.

    A greatful fan, Rich

    1. Hi Rich,

      Here is an easy way to think about how to eat Indian food…
      1. Any dry vegetable or legume dish is usually eaten with some sort of flatbread (roti, chapati, naan, etc).
      2. Any saucy vegetable or legume dish can be eaten with flatbread and/or rice.
      3. Any liquidy dish is mostly eaten with rice.

      Of course there are always exception to the rule, but this is a pretty good guideline.

      We have recently published a book in collaboration with a doctor called The Healthy Indian Diet…available on Amazon in book or Kindle version.

  6. Hi Hetal,
    I am wondering if u could show the method of making Bharwa Karela Jain style-where only some powders r mixed& stuffed in the scooped out karelas.I really want to try out that method.

  7. Hi,
    I loved the recipe and was wondering if I can make it in advance and consume it the next day. I have a big group coming home for dinner and would like to front load some of my cooking 🙂 by preparing this dish in advance. Please advise

    1. Hi Mamu,

      Yes, this dish can be prepared in advance. When reheating, use a skillet on the stove instead of the microwave for better texture.

  8. Hey…
    Also if you grind peanuts n mix it with the masala and then stuff it into the okra.. It tastes yummyyyyyyyyy….!!! 😉
    Just a tip… 🙂

  9. Hey thr…
    Can we use the same filling for karela as well??? May be a little bit of sugar is required… PLease help me with the recipe for stuffed karela…
    Thankies… 🙂

  10. hi hetal/anuja,

    I made this y’day….after microwaving for second time, I saw that bhindi turned out very hard…not chewable at all….what could be the reason?


    1. Hi Pooja,
      Here are a few things that could be the issue:
      – bhindi is not in season and not good – thick and over-ripe
      – you microwave has lower wattage than ours
      – over crowding the bhindi in the pan causes uneven cooking.

      1. Hi Anuja,

        thanks for reply,

        will attempt to make once more

        however, I can tell that bhindi was not over-ripe and the pan was also not over crowded

        my m/w is of 700 watts

        the quantity of bhindi that I took was comparatively less than what you have taken ( i took handful of bhini judt for trying) I think second time m/w was not required when i tried….what is your opinion?

        1. Hi Pooja,
          Our M/W power is 1100W.
          Well, the other thing could be that your bhindi got over-cooked…if you did just a handful that may be the possibility. When we give times and measurements – it is specifically for that amount.
          Hope that helps – try again and don’t give up 🙂

  11. I made the stuffed bhindi today and it was really great. This truly is a great way to make bhindi quickly and without using much oil. I did notice that there was still some sliminess to the okra but it was so flavorful that I didn’t mind it.

  12. Hi Hetal n Anuja

    Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe. I am going to try this pretty soon once i get fresh bhindis.
    I had a totally different questions… its about your utensils 🙂 I liked your non-stick pans and they seem to be of really good quality which further helps cooking with less oil. Can you reccomend any company and store in US but not a lot expensive.
    Also can u tell me which brand or type of micrwave vessel you used for this recipe?
    have a great summer.


    1. Hi Runali,
      We have Pyrex bowls and Corelle Dishes for the microwave.
      For the Non-Stick Pans, we have inexpensive ones from Bed Bath and Beyond.
      Hope that helps 🙂

  13. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    Will you have a stuffed eggplant recipe as well? I’ve been wanting to make it and hoped you might have it in mind for a video. Thanks for putting a pinch of spice in my life!



  15. I tried this recipie and it turned out delicious.thanx for all the yummy dishes you beautiful ladies make!Happy Diwali to you and your family!

  16. Thank You for such a wonderful and easy recipe. I tried it (although I added coarsely ground peanuts to the stuffing masala), and it came out delicious.

    I love all your recipes !!! Thanks, again.

  17. haay,hello love u guys.wanted to let u know that the last 2 dishes eggplant raita and stuffed okra, there is no cant hear vu guys.if u could please fix the problem.thankyou.keep smiling.

    1. Hi Geetha,
      We have checked and double checked this and the baingan raita video and it seems to be okay on our side. Will also pass your feedback to the tech. dept. and look into it.
      Thanks again for taking the time to email.

  18. Well I stumbled upon your web page and thought of trying out this okra recipe, but its seems there some issue with the audio of the clip.The video has audio only in parts…Appreciate if you would resolve the issue. Thank you

    1. Hi Ashley,
      We have checked and double checked this video and it seems it’s okay on our side. Will also pass your feedback to the tech. dept. and look into it.
      Thanks again for taking the time to email.

  19. Excellent recipe! Thanks for posting this.

    I have noticed that for a few of the recent videos, there seems to be a problem with the sound. When the camera focuses on you guys from far, I get right ear audio only. The sound is perfect when the focus is on your pans or any thing close.

    I am not sure if it’s only me, but I have been seeing this continuously.

    1. Hi Rashmi,

      We didn’t realize this problem was happening but are working to fix it. You should see an improvement in our future videos. Thanks for your feedback.

  20. Hi Hetal

    Thanks for the response. Well then in that case I think I should wait till I get fresh Okra.
    Could you please show some recipes (sabji) with pumpkin or raddish … whenever possible of course …
    Generally all ur recipes are a bit hatke (different) .. so its really nice to try them.

    Thanks again ..

  21. Hi Hetal and Anuja

    Thanks for the recipe .. would love to make it … But I don’t have a microwave. So can I directly add it in the oil along with the tadka part after the onions have caramelised .. or … will the okra get mushy ??? … could you clear this doubt please…
    Moreover here in this part of Germany where we stay .. we don’t get fresh okra .. its frozen .. so this doubt …

    1. Hi Bindu,

      Cooking it in the microwave helps the okra cook fast without getting slimy and breaking apart, but if you don’t have one, then you can definitely cook it on the stove (add it to the oil after the onions become translucent as they will be cooking for some time more with the okra). It may take a little more time and you will have to stir it often. Regarding the frozen okra, we’ve never tried this recipe with anything but fresh ones. The one problem you may encounter is that the okra will be limp once you defrost them and will not hold their shape. Frozen may work better for okra subzi, where they are cut up.

  22. Hi Hetal and Anju,
    Thanks for the recipe. I am wondering if you close the lid and cook it in the microwave, does it not get gooey and sticky? Please let me know. Thanks.

  23. Lovely dish..for a long time I used to wonder how this was done while eating at restaurants…now i am excited about making it at home. Thanks Hetal and Anuja!!!!

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