Monday, 26 December 2016

Achari Bhindi.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

It's okra with all the flavours of our favourite spiced pickle!
And, it's our new favourite vegetarian curry!
I know that some people aren't too keen on okra but we love it. Probably because we've all grown up eating it. This achari take on an okra curry was inspired by the lamb version. And, it could not be easier.

We shallow-fry the okra first which will make it less sticky. Then, we make a simple masala. The usual dried spices are joined by three seeds (fenugreek, fennel and nigella) who together, bring in the achari taste.

Once the masala is ready, the fried okra is tossed through. And, we're done. We love our achari bhindi with simple wholemeal roti and a spiced yoghurt. It's vegetarian (even vegan!) Pakistani food at its best.

Okra, previously: okra curry // lamb mince okra curry

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Okra
2. Vegetable Oil
3. Onions
4. Tomatoes
5. Garlic 
6. Ginger
7. Green Chillies
8. Ground Turmeric
9. Red Chilli Powder
10. Ground Cumin
11. Ground Coriander
12. Fenugreek Seeds
13. Fennel Seeds
14. Nigella Seeds
15. Salt
16. Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

We start by preparing our okra. Take 430g (15oz) Okra which is also known as Bhindi. Wash and dry the okra.

Then, we'll slice up the okra.

Cut off the tops.

And, the bottoms.

Before slicing each okra into small pieces.

We like to shallow-fry our okra before adding it to the masala. This ensures that the okra are crisp and not too sticky. So, into a deep saucepan, heat up 135ml Vegetable Oil over a medium heat.

The oil is ready when you add in a piece of okra and it sizzles.

When the oil is ready, add in all the sliced okra.

Fry the okra until it starts to darken and becomes crispy - this should take around 10 minutes or so.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the okra from the pan.

Set the okra aside until needed.

We'll use the remaining hot oil to cook our masala. If the oil is too much, remove a little from the pan.

Peel and thinly slice 2 large Onions.

Add the sliced onions to the hot oil.

Stir-fry and cook the onions until ...

... they are golden and soft.

Next, take:
4 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

Pop them into a blender.

Blend everything up until smooth! I've been loving this blender that we recently bought.

Once the onions are ready, pour in the tomato mixture.

Stir-fry everything together for a few minutes.

Next, let's tackle the seeds that will make up the achar pickle flavour in this curry. First up, fenugreek seeds (methi seeds). You can buy them here!

Next, we'll need fennel seeds. You can get them here!

And finally, my favourite, nigella seeds. These are also known as kalonji seeds which you can get here!

I like to blend the seeds together. You can also roughly bash them together. So, into a blender, place:
1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Nigella Seeds

Blend/bash the seeds up until ...

... you have a rough powder on your hands.

Throw the powder into the pan.

Along with more spices, which are:
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin

Stir-fry everything together for a few minutes.

Add in 1 Green Chilli, sliced.

Along with a Splash of Water.

Stir the water in.

Bring everything to a boil.

Cover the pan and let the masala cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. I got my timer here!

Then, uncover and stir-fry the masala.

Stir-fry until the masala ...

... has dried up and reduced a little. This will give the curry an intensely flavoured masala.

Add in the fried okra.

Along with another Green Chilli, sliced.

Stir together.

And, cover for 5 minutes.

And, our achari bhindi is done!

We love to eat our achari bhindi with homemade wholemeal roti.

And, plain yoghurt which we spice up with red chilli powder, ground cumin and salt.

The best bite, right there! I love this recipe because of how good the flavour is. You can really taste those achar flavours which I think go so well with the okra. It's our new favourite vegetarian curry and I hope you love it as much as we do.

Achari Bhindi (Okra).

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: About 45 minutes.
Serves: About 4 people.


430g (15oz) Okra (Bhindi)
135ml Vegetable Oil
2 large Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 Tomatoes
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Nigella (Kalonji) Seeds
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 Green Chillies, thinly sliced
Water, as needed

Prepare the okra:
Wash and dry the okra. Then, cut the top and bottom off each piece of okra before slicing up into small pieces.

Shallow-fry the okra:
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan over a medium heat. It's ready when a piece of okra thrown in begins to sizzle. When the oil is hot, add in the sliced okra. Fry for a few minutes or until the okra begins to darken slightly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the okra from the pan and set aside until needed.

Cook the masala:
Place the remaining oil over a medium heat. You may remove any excess oil, if you prefer. Add in the sliced onions and fry them until they're golden and soft.

Then, blend together the tomatoes, garlic and ginger until smooth. Add to the fried onions and let everything fry together for a few minutes.

Grind or roughly bash together the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and nigella seeds. Add the spice mix to the pan along with the salt, ground turmeric, red chilli powder, ground coriander and ground cumin. Stir together and let everything fry for a few minutes.

Add in 1 sliced green chilli and a splash of water. Stir and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and turn the heat right down for 10 minutes. Then, uncover and stir-fry the masala until it has dried up a little. This should take about 5 minutes.

Bring the masala and okra together:
Add the fried okra and 1 sliced green chilli. Stir and cover with a lid for 5 minutes.

To serve:
We love this curry with homemade wholemeal roti and spiced yoghurt. We spice our plain yoghurt with red chilli powder, ground cumin and salt.

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:

This Time Three Years Ago:

This Time Four Years Ago:
Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your achari bhindi!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast


  1. Your recipes are truly amazing. I am a husband who enjoys cooking for his wife and kids and I have tried many recipes from your blog. Please keep them coming!

    Best wishes

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad you've been enjoying my recipes! :)

  2. Hello, i have got frozen whole baby okra from Asda because my local store only sells black mouldy okra with flies on it >.> how would i prepare the frozen ones?

    1. I've never used frozen okra so it's best to see what the packet instructions say. If it says defrost first, then defrost before continuing with the recipe. Good luck!

  3. Looking forward to trying your recipes they look delicious mashAllah! At the top of your head do you know which curries are suitable for freezing? There is 2 of us and the quantities are too large plus having stuff on hand in the freezer would be great!

    1. I think most curries freeze great. Just be sure to label them and use within a month or so. And, heat through really well.

  4. I made this last night with fresh okra and the yogurt in the style you described. It was absolutely delicious. I even bought a magic bullet mixer yesterday to make sure I got it right.


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