Bhindi do pyaza or stir-fried okra with onions combines okra with twice the amount of onions and a few spices to create a delectable dish that is a hot favorite with Indian food lovers. This caramelized onion and okra recipe takes all of 20 minutes to cook and goes well with rotis, rice, and dal.
Bhindi do pyaza is an okra lovers delight. While every Indian household will have their own way of making this dish, one thing is for sure – if you are making bhindi do pyaza, then your onion to okra ratio is 2:1. Hence the name “do pyaza” which means twice (do) the quantity of onions (pyaz).
Are lady’s fingers and okra the same thing?
I still remember the first grocery trip that I took in the US – I walked into this huge grocery store on the lookout for vegetables that I could use to cook some Indian food. As I scanned through the produce section, I got overwhelmed by the huge variety they had on display – I didn’t know which one to pick until my eyes spotted a vegetable that I loved – bhindi. But it was called okra and not lady’s fingers (English word for bhindi in Asia).
Nevertheless, I bought it and took it home wondering how this “okra do pyaza” is going to turn out. And thank god for google, I found out that okra and lady’s finger are just two names for the same plant.
Fun fact – Do you know why bhindi is called lady’s fingers in India? That’s because it supposedly resembles a lady’s finger – long, slim with a tapering end :-). Ha!
How do you cut okra?
There are two ways I usually cut them – lengthwise into long strips as shown in the picture below or into rounds. Irrespective of how you cut them, you always start with cutting the stem off.
How to keep okra from getting slimy?
Always pat dry the okra after rinsing them. Air dry overnight if possible. Also, do not add water while cooking.
Can I use frozen cut okra?
First step – Always pick okras that are bright green, crisp and do not have blemishes. Okras taste best when they are fresh, and if you don’t have plans to make okras within 2-3 days, I would advise you to freeze them.
Here’s how I do it – Rinse the okras and dry them with a clean towel. Chop them and freeze in a Ziploc.
Note – Do not thaw the okra before cooking, use it directly.
How to make restaurant-style bhindi do pyaza?
Stir-fried Okra and onions (Bhindi do pyaza)
- 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds, ajwain
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, jeera
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 5 cups chopped onions
- salt as needed
- 1 lb okra/lady's fingers/bhindi, cut lengthwise
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- cilantro leaves for garnishing.
- Add oil to a large wok kept over medium heat, and once it heats up, add cumin and carom seeds. When they start to sizzle, add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder. Stir them in the oil and let them cook for 5-10 seconds. Add onions along with salt and mix well.
- Add okra and mix well.
- Continue to cook without covering for about 15-20 minutes (see note). Stir occasionally to ensure consistent cooking. Once the okra has cooked to the desired level of doneness, add lime juice and sugar. Mix well and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
- Serve it hot accompanied by rice/roti and dal.
- Always pat dry the okra after rinsing them. Air dry overnight if possible. This keeps the okra from getting slimy while cooking.
- You don't have to wait for the onions to soften before adding okra. They cook and soften together.
- Do not cover the wok while cooking okra - the water from the lid will drop on to the okra making it slimy.
- We like our okra or bhindi sabzi really soft, you could reduce the cooking time accordingly to get the desired level of crispiness in your final dish.
Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist for accurate information.
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