Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala)

We are international food fiends! We love curries from all countries and I especially have a warm and spicy place in my heart for Indian fare.

The first time I ever tried okra was at an Indian restaurant.  I loved it instantly.  I have yet to tried pickled okra or deep-fried okra, but baby, one day … one day.

The dish we tried in the Indian restaurant was called Bhindi Masala.  Using my “extensive” knowledge in making Chana Masala (Chickpea Masala) I figured I could do the same, or similar, with okra.  I was pretty much correct, though a few adjustments each time I tried this recipe just kept making it better and better.

I have a difficult time finding fresh okra in Saskatoon during the winter – well year-round to be honest.  Luckily for me, the Asian market I have become obsessed with of late carries fresh okra in 1-lb bags, ready for me to masala-ize into tasty oblivion.

I have a couple types of masala seasoning that I buy from the Indian spice aisle and market.  Haters gonna hate.  The reason I buy these seasoning mixes?  Because I dare you to try to find dried mango or pomegranate seeds pulverized into a mixture of other more common spices in this city of Saskatoon, affectionately named the “Perogy Belt” of Canada.

Also, it’s easy.  One of these days I’ll grind my own artisan masalas and seasoning blends but for right now, just let me off easy, okay?

Just noticed something hilarious on the back of my store-bought seasoning mix.  It reads “(NOT CURRY POWDER)”, for all of you who think all Indian food is curry … think again.  LOL.

Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala)

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs okra, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 – 3 fresh tomatoes, diced or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 0nion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp Chana Masala seasoning powder


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add okra, onions, garlic, ginger and jalepeno.  Saute for 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, seasoning, and salt.  Stir to combine.  If using fresh tomatoes, you may need to add just a bit of water to make the consistency more saucy.  If using canned diced tomatoes you shouldn’t need additional water.  Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until sauce begins to reduce and thicken slightly.  Remove from heat and stir in fresh cilantro.

Oh and did I mention, this is completely vegan?  Yes, I know I’ve neglected my vegan recipes of late.  Still love me?


  1. Rhianna says

    Which Asian market carries okra? Do they still carry it regularly? I haven’t even been able to find it frozen in Saskatoon. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Rhianna, You can find okra sometimes at the Eastern Market in Riversdale. It’s kind of tucked in behind a parking lot that faces Idylwyld. I’ve found fresh and frozen okra there but it’s hit and miss. I’ve also seen okra at Superstore more regularly too. You could also try the Indian/Pakistani markets like Swadesh (on 8th St and 22nd St) or Pardessi Bazaar (on 51st). I hope that helps. I know Superstore usually has frozen sliced okra in the big open freezers with the other international frozen foods (in the same freezer section as the dumplings, cassava, paneer, etc.) which is kind of near the dairy section in the 8th St Superstore.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Claire says

    This was delicious! I added a large can of chickpeas for some added protein, which worked well.

    Thanks for another wonderful recipe — I am a recent vegan with celiac, and your blog has been a lifesaver! I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried.

    • says

      Thanks so much Claire! Usually when I make Indian food I do a chickpea dish of some kind too. I love the idea of adding chickpeas right in with the okra for a one-pot meal!

  3. staci says

    Ok Megan, I am in the lower 48 and have no problem finding all but one of your ingredients. What is chana masala seasoning powder?

    • says

      Hi Staci,

      Any Indian or Middle Eastern market should carry some form of seasoning mix to make up ‘chana masala’, which is an Indian dish. This is the exact one I found in my local store:

      A lot of supermarkets should carry this if there’s an international aisle that’s well stocked.

      Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

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