Achari Bhindi

Okra cooked with yogurt, tomatoes and pickling spices! This Achari bhindi is tangy, spicy and so good with flatbreads like roti and paratha.
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This Achari Bhindi has okra cooked with tomato, yogurt and picking spices like mustard, fennel. The dish is tangy, spicy and and if you are looking for a different way to cook okra, then you need to give this a try!

bhindi served in a copper kadai

Bhindi aka okra is one of my favorite vegetables. I think this holds true for most Indians, everyone seems to love bhindi! Sarvesh is a big fan, give him bhindi and dal and he would be happy every day.

I have shared several Indian okra recipes on the blog in the last few years from bhindi masala to bagara bhindi and kurkuri bhindi (my favorite)! This achari bhindi is another favorite of mine. You guys know I love all things “achari”, those pickling spices are my favorite and I am always looking for an excuse to use them.

So, this time around I made Achari bhindi and I had to share the recipe with you guys since you guys seem to love bhindi just as much we do! πŸ™‚

About This Recipe

Achari comes from the word “achar” which in India refers to pickle. Do not confuse this with the pickle in US. Indian achar/pickle is different. It’s tangy, spicy and made with lots of spices and oil and is the perfect accompaniment to Indian meals. This recipe uses some of those common pickling spices that goes into achar like mustard seeds, fennel seeds.

Anything “achari” has to be tangy and the tang in this recipe comes from yogurt and tomatoes. Some recipes also call for adding amchur (dried mango powder) to add to the achari flavor but I thought the tomato and yogurt was enough for the tang and so I didn’t use it. The okra is cooked with panch phoron spices (mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds), onion, curry leaves and some spices. The recipe is tangy, nicely spiced and goes really well with flatbreads like rotis and parathas.

Ingredients for Achari Bhindi

This recipe calls for some basic Indian pantry staples like onion, ginger-garlic paste and the following ingredients.

Okra: fresh okra aka bhindi is what works best here. Look for okra which are not too soft when you press them and not too firm either. Frozen okra should also work for this recipe, though I haven’t tried this recipe with frozen ones.

Yogurt & Tomatoes: the tanginess which is quintessential to “achari” flavors comes through tomatoes and yogurt. I like using store bought tomato puree and plain yogurt.

Panch phoron: the five spice mix consisting of cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds gives this dish that unique flavor. If you don’t have this spice mix, you can make one my mixing equal amount of each ingredient. If you don’t have all these spices, just use cumin and fennel for sure.

Spices: There are some ground spices like coriander, turmeric to add flavor to the dish. And there’s some jaggery to balance all that tang.

Step by Step Instructions

Before starting with the recipe, wash and pat dry each okra with a paper towel.

1- Add 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped bhindi to the pan. I like to slice each okra in two lengthwise and then cut each slice in 3 more parts. Give a good stir.

2- Let the okra cook for 12 to 13 minutes on medium-low heat until it’s completely cooked, stir often. Then remove the okra from the pan into a plate.

3- Now, to the same pan, add 1 tablespoon mustard oil. Let it heat really well. When using mustard oil, it is important to heat it until it’s smoky then remove from the pan from heat (since oil is really hot, we want to make sure to not burn the spices), and add the panch phoron. Put the pan back on medium heat and let the seeds crackle and mustard seeds pop. Add hing and stir.

4- Add the quartered onions, curry leaves and sliced green chili. Give it a stir.

step by step picture collage of making achari bhindi

5- Cook the onions for 2 to 3 minutes until very lightly browned. Then add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.

6- Add the store bought tomato puree along with 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Give a stir and cook for 1 minute.

7- Lower the heat, add the yogurt while whisking continuously until all of it is combined.

8- Increase heat to medium again and add salt, coriander powder, turmeric powder. You may also add 1/2 teaspoon amchur at this point if the yogurt isn’t tangy enough. I did not add it.

step by step picture collage of making achari bhindi

9- Also add the jaggery, stir and cook 30 seconds.

10- Add 1/4 cup water and stir.

11- Add in cooked okra. Stir until everything is combined.

12- Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and remove pan from heat.

step by step picture collage of making achari bhindi

Serve achari bhindi with roti or paratha!

bhindi served in a copper kadai with rotis and a bowl of boondi raita placed in the background

Serving Suggestions

Serve achari bhindi with roti or with rice and dal.

We also love with paratha and spinach puri!

Tips & Notes

  • For additional “achari” flavor, you can add a teaspoon of achar masala from your favorite mango or lime achar. It will add more to flavors.
  • Mustard oil adds to flavor but if don’t have it, you can just use other oils like vegetable. canola etc.
  • I didn’t add amchur here since the dish had enough tang from the yogurt and tomato puree. But it you want, you can add 1/2 teaspoon amchur as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this vegan?

Try with vegan yogurt like plain almond milk yogurt and it should be fine.

What does achari mean?

Achar means pickle and the recipe is called achari because the sauce has pickling ingredients added to it.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

No, since I have used hing which isn’t gluten-free. You can either skip it or use gluten-free hing to make it gluten-free.

Can I still make this recipe if I don’t have panch phoron?

Sure, make sure to at least use mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds.

Achari Bhindi

bhindi served in a copper kadai
Manali
Okra cooked with yogurt, tomatoes and pickling spices! This Achari bhindi is tangy, spicy and so good with flatbreads like roti and paratha.
5 from 3 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 163 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoons oil 22 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 1 lb okra bhindi, approx. 450-500 grams
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoron
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing asafoetida
  • 1 medium onion quartered and petals separated
  • 1 green chili sliced
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1/3 cup tomato puree store bought
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt whisked
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur dried mango powder, optional- use only if yogurt isn't tangy enough
  • 2 teaspoons jaggery
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water
  • cilantro to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Before starting with the recipe, wash and pat dry each okra with a paper towel.
    Add 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped bhindi to the pan. I like to slice each okra in two lengthwise and then cut each slice in 3 more parts. Give a good stir.
    Let the okra cook for 12 to 13 minutes on medium-low heat until it's completely cooked, stir often. Then remove the okra from the pan into a plate.
  • Now, to the same pan, add 1 tablespoon mustard oil. Let it heat really well. When using mustard oil, it is important to heat it until it's smoky then remove from the pan from heat (since oil is really hot, we want to make sure to not burn the spices), and add the panch phoron. Put the pan back on medium heat and let the seeds crackle and mustard seeds pop. Add hing and stir.
  • Add the quartered onions, curry leaves and sliced green chili. Give it a stir. Cook the onions for 2 to 3 minutes until very lightly browned. Then add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minute.
  • Add the store bought tomato puree along with 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Give a stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Lower the heat, add the yogurt while whisking continuously until all of it is combined.
  • Increase heat to medium again and add salt, coriander powder, turmeric powder. You may also add 1/2 teaspoon amchur at this point if the yogurt isn't tangy enough. I did not add it.
    Also add the jaggery, stir and cook 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup water and stir.
  • Add in cooked okra. Stir until everything is combined. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and remove pan from heat. Serve achari bhindi with roti.

Notes

  • For additional “achari” flavor, you can add a teaspoon of achar masala from your favorite mango or lime achar. It will add more to flavors.
  • Mustard oil adds to flavor but if don’t have it, you can just use other oils like vegetable. canola etc.
  • I didn’t add amchur here since the dish had enough tang from the yogurt and tomato puree. But it you want, you can add 1/2 teaspoon amchur as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 501mgPotassium: 515mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1079IUVitamin C: 82mgCalcium: 140mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

4 thoughts on “Achari Bhindi

  1. 5 stars
    Made this over the weekend and it was delicious! Had never heard of panch phoran before – it made all the difference! Thanks so much for the super recipe and introducing me to a new spice mix.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely positively definitively 5 stars. Came out perfect. Thanks Manali. This bhindi recipe is lip smacking good.

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