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Sindhi style crispy bhindi | Crispy okra in air fryer

A plate filled with Sindhi style crispy bhindi. On the bottom of the plate are 3 lemon wedges, and on top of that is a small bowl containing chaat masala. Right below the plate is a biege colored napkin, and a coriander sprig.

Today I am sharing a Sindhi style vegan recipe using okra / bhindi. In the Indian sub-continent, okra (or ladyfingers) is called bhindi and is made in a variety of preparations – on its own, with other vegetables and with meat as well. The first time I had this crispy bhindi was at my in-laws house, and that too for breakfast. The idea of having bhindi for breakfast was completely foreign to me, but after trying it once, I fell in love. I got the recipe from my mother in law, and since then I have been making it for breakfast, and lunch, and dinner. This particular recipe is a dry style bhindi recipe that is traditionally shallow fried. However, I am sharing a healthier version of the same recipe using an air fryer.

In case, you don’t have an air fryer, I have also included the traditional stove top instructions as well.

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A pile of bhindi (okra) on a chopping board.

How to make crispy bhindi / crispy okra in the air fryer?

  1. Start off with prepping the bhindi / okra: Start off with washing the bhindi / okra, and then drying it completely. Never wash bhindi / okra after cutting it, as it can turn into a slimy mess. Cut the bhindi / okra on the thicker side – this is because the bhindi / okra will shrink in the air fryer.
  2. Toss the bhindi / okra with the spices: Place the sliced bhindi / okra in a large bowl, and then add the spices as well as oil. Red chili flakes and red chili powder is added for spice. Pomegranate seeds (known as anardana) as well as crushed coriander seeds are added for their tart flavor. In case pomegranate seeds are not available, pomegranate powder can be used instead. Mix all the spices well.
  3. Air fry the bhindi / okra till crispy: Place the spiced and sliced bhindi / okra in a pre-heated air fryer. Air fry for about 45 minutes at 120 C till the bhindi / okra is crispy and brown from the outside. Make sure to check the air fryer every 10 – 15 minutes and toss the bhindi / okra around to ensure they are evenly cooked. Don’t overload the air fryer otherwise the bhindi / okra won’t cook evenly. If you have a small air fryer, fry the bhindi / okra in batches. In case the bhindi / okra isn’t crisping properly increase the temperature by 10 – 20 C.
  4. Serve the bhindi / okra: Once the bhindi / okra is ready, add chaat masala along with lemon juice. Taste, and add salt if needed. The spices and salt can fall through the air fryer basket to the bottom, so it’s always important to do a final seasoning test.
A small plate containing different spices - crushed coriander seeds, pomegranate seeds powder, red chili flakes, red chili powder, chaat masala and salt. On top of the plate is a baking tray containing sliced bhindi or okra.

How to make Sindhi style crispy bhindi on the stovetop?

In case you don’t have an air fryer, it is possible to make crispy bhindi on the stovetop. That’s actually the way I used to make it before till I got the air fryer. To make it on the stovetop, slice the bhindi / okra as you normally would – not too thick, and not too thin.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frying pan, or shallow karahi / wok. Add the bhindi / okra and let it cook on medium heat for a few minutes. Turn heat to low, and partially cover the bhindi / okra with a lid for a few minutes. Once the bhindi / okra is soft enough, take off the lid and turn heat to medium. Add the spices along with a little more oil, and fry the bhindi / okra till it is crispy. Reduce the spices by about 20% when making it on the stove versus the air fryer. This is because on the stove, the spices don’t fall through the basket.   

When making crispy bhindi on the stove, regulating the temperature is super important. The bhindi / okra must be cooked through, but also crispy at the same time. Also, if you don’t have a large enough pan shallow fry the bhindi / okra in batches.

How to reheat crispy bhindi?

The bhindi / okra can easily be reheated in the air fryer. Just air fry the bhindi / okra for a few minutes in a pre-heated air fryer at 160 C.

How to serve crispy okra?

This crispy and crunchy bhindi / okra can be served with paratha / naan or with rice. My husband is Sindhi, and in his family this crispy bhindi sabzi is usually eaten for breakfast with paratha. It is on the dry side so adding a complementary side is best. If serving with paratha / naan, serve the bhindi with plain yoghurt or a raita. Crispy bhindi also tastes delicious with daal chawal (lentil curry and rice). It can also be munched on its own as a snack. In fact, the last time I made this bhindi, my husband ended up eating half of the bhindi just like chips.

A front shot of a plate of Sindhi style crispy bhindi / okra. On the left side of the plate are 3 lemon wedges and a small bowl containing chaat masala. On the left side of the late is a coriander sprig, and a beige coloured napkin.

Some other Indian and Pakistani vegan / vegetarian recipes that you can try are:

  1. Paneer Tikka Sandwich
  2. Lobia ka Salan (Black eyed peas curry)
  3. Aloo ki Tarkari (Spicy and tart potato curry)
  4. Zeera aloo ki sabzi (Potato curry with cumin seeds)
  5. Moong Masoor ki Daal (Lentil Curry)

Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below! 

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Sindhi style crispy bhindi | Crispy okra in air fryer

Sindhi style crispy bhindi / okra made in the air fryer. This is a vegan dry style bhindi / okra sabzi that can be served with naan / paratha or daal chawal. This is a healthier version of the traditionally shallow fried bhindi sabzi by using an air fryer. Gluten free, and vegan.
Course Breakfast, Dinner
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani, Sindhi
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 3 people
Calories 150 kcal

Ingredients

  • 500 g bhindi / okra
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds crushed
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds anardana can be substituted with pomegranate seeds powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Wash the bhindi / okra, and then drying it completely. Place it in a colander, and then use a kitchen towel to dry the bhindi / okra. Never wash bhindi / okra after cutting it, as it can turn into a slimy mess. Cut the bhindi / okra on the thicker side – this is because the bhindi / okra will shrink in the air fryer.
  2. Place the sliced bhindi / okra in a large bowl, and then add crushed coriander seeds, pomegranate seeds, red chili flakes, red chili powder and salt. Also add the oil and mix well.
  3. Pre-heat an air fryer at 120 C. Place the spiced and sliced bhindi / okra in the pre-heated air fryer. Air fry for about 45 minutes at 120 C till the bhindi / okra is crispy and brown from the outside. Toss the air fryer basket every 10 – 15 minutes to ensure the bhindi / okra is evenly cooked. Don’t overflow the air fryer basket, else the bhindi / okra won’t cook evenly. Fry the bhindi / okra in batches if the basket is small.
  4. Once the bhindi / okra is crispy and brown from outside, place it in a serving dish. Add chaat masala, along with lemon juice. Toss it through, and taste. If necessary, add extra salt and spice. Serve right away with naan / paratha or daal chawal.
  5. The crispy bhindi / okra can be re-heated in the air fryer.

Recipe Notes

Stovetop Instructions:

  1. To make crispy bhindi on the stovetop, slice the bhindi / okra as you normally would – not too thick, and not too thin.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a frying pan, or shallow karahi / wok. Add the bhindi / okra and let it cook on medium heat for a few minutes. Turn heat to low, and partially cover the bhindi / okra with a lid for a few minutes. Once the bhindi / okra is soft enough, take off the lid and turn heat to medium.
  3. Add the spices along with another 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the bhindi / okra till it is crispy. Reduce the spices by about 20% when making it on the stove versus the air fryer. This is because on the stove, the spices don’t fall through the basket.
  4. When making crispy bhindi on the stove, regulating the temperature is super important. The bhindi / okra must be cooked through, but also crispy at the same time. Also, if you don’t have a large enough pan shallow fry the bhindi / okra in batches.
A front shot of a plate of Sindhi style crispy bhindi / okra. On the left side of the plate are 3 lemon wedges and a small bowl containing chaat masala. On the left side of the late is a coriander sprig, and a beige coloured napkin.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    fatimajaved
    March 24, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    this blog depicted Sindhi crispy okra in the air fryer is written very beautifully.

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