Bharwa Bhindi (Stuffed Okra) is a popular Indian side dish where the okra is stuffed with spicy & tangy masala filling. This vegan & gluten free dish is a perfect side with Indian roti or paratha, or even great to enjoy as an appetizer.

Bharwan Bhindi (Stuffed Okra) served in a plate with lemon wedges and the stuffed spices on the side.

Bharwan means stuffed and Bhindi means Okra. In this dish, okra is slit on one side and stuffed with spices, then fried to make a wonderful side dish. This is an easy recipe with very less ingredients and prep work. We will make it in the air fryer and on the stovetop.

Bhindi or Okra has been my favorite vegetable growing up. You might have guessed that by the Indian okra dishes I have shared till now –Bhindi do pyaza, Kurkuri Bhindi (Crispy Fried Okra), Baked Bhindi and Bhindi Masala.

How to make Bharwa Bhindi?

Let’s go through step-by-step how to prepare and cook Bharwan Bhindi.

Washing, Drying & Cutting Okra

We want to start with washing the bhindi with water, then let it air dry. You can spread the bhindi on a kitchen towel to let it air dry. Or if you are in a hurry, wipe the bhindi with a paper towel to dry them completely. We want the bhindi to be completely dry, as otherwise it can become soggy and gooey with cutting and cooking.

You can even wash and let the bhindi air dry overnight, if you plan ahead. I usually always forget and end up using a paper towel to dry the bhindi.

Then cut the tops, and slit the bhindi lengthwise. We still want the bhindi to be joined at one end (see picture below).

Spice Mix (Masala) for Stuffed Bhindi

Similar to my stuffed eggplant recipe and stuffed bittermelon, this Stuffed Bhindi is all about the stuffing. There are many ways to make the masala to be stuffed in bhindi. It mostly varies by region and people’s preferences – some like to add besan (chickpea flour), some like to add desiccated coconut, while some add ground peanut.

I will be sharing the Punjabi style to make Bharwan Bhindi, where we just stuff spices. It might seem like there are lots of spices added in this recipe, however as that is the only ingredient giving all the flavor to the okra, we are liberal with the amount of spices.

Variety of spices in a white plate to be mixed and stuffed in the okra to make stuffed okra
  • Starting with coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric and finally amchur for the tanginess. Mix these all in a bowl. Add some oil to make the spices stick to the okra when stuffed.
  • Take one bhindi at a time and stuff it with the spice mix.
Steps to make Bharwa Bhindi
  • Repeat with all the slit bhindi. Be generous when filling the bhindi, it is okay with some masala falls out.
Okra stuffed with spices in a white bowl

Cooking Bharwan Bhindi in a Pan on Stovetop

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Use a pan large enough to fit the bhindi in a single layer.
  • Place the stuffed bhindi in the pan. Let it heat for couple of minutes, then lower the heat. Cover the pan. Then open and flip the bhindi every 2-3 minutes until it is cooked.
how to make stuffed bhindi in a pan

Cooking Bharwan Bhindi in the Air Fryer

  • To cook Bharwan Bhindi in the air fryer, place the okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket (or grill pan).
  • Cook at 360F for 12 mins. Remove the basket at about 8 minutes to flip the okra.
How to make Bharwa Bhindi in air fryer

Bharwa bhindi is ready to be served. We enjoy it with a generous squeeze of lime juice on top. We like serve this Bharwa Bhindi with a lentil soup, and roti or paratha.

Bharwa Bhindi (Stuffed Okra) served in a plate with lemon wedges and the stuffed spices on the side.

Check out my post for 25+ Air Fryer Indian Recipes.

Pro-tips to make Perfect Bharwa Bhindi

  • Make sure the okra is completely dry before using, else it can get slimy.
  • Use a large pan for making stuffed bhindi, so you can arrange the bhindi in a single layer.
  • Use medium-low heat while making stuffed bhindi, so that it cooks evenly on all sides.

You will love this Bharwa Bhindi because:

✓ it is easy to make and uses minimal ingredients

✓ it is both spicy and tangy at the same time

✓ it is a paleo, vegan and gluten-free recipe

✓ it is perfect side dish for roti or paratha

Give this easy & delicious Bharwa Bhindi a try, and don’t forget to share how you enjoyed it!

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4.67 from 9 votes

Bharwa Bhindi Recipe (Stuffed Okra)

Bharwa Bhindi, which means Stuffed Okra is a popular Indian side dish where the okra is stuffed with spicy & tangy masala filling. This vegan & gluten free dish is a perfect side with Indian roti or paratha, or even great to enjoy as an appetizer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3

Ingredients 

  • 10.5 ounces Okra (Bhindi)
  • 2 tablespoon Oil , for frying
  • 1/2 Lime

Spice Stuffing

Instructions 

  • Wash the bhindi with water and let it air dry. You can spread the bhindi on a kitchen towel to let it air dry. If you are in a hurry, wipe the bhindi with a paper towel to dry them completely. 
  • Cut the tops, and slit each bhindi lengthwise. We still want the bhindi to be joined at one end. 
  • In a bowl, mix all the stuffing spices.
  • Take one bhindi at a time and stuff it with the spice mix. Repeat with all the slit bhindi. Be generous when filling the bhindi, it is okay with some masala falls out.

Fry in a pan on stovetop

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Use a pan large enough to fit the bhindi in a single layer. 
  • Place the stuffed bhindi in the pan. Let it heat for couple of minutes, then lower the heat. Cover the pan. Then open and flip the bhindi every 2-3 minutes until they are cooked. This will take about 12-15 minutes. 

Cook in air fryer

  • Place the stuffed okra in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at 360F for 12 mins. Remove the basket at about 8 minutes to flip the okra.

Finishing

  • Bharwa bhindi is ready to be served. We enjoy it with a generous squeeze of lime juice on top. Serve with hot roti or paratha, or just enjoy it as an appetizer.

Notes

  • Make sure the okra is completely dry before using, else it can get slimy.
  • Use a large pan for making stuffed bhindi, so you can arrange the bhindi in a single layer.
  • Use medium-low heat while making stuffed bhindi, so that it cooks evenly on all sides.

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 801mgPotassium: 391mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1065IUVitamin C: 32.8mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 2.3mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Low Carb, Paleo, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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