Achari Bhindi (Okra with Indian Pickling Spices)

Pickles are, perhaps, the most revered condiment in Indian cuisine. An age-old technique which began as a means to preserve excess food, today pickles hold a very important part of our cuisine.

There is a ginormous variety of pickles in Indian cuisine today and every household seems to have a favourite one too. Unlike other regions of the world, the Indian pickles are slightly different in that a large variety of spices are used to maximize the flavour. All kinds of ingredients are used to prepare the pickles – vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat, the list is endless….

Today’s recipe is not that of a traditional pickle but uses the delicious spicy, tangy, chatpata (for lack of a better word!) masala incorporated in the pickle. Using the pickle masala as a base for the dish is such a genius idea as the flavours incorporated in this masala is not just tasty but extremely well-balanced. Saves a whole lot of time; it is as if you are using a pre-packaged masala where you throw all the ingredients into a pan and the dish is done.



You can use any type of pickle masala for Achari Bhindi. I like the spicy, tangy ones so used the masala from mixed vegetable pickle. The idea of using pickle masala can be extended to just about any ingredient including seafood and meats.

So, here’s a recipe for Achari Bhindi – the medley of aromatics and spices and the nuttiness of the mustard oil coats the shallow fried okra beautifully. A winner dish!



Recipe Adapted from maayeka


  1. 500 gms baby okra (also known as bhindi or lady’s finger)
  2. mustard oil – 3 tbsp
  3. 1 ripe red tomato, chopped
  4. 2 green chilli, slit
  5. ½ tsp mustard seeds
  6. ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  7. ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  8. ½ tsp fennel seeds
  9. ¼ tsp nigella seeds (also known as kalonji)
  10. 1 ½ tbsp pickle masala (add less if you require less heat)
  11. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  12. Salt, to season
  13. 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Cut off the top ends, wash and pat dry the okra. Since I used baby okra, I left it whole.
  2. Heat mustard oil in a pan, crackle the mustard seeds and then add fenugreek, cumin, fennel and nigella seeds.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and green chillies.
  4. Add the turmeric powder, okra and season with salt. Mix well.
  5. Cook on low heat and turn only occasionally so that the okra remains dry and not gooey and slimy.
  6. When almost done, add the pickle masala and mix through.
  7. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
  8. Serve hot.




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16 thoughts on “Achari Bhindi (Okra with Indian Pickling Spices)

  1. […] might have read the ‘achari okra’ recipe that I had posted on the blog a while ago. In that dish, I used a spoonful of the pickle […]


  2. Rajni Anand Luthra September 15, 2014 at 1:36 am Reply

    Great one Dhanya! I love achar as a way of oomphing up my cooking. One of my favourite achari tips: try the masala inside your paratha!


    • vanyadhanya September 15, 2014 at 3:47 am Reply

      thanks for writing in Rajni…that seems such an awesome idea. Have to try it out soon


  3. afracooking August 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm Reply

    I’ve never ever cooked okra. You can probably count the amount of times I have eaten it on one hand. But this recipe really has got me curious.


    • vanyadhanya August 25, 2014 at 1:45 am Reply

      Okra is my favourite vegetable..I can eat it every day of my life!


  4. pearl jolly/pretty mayhem August 20, 2014 at 6:13 am Reply

    I’ve never Bhindi but your gorgeous pictures really made me want to try it. It sounds delicious too!


  5. Cooking Diary by Shruti August 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm Reply

    I love bhindi. And love your presentation. Its soo welcome. Will be trying this one soon


    • vanyadhanya August 18, 2014 at 11:38 pm Reply

      lovely to hear that and thanks for the compliment, SJ.


  6. lapetitepaniere August 18, 2014 at 11:08 am Reply

    It looks really good Dhanya, I can imagine all the flavors 🙂


  7. simplyvegetarian777 August 18, 2014 at 10:45 am Reply

    Love it Dhanya!


  8. Hasna August 18, 2014 at 9:08 am Reply

    came here through KFG… lovely clicks Dhanya .. & bhindi looks awesome..I dd never had the courage to cook any north indian bhindi dishes but always wanted to… shall try soon.. 🙂


    • vanyadhanya August 18, 2014 at 9:14 am Reply

      Hasna, it is really easy da and you learn though trial and error only. do try it out and let me know if you liked it.


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