Okra is used to make curries, stir fry, or added to soups and stews. Frozen cut okra comes in very handy while cooking as it saves a lot of time. Okra or ladies finger is known as bhindi in the Hindi language.
Okra releases something called mucilage which makes it slimy/sticky and hence difficult to handle during cooking. However, an air fryer makes cooking frozen okra easy and mess-free.
It is vegan, gluten-free, and turns out delicious and well roasted in the air fryer sans the sliminess. This recipe makes non-breaded frozen okra in the air fryer with Indian spices, but one can use spices of their choice.
Indian okra fry ingredients
Indian okra fry is easy to make in the air fryer with very few Indian spices. I like to buy and freeze okra in bulk but you can use store-bought frozen okra as well for this recipe.
Basic spices like turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, salt, and oil are used to make this bhindi masala or Indian-style okra. However, to cook frozen okra in the air fryer, you can use spices of your choice.
Some oil is required while cooking cut frozen okra in the air fryer else it can turn out dry and chewy. So be sure to coat the oil and spices thoroughly.
To add some crunch and flavor, a few onion slices are added mid-way while air frying. However, it is optional and you can easily skip it.
Can you cook frozen okra in an air fryer?
Yes! Just like other veggies and frozen foods, non-breaded frozen okra can be easily roasted in the air fryer. You can use store-bought frozen cut okra or freeze them yourself. Personally, I buy a few pounds of okra when they are available fresh in the grocery stores.
To prep them for freezing, I rinse the okra thoroughly with water and wipe them dry with kitchen towels. Once they are cleaned and dried, with the help of a knife, I cut off and discard the heads and tails.
After that, I cut them about a centimeter in size and store them in freezer-safe containers. They are very handy to use whenever I need a small amount or in bulk.
Should frozen okra be thawed before cooking?
There is no need to thaw frozen okra before cooking it. You can cook it directly in the air fryer after mixing it with the spices of your choice.
I have made fresh and frozen cut okra in the air fryer and they turn out equally good.
How do you cook okra in the air fryer?
To cook Indian style frozen okra in the air fryer, first mix the oil, salt, and all the spices with frozen okra in a mixing bowl. Ensure that all the okra is well coated with oil, an oil spray can be helpful. If it is not well coated, it may end up being dry and chewy.
Now depending on your air fryer preheat it on 360 °F. Add the frozen okra to the air fryer basket and cook it for 16 minutes. At about 8 minutes or if the air fryer says to turn the food, open the basket and add some sliced onions if you prefer.
Shake the basket after adding the onion slices and close it. Air fry the okra for another 8 minutes. Once the timer is done, check the okra if it is done. Also, you can adjust the salt at this point if needed.
Once the okra is cooked, it should not be slimy and should cut through easily. If you like it more crispy you can add additional few minutes of air frying time.
How long do I cook okra in an air fryer?
Depending on whether you are using frozen okra or fresh okra, the time to cook them in the air fryer can vary. For frozen okra, it takes about 16 minutes at 360 °F while fresh okra can get cooked in about 12 minutes.
Timing will also depend on the quantity of okra being cooked and you may have to adjust it by a minute or two. I have cooked this frozen okra in Instant vortex plus air fryer. Depending on your air fryer size, it may vary a little bit.
What to eat with okra?
Okra fry or bhindi masala is best served with Indian bread like roti, puri, or paratha. It is also served along with dal and rice. Okra is served also as part of Indian thali or platter with other curries.
Cooking okra in air fryer is really very easy and you can use spices of your choice, or just salt and pepper. It can be served as a side dish with any meal.
How to store cooked okra?
Once you have cooked the okra, it is best to serve it hot. However, if you have any leftovers, you can store it in the fridge for 3-4 days. Allow the okra to cool down completely and then store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
You can reheat the okra in the microwave before serving. If you reheat it in the air fryer, it can become dry.
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Air Fryer Frozen Okra
- Preheat air fryer to 360 °F
- In a mixing bowl, mix the frozen okra with oil and spices.
- Place the okra in the preheated air fryer and cook for 16 minutes.
- Open the basket after 8 minutes, add the onions and shake the basket.
- Continue air frying for another 8 minutes.
- Transfer the okra to a serving dish.
- Fresh okra will take 3-4 minutes less to cook.