Stuffed okra, also known as bharwa bhindi in Hindi language is a popular Indian side dish served with Indian meals. This is a dry stuffed bhindi fry recipe made without coconut and without onion garlic.
This vegan and gluten free stuffed okra is made in the air fryer in just a matter or minutes. It uses common spices found in an Indian kitchen.
Stuffed okra seasoning
This Indian style stuffed okra recipe needs only a few basic spices easily available in the Indian pantry apart from fresh okra pods. The frozen ones will not work well as they will be difficult to handle due to the sliminess.
How to prepare okra for bharwa bhindi?
Making stuffed bhindi may sound tedious but ideally, it is very easy to make in the air fryer.
The first step is to prepare the okra. Rise and pat dry the okra thoroughly and then cut off both the ends. Now slit the okra across its length but ensure that it is not deep enough to split the okra apart.
Cut the ends of okra and slit it vertically.
Okra pod ready for stuffing.
The next step is to make the filling to stuff inside the okra. In a small bowl, mix all the spice powders and add a little oil to make it easy to stuff, and cook the spices well in the air fryer.
One by one, take each okra and fill the spice mixture evenly into the slits with your fingers. It is important that you use the spice mix for the entire batch of okra as the salt is added accordingly.
If you end up putting a lot of spice mix and have to prepare it again then the amount of salt will increase in the dish. So just be careful around this.
Mix all the spices and oil.
Stuff the okra with the spice mix.
How to make stuffed bhindi?
Once the filling has been stuffed in the bhindi, it is really easy to make the dry stuffed okra in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 360°F and then place the stuffed okra inside the air fryer basket in a single layer.
Spray oil using an oil sprayer to ensure that the okra is well coated with oil. If you do not use enough oil the okra will end up being dry.
Cook the bharwa bhindi in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 360°F. After 10 minutes, check one of the okra pieces, to ensure it is well cooked, but cut it with a spoon or fork. You can also taste it and see if the spices are well cooked. If not then you can air fry the stuffed okra for another 1-2 minutes.
Air fry stuffed okra at 360°F.
Stuffed okra is ready.
There are a few variations you can do to adapt this stuffed okra recipe to your taste.
- Spicy - increase the amount of red chili powder and garam masala powder if you want to make it more spicy.
- Flavor - this recipe does not use any garlic or onion, however, if you like you can add some garlic powder or onion powder for flavor.
I have made this stuffed okra recipe in the Instant Vortex plus air fryer. However, this will work for any air fryer brand. The cooking time may vary based on the brand and capacity of the air fryer.
It is best to serve the stuffed okra hot, however, if you have any leftovers, allow it to cool down completely and then you can store it in an air tight container in the fridge.
It will stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days. when you are ready to eat, simply reheat the okra in the microwave before serving it.
Ensure that you stuff all the okras with the spice mix you make. If you end up making an additional spice mix, the salt quantity will increase in the recipe and will end up making the dish very salty. So evenly apply the spice mix to the entire batch of okra.
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Stuffed Okra (Bharwa Bhindi) - Air Fryer
- ½ lb Okra (fresh)
- 1 tablespoon Oil (sprayer)
- Rinse and pat dry the okra.
- Cut the ends of okra.
- Make a vertical slit but do not cut it in half.
Preparing the spice mix
- Mix all the dry spices from the "spice mix" list.
- Add oil and mix well with a spoon, the mixture should look moist.
- Take a little mixture between your fingers and stuff it inside the slit okra.
- Continue for all the okra.
Air fry stuffed okra - 10 mins 360°F
- Preheat air fryer to 360 °F
- Place the okra in the preheated air fryer and spray oil using an oil sprayer.
- Cook for about 10 minutes at 360°F.
- Check for doneness by cutting the okra with a spoon or fork.
- Transfer the okra to a serving dish.