Stuffed Bhindi

Yesterday I did what no fat mommy should do. I looked through my wedding albums (after 7 years). So much younger, half the width, half the circumference… Everybody else seemed to have aged too, which was comforting. There were some who had since lost weight. That irked us a bit and in a fit of childish competitiveness, Jagan and I decided we had to exercise twice a day and eat once a day.


I decided also,
  • To not buy jeans till I lose weight. That I can’t find one that fits, and if I do and if I wear it, my behind looks like a huge parentheses is immaterial. 
  • To not wear said parantheses jeans in the name of social good.
  • To not buy new clothes as they may be too large once I’ve lost weight.
  • To not attend parties & weddings until I lose weight.
  • To stay out of selfies, to avoid having to shoot 100s of photos, to avoid turning sideways or hide behind someone or hold my breath or photoshop the hell out of it.
  • To camouflage my fitness tracker. I wear a Garmin vivofit fitness tracker all the time. I like to believe I am fitness conscious. I am conscious that I am not doing anything about my fitness every time I look at my fitness band. Wearing it though has given me great grief. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE asks me what I am wearing and once I’ve explaied – how much I’ve walked and how much weight I’ve lost. Once they hear I’ve not achieved much yet, their reactions go from smug satisfaction to ridicule to advice. One very thoughtful lady went as far as to ask why I would even try, beyond this point, suggesting that I am married, a mommy and that I am old and I should settle into my parantheses. I will meet her once I’ve lost weight. Till then I am not telling anyone it is a fitness tracker.
  • Very important. To not look at the wedding albums till I lose weight.

That felt like therapy, like a pact to myself. Thanks for hanging in there. Now on to today’s recipe.
This recipe for stuffed okra/stuffed bhindi is really close to my heart. It is easy, slightly time consuming than your regular okra stir fry but totally worth it. I love the stuffing in this one. It is crispy, nutty, flavour bursting and absolutely gorgeous. Don’t skip any of the ingredients in the stuffing. It just won’t be the same without the roasted peanuts that bestow the wonderful nuttiness, grated coconut that adds body or the jaggery that adds a subtle sweetness and rounds out the flavours. If you don’t like even the slightest sweet note in your stuffed bhindi, you can try the very slightly different bhindi sambhariya recipe on my blog.


These would work great for parties or potlucks too. The stuffed okras can be refrigerated a day or two ahead and fried just before the party. Serve as a side dish with rice or rotis. Enjoy.
stuffed okra

Stuffed Bhindi

Jayanthi Padmanabhan
Flavour bursting stuffed okra!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4


  • Ladies finger/okra/bhindi – ½ kilo washed patted dry, ends cut and slit lengthwise
  • Oil – 4-5 tbsp for frying
  • For the Stuffing
  • Green chilli – 1-2 chopped
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece scraped and chopped
  • Grated coconut – ¼ cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Peanuts – 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 pinch
  • Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Jaggery – 1 tbsp adjust as per taste
  • Coriander leaves – ¼ cup loosely packed chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – 1-2 tbsp


  • Prepare okra. Wash and pat dry. Lop off the tops and tails and make a vertical slit down each okra taking care not to cut it all the way through. You are creating a pocket for the filling. Set aside.
  • Dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a pan until nicely toasted and hot.
  • Transfer the toasted ingredients to a mixer jar along with the rest of the ingredients (except water and coriander leaves) called for under stuffing. Grind to a coarse mixture adding water little at a time and scraping the sides of the jar. Transfer the stuffing to a bowl and mix in the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Stuff the filling into each of the okras.
  • Heat a pan and add about a tablespoon or two of oil. Place stuffed okras in a single layer on the pan and cover with a lid. Cook on medium-high, open after 3-4 minutes, if the undersides of the okras are dark and shrivelled, then flip them over and cook the other sides for another 3-4 minutes. When the okras are cooked on all sides and the filling is nice and crispy, remove on to a plate. Continue with the next batch of stuffed okras, adding more oil as necessary and shallow frying.
  • Serve hot alongside rice or rotis.