Even though Bhindi (Okra) is a quite popular vegetable in India, many people avoid it because it becomes sticky and slimy.
The Bhindis do turn sticky when you cut them into pieces, and the reason for this sticky characteristic is mucilage.
It is a slimy substance that comes out of this vegetable when you open or cut the pods.
Due to its sticky nature, it becomes quite a task to prepare various dishes using this vegetable.
So, is there any way you can fix this problem?
Let’s find out in the following guide.
Why Does Bhindi Become Sticky?
As suggested earlier, it turns sticky due to a slimy substance called mucilage.
It is a sticky substance and is often found in almost all organisms living on the earth.
A real good example of mucilage formation is the pulp from Aloe Vera.
Yes, it’s the same thing that we get to see in Bhindis.
But what role does it play in plants?
It helps in storing food and water for the plant, which are two necessary ingredients for the growth of any plant in the world.
Other than that, it also offers a medium to germinate the seeds.
And as you know, the germination process is equally important for the survival of plant species.
So, if you see this gooey substance in your Bhindis, don’t feel bad about it.
It might be irritating, to say the least, but it does play a crucial role in the ecosystem of such plants.
Moving on, let’s see how you can tackle this problem of slimy Bhindis in your kitchen.
7 Tips To Fix Sticky Bhindi While Cooking
Here are a few useful ways through which you can remove the stickiness from the Okras –
1. Use Acidic Ingredients
Acidic ingredients are the best solution for this problem.
These ingredients generally react with the slimy substance and prevent further stickiness in the dish.
Now, what are these ingredients?
Here’s a list of ingredients you can use –
- Yogurt (Dahi)
- Lemon Juice
- Tamarind (Imli)
- Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor Powder)
All these ingredients are beneficial in getting rid of the slime from Bhindi.
The usage, however, depends on the type of dish you are making in the kitchen.
If you are making Karari Bhindis, you can simply use Amchoor Powder.
For gravy-based sabzi preparation, you may use Dahi or Tomatoes.
So, it’s really up to you how you want to use the souring ingredients in your dishes.
Depending on your traditional recipes, you can make the adjustments as needed.
In most cases, you will not require any other ingredient than the ones I’ve suggested in the list.
2. Dry Your Bhindis
Many times we rinse our vegetables before chopping them on the board.
This might be a good practice to follow in the kitchen, but the Okras need one additional step.
When you want to cut them into pieces, make sure they are completely dry.
To save some time and effort, you can rinse them an hour before you want to cut them.
This way, you will avoid the extra step of drying the pods later.
If not, you will have to dry them with the help of a kitchen towel.
Once you remove the excess moisture from the Bhindis, it’ll be a little easier to cut them into pieces.
Note: This step won’t remove the stickiness entirely, as there is no way you can stop the mucilage from leaking out.
3. Freeze The Bhindis
Freezing is another useful technique to lessen the effect of slimy Okras.
It’s also far more effective than drying them.
When you freeze the Okras, the mucilage turns a little hard in texture and loses its stickiness to a certain extent.
Therefore, it makes the job a lot easier while cutting them using a knife.
The only downside of this process is you will have to thaw them again after freezing.
It’s a time-consuming process, so it might not be helpful for everyday use.
However, this might be useful for people who may not have access to fresh Bhindis, especially if you live in the US or other western countries.
4. Cut It Into Large Pieces
This is another way to reduce the slime while chopping the Bhindis.
You can cut them into long pieces instead of small bite-sized pieces.
With long pieces, you essentially avoid exposing a lot of slimy surface area of your Bhindis.
Hence, if you don’t want to deal with the slime, you should always cut the pods in 2-3 pieces max.
5. Stir Fry The Bhindis
It’s the most effective method of removing stickiness from Bhindis.
When you stir fry the pieces in a pan, the mucilage starts to disappear from this vegetable.
While performing this method, the pieces will certainly release more slime to the pan.
Some of this substance may even stick to the pan’s surface, but you need to be patient during the process.
It may take around 10-12 minutes until the slime disappears completely.
In the end, you will get perfectly stir-fried Okra pieces that won’t be sticky anymore.
Quick Tip: Use a wooden spoon while frying the Bhindis, as it will be much easier to clean the spoon later.
The other benefit of using such a spoon is it won’t leave any scratches on the surface of your pan.
Also, try to use a better quality non-stick pan for this process.
If not, you will have to use a bit of extra oil to create a layer between the Bhindis and the surface of the pan.
6. Stir Fry The Bhindis Before Making Curry
You should fry the Bhindis separately before adding them to the curry.
You can use the same stir-fry method to remove the slime from Okra pieces.
Once that’s done, put the stir-fried pieces into the base masala of your curry.
I use the same technique while making Bhindi curries, as it gets you the slightly crunchy texture of Okras and also reduces the stickiness in the process.
As for stir-frying, you can fry the pieces until they are almost done.
The rest of the cooking method can be carried out while simmering the curry.
So, do try this out.
I’m sure your curries will turn out great if you fry the pieces in the beginning.
7. Dry The Pieces For Deep Frying
The deep-frying method is probably the best way to cook Bhindis, as you don’t have to struggle with the slimy texture for long.
The hot oil will take care of the excessive slime.
Still, you should use the same drying process as mentioned earlier in the guide.
You can just wrap them in a kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes, and it should do the trick.
This will also help reduce the moisture present in the Okras, which can cause spluttering while frying the pieces in hot oil.
Bonus Tip: Use Gram Flour (Besan)
The secret ingredient!
Many chefs use gram flour while making Bhindis in their professional kitchens.
Gram flour works in two ways if used correctly –
- It adds a coating to the Bhindis and soaks up the juices around them.
- It makes the dishes even tastier.
There is one more use of this flour while using it in curries.
If your curry’s consistency is runny, you can make a paste of this flour and mix it with the curry.
It will make your curry thick instantaneously.
How To Use Gram Flour
It’s more important to know how and when to use gram flour for your Bhindi preparation.
If you used it incorrectly, it could ruin the taste and flavor of the dish.
Firstly, you need only a tablespoon or half-tablespoon of gram flour to fix the slimy nature of Bhindis.
So, don’t overuse it.
The next step is to know when to use this ingredient.
The right time for using it is when you are nearly done with stir-frying the Bhindis.
Again, the flour should only be used if you feel the pieces are too sticky.
Regarding curries, you can use a spoonful of flour and prepare a paste out of it.
Make sure there are no lumps in the paste.
Add this paste while the curry is simmering.
Note: Do not add this paste in the beginning.
Well, I can go on and on, but these are some of the most useful ways to solve the Bhindi problem.
In the next section, let’s check out the FAQs by the readers.
You can use Besan or Rice flour to remove the sticky texture.
For better taste, you should consider using gram flour.
You can stir-fry or deep-fry them prior to making your main preparation.
If the Bhindi curry has turned sticky, there isn’t much you can do about it.
You can try gram flour paste, though it will make it thick.
The Bhindis will turn slightly dark and lose their firm shape after cooking.
It takes about 15 minutes to cook Bhindis on medium flame.
So, you can check them using a spoon as well.
Vinegar is an acidic ingredient, and it can work well to reduce the slime from Okra pieces.
You can also make use of some of the other ingredients listed in this guide.
You can directly put the Okras in a bowl of vinegar.
Coat them well and rest them for half an hour.
Later, you can rinse them and use them as per the requirement of your recipe.
Do not put the lid on while stir-frying the Bhindis.
You can also squeeze some lime juice on them to retain the green color.
Alternatively, you can deep fry them in the oil.
These are the only ways through which you can keep them from turning brown or black.
Over To You
Bhindis can be tricky to make in the kitchen, but you just need to know the right techniques.
Once you get hold of them, you will simply fall in love with this vegetable.
Moreover, I hope the above suggestions help in fixing the sticky Bhindi problem.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.
Do share this guide with your friends and family if you found it helpful.