This recipe for Sheet Pan Bhindi Masala, or okra with onions and tomatoes, will be the easiest and most authentic recipe you will ever make. Make restaurant-style Bhindi Masala at home with very little effort.
Sheet Pan Bhindi Masala
For this, you have my inherent bent for laziness/efficiency to thank. The world is full of things I want to do. But while I want to eat healthy and nutritious food, I see no reason to spend more time on it than I need to. So I’m always looking for ways to make my food more efficiently.
HOW TO MAKE A TRADITIONAL BHINDI MASALA RECIPE
Traditional methods require a lot of standing and stirring. And then some more stirring. They also require a lot of oil so your okra doesn’t burn.
Much though I love Bhindi Masala, I rarely make it for these reasons. I don’t have the patience to stir for half an hour, and my old way of making it also involved multiple steps. First, I’d toast the okra by itself until it was almost cooked.
Then I’d add in the sliced onions and cook those. In went the spices. Then it was time for the tomatoes. Then back went the okra and then…omg I’m exhausted and bored just reciting these steps!
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So the other night as I fell asleep I started to think of WHY we do all these steps. Well really it’s to keep the okra from becoming slimy by cooking it on high heat and not really allowing it to braise.
Also onions, okra and tomatoes cook at a different pace, you can’t just throw it all in at the same time.
MY CRAZY BUT EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT WAY TO MAKE INDIAN OKRA SHEET PAN BHINDI MASALA
I have just a few words to say here about my crazy way. First I will say it works.
Second–Sheet Pan Bhindi Masala.
Yup. I did it all on a sheet pan. In the oven. In almost one step. I have pictures to prove it!
How?! you ask me? How did I do this.
- I basically seasoned the okra and onions and spread them out on a sheet pan.
- I turned the oven to broil, but I put the sheet pan two shelves down so as to not be to close to the broiler and burn before cooking.
- The large surface area of the pan and the overhead heat makes the bhindi (okra) cook fast, but not braise.
- Adding the tomatoes for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking gives them time to cook but not create too much liquid for the raw okra to braise in, as the okra is cooked by the time they’re added. No Slime!
- What this means is that as long as you can lay it out in one single layer, there’s no reason why it won’t work in an air-fryer! I tried this in my Nuwave Air Fryer, and it took 20 minutes at 400F so you can try that option as well. The important thing is that the okra mustn’t be piled higgledy-piggledy on top of itself. One layer.
THE STEPS TO MAKING THIS EASY INDIAN OKRA BHINDI MASALA RECIPE
- Place onions and sliced okra in a bowl
- Add all spices and oil
- Broil/Bake for 25 minutes
- Add in tomatoes and cook until wilted
EQUIPMENT AND INGREDIENTS YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE THIS INDIAN OKRA BHINDI MASALA RECIPE
- Heavy-duty baking sheet (I love these because they don’t warp)
- Spatula turner (I like this one because it’s thin but sturdy)
- Measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Cutting Board (my fav one)
- Good set of Kitchen knives
- Cayenne Pepper
- Ground cumin
- Ground Coriander
- Amchoor (can sub lemon juice)
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- Preheat oven on Broil setting.
- Move a shelf to two notches down from the top of the oven so it’s not too terribly close to the broiler.
- Prepare a heavy-duty baking sheet by lining with foil or parchment paper.
- Slice the okra into 1/4 inch chunks and place in a bowl.
- Add the rough chopped onion into the bowl.
- Pour over the oil and all the spices (Everything except tomatoes and cilantro).
- Spread out the spiced vegetables across the baking tray, ensuring as even and flat a layer as possible.
- Broil for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway. Don’t panic if you see some stickiness to the okra. This will dissipate once it cooks.
- As the okra and onions are almost cooked, clear away a space in the middle, and place tomatoes in this space to broil along with the okra and onions.
- Once the tomato has wilted and is cooked through, remove the pan from the oven, pour lemon juice, and mix everything together well.
- Plate and garnish with cilantro.
- Serve with naan, chappatis, or eat plain. I often eat this hot one day, and with yogurt the next day as a cold salad.