Imli Bhindi (Ladyfinger with Tamarind)

There are some ingredients that you only know how to prep in one or two ways, because that’s how you have always seen it done. For me, bhindi is one such ingredient. I know it either as a tangy,slightly spicy masala or as a simple fry.

I recently tried a bhindi dish which tasted really different! It had tamarind in it!

Being from the north, tamarind is not an ingredient we use normally in a lot of dishes. But here, in the south, it is a core ingredient in several dishes. I’ve had it in curries, sambhar, rice and some veggies. This was the first time I’ve had it with bhindi.

A colleague got a version of this to office and I just couldn’t stop eating it! While I haven’t gotten his mom’s exact recipe yet, I attempted a version that is fairly similar.

Along with the usual suspects – mustard, dried red chilli, curry leaves, onions – this dish also has the tang from the tamarind and crunch from the peanuts.

I find it best to dry roast the peanuts before crushing them. This adds another layer of nuttiness and warmth to the dish.

The dish comes together to form something that is extremely homely and comforting. It is slightly crunchy in parts, tangy , spicy and just so delicious!

Once you make this, it will become a part of your go-to meals. Healthy, delicious and flavourful – say hello to your new favourite way to cook bhindi 🙂

Imli Bhindi

  • Servings: 2-3 people
  • Difficulty: Easy
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500g Ladyfinger (bhindi) chopped

2 onions – finely diced

1.5 tsp mustard seeds

10-12 curry leaves

2 dried red chillies

1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi)

1-2 tsp red chilli powder

2-3 dried red chilli

2 tsp coriander (dhania) powder

2 tsp tamarind paste

4 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts

1 tbsp oil

Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a wok/kadhai
  2. Cook the mustard seeds , dried red chillies until the seeds sputter.
  3. Add diced onions and cook for 4-5 minutes till slightly golden
  4. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder. Mix in and cook for a minute
  5. Mix in the chopped bhindi and coriander powder and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom
  6. Add the tamarind paste, salt to taste and mix well. Cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes till the bhindi is cooked through
  7. Toss in the crushed peanuts and cool for another 5-10 minutes. Serve fresh!

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A baker, a dancer, a marketeer. Sometimes lazy. Always up to try new food, read interesting books and meet amazing people :)

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