sauteed okra

Sauteed Okra Recipe

By Swasthi on September 28, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Sauteed Okra is a simple and healthy dish of okra sauteed with oil and minimal spices. Okra also known as Bhindi or lady finger is a veggie used in many cuisines across the world. It is used in curries, Sambar, stews and stir fry dishes. If you love okra and cook with it often, this sauteed okra is going to be your new favorite. Simple & convenient to cook and it tastes delicious.

Sauteed Okra Recipe

About Sauteed Okra

Not too spicy or hot, so it is toddler/kids friendly too. This recipe for sauteed okra is gluten-free and vegan if you leave out the Indian cheese, which I add due to my boys’ preference. We serve this sauteed okra alongside rice dal or roti-dal. But it goes well with just any meal.

Botanically, Okra is a fruit but used as a vegetable for culinary purposes. It contains a natural occurring substance known as mucilage, which is responsible for the slime in cooked okra. This mucilage acts as a thickener in dishes like Sambar, Stew and Gumbo.

However the slimy texture in okra can be very unappetizing if it is not prepared and cooked well. In this post I show how to sautee okra perfectly without being slimy.

This sauteed okra recipe requires only 6 basic ingredients + more which are optional. Chopped okra is flavored with garlic and sauteed in oil along with vinegar to cut down the slime. Later the sauteed okra is seasoned with salt and chili flakes.

If you like deeper Indian flavors you may use other ground spices and herbs like garam masala, chaat masala and kasuri methi. We love to finish the dish with some grated paneer.

Here are more Okra recipes
Bhindi Masala
Aloo Bhindi
Bhindi Fry
Lady finger Fry
Bhindi Do Pyaza


Pro Tips to make Sauteed Okra

  • It is essential to rinse and wipe dry okra thoroughly before chopping and cooking. The slimy substance when comes in contact with moisture/water & heat, begins to cook down and turns gelatinous.
  • Using a acidic ingredient like vinegar, lemon juice or yogurt prevents the okra from turning slimy.
  • Avoiding over-stirring the chopped okra while cooking/sautéing. Stirring often releases more slime and this requires cooking longer.
  • Use young and freshly harvested okra. Use them as early as possible after buying. Okra that has been sitting in the refrigerator for long, take longer to cook/sautee.

How to Make Sauteed Okra (Stepwise Photos)

1. Rinse 1 lb. (450 to 500 grams) okra under running water and wipe dry with a clean kitchen napkins or tissues. Chop them to ¾ inch and keep aside. Also peel and slice 6 to 8 small garlic cloves to make 1 tablespoon. Do not slice them too thin, they will burn.

chopped okra

2. Below are the spices I prefer to use. You may leave out a few if you don’t have.

  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • ½ to 1½ teaspoon red chili flakes (or Kashmiri chili powder, adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 to 1¼ teaspoon garam masala (or any seasoning of choice as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (or any dried herbs as needed)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chaat masala or lemon juice (adjust to taste)
ground spices and herbs

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy bottom pan or wok or a non-stick pan. Add the garlic cloves and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the chopped okra and begin to saute on a medium high heat.

okra in a saute pan

4. Pour 1 to 1½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar and continue to saute until the okra wilts and all the slime has gone away. If required reduce the heat and saute.

vinegar in pan

5. If your pan is too dry, splash a tablespoon water around the pan and mix the okra. But make sure you add liquid only after the okra is not slimy anymore. Once the okra is done to your liking (taste test to make sure they are done), turn down the heat. Add salt and red chili or flakes.

salt and chili to make okra

6. If you love more flavors, add the other spices and herbs too – garam masala, cumin powder, kasuri methi and chaat masala.

spices and herbs on okra

7. Saute on a low heat for a minute, until aromatic and turn off. Taste test and add more spices, salt and lemon juice.

taste test okra

8. If you want, add fine grated paneer & saute for a minute. You can use ¼ to ½ cup (100 grams) paneer.

paneer on sauteed okra

9. Mix sauteed okra with paneer and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

sauteed okra garnished with coriander leaves

Serve sauteed okra with rice-dal, roti-dal or with flatbreads.

sauteed okra recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

sauteed okra

Sauteed Okra Recipe

A simple side dish of okra sauteed with basic spices like garlic and chili flakes. Serve it as a side, with flatbreads, rice & dal or curry.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Diet : Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 lb (450 to 500 grams) okra (chopped to ¾ inch)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or ¾ tbsp white vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 6 to 8 (1 tbsp) garlic cloves sliced or crushed
  • ½ to 1½ teaspoon red chili flakes (or Kashmiri chili powder, adjust to taste)

Optional (read notes)

  • ¼ to ½ cup (100 grams) paneer (fine grated or extra firm tofu)
  • 1 to 1¼ teaspoon garam masala (or any seasoning of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (or any dried herbs)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chaat masala or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro fine chopped)


Prepare Okra

  • Wipe dry okra with a clean kitchen cloth or kitchen papers. Chop them to ¾ inch pieces and keep aside.

How to Make Sauteed Okra

  • Heat oil in a large wide non-reactive pan. Once the oil is hot add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the okra and begin to saute on a medium high heat for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Pour vinegar and continue to saute until the okra wilts and all the slime has gone away.
  • If your pan is too dry, splash a tablespoon water around the pan and mix the okra. But make sure you add liquid only after the okra is not slimy anymore.
  • Saute on a low heat until tender, to your liking. Taste test at this stage to see if your okra is cooked through.
  • Sprinkle salt and red chili flakes. Saute for 1 to 2 mins until aromatic.
  • Optionally, add the garam masala, cumin powder, kasuri methi, chaat masala, coriander leaves and grated paneer.
  • Mix well and saute for a minute before you turn off. Taste test and add more spices if required and sprinkle some lemon juice.
  • Serve this sautéed okra alongside rice & dal or curry. You can also just eat it as such.


  • If you leave out the optional ingredients, you will make a basic sauteed okra with plain flavors. To make it more flavorful, use all the optional ingredients.
  • You can leave out paneer or use tofu.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Sauteed Okra Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 192 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.03g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 317mg14%
Potassium 421mg12%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1045IU21%
Vitamin C 31mg38%
Calcium 241mg24%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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© Swasthi’s Recipes

Sauteed Okra Recipe

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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Used Italian herbs and chili flakes. No cheese for me still it tasted great.

5 stars
Sauteed okra awesome with paneer! It was so much fun to try this recipe because never made bhindi with paneer and my kids absolutely loved it.

5 stars
I made this okra and it was one of the best okra dishes I have made so far. I used feta as suggested and it was delicious. My husband took the leftovers to work with curried quinoa and he says he can eat this sauteed okra every week.

5 stars
Okra with cheese was so much fun! My boys absolutely loved it.