Bhindi pulao – stir fry rice with okra and walnuts

Bhindi okra pulao
In the midst of bright skies comes the sudden cold showers. Don’t get me wrong, I love rain but not so much in just a few days flooding everywhere. But, this particular set of rains reminded me a lot of the train journeys from Thrissur to Kozhikode just before the school reopens after the summer holidays. those glorious monsoon rains.

The train rides

My mother’s native was my abode for long summer holidays. The two long months spent with cousins who come and go and a whole lot of uncles and aunts at my grandparents was more than welcome as I did not like spending two whole months in and around my mother’s office.
These yearly visits were just done by a three and a half-hour train ride. This is the only time my mother reckons I eat something. So she will pack all sorts of things for the skinny me to fatten up. She can see me hungry as soon as I get on the train and that gave her a lot of satisfaction.
While coming back from the holidays the monsoons would have started and the water droplets dripping from the window grills of the age-old trains was the one that triggered off this set of memories. I am currently having some right of the window ledges

The eatables

Of course, my mum made sure she had a bag full of eatables for me to go on this train ride. She will carry a bag of her banana chips and a packed box of her special bhindi pulao. Since steel boxes were the norm she just had a selection of shapes that she let me choose from. No disposables, just ecofriendly good old ” ever silver”. I still treasure the octagonal one she bought for me.
pulao with bhindi or ladies finger
This bhindi pulao love has stayed on with my kids too. Quick and easy to make okra stirfried in spices never miss a mark. I serve it for lunch in the same octagonal lunch box and my younger one thinks that’s too generous of me!!
If you are wondering about the stickiness of the okra, ty the okra recipe post link below,  as we discuss how not to get the strings of slime.
Here is the recipe where my mon reveals her secrets to perfecting the okra.

vendakka mezhukkuperatti

Bhindi pulao vegan, low oil, gluten-free, soulful recipe. Create this recipe with leftover rice or perfectly cooked millets or Quinoa.

Check here to learn how to cook millets.

cooked millet

 To serve, bhindi pulao goes best with kachumer salad or laccha pyaaz salad and mixed vegetable raitha.
When you make this recipe, do tag us with those insta-perfect images. Before you go, don’t miss to subscribe for yumminess very often. For more yumminess, do subscribe to our blog and stay in touch.
Bhindi okra pulao

Bhindi pulao

stir fry rice with okra and walnuts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, Indian, Kids choice, Pressure cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people


For the rice

  • 1 cup Raw rice ( long grain preffered)
  • 3 cup drinking water

For the okra masala

  • 1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter ( use olive oil if vegan)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 2-3 green cardamom ( crushed)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 300 grams okra ( Ladies finger)
  • 200 gram red onion
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts ( chopped)
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves


  • Wash and soak the rice in three cups of rice for 10 minutes
  • Cook the rice in a saucepan.
  • Once the grains are cooked and fluffy remove from heat and drain off the extra starch water.

To make the pulao

  • Wash and clean the okra, peel the onions and wash them.
  • Dry the okra using a kitchen towel
  • Choose the tender okra( it snaps off at the tip when bent)
  • Slit the okra and slice the onions and keep them aside
  • In a frying pan add the ghee and allow it to melt.
  • Add the cumin and let them sizzle, add the bayleaf, cloves, anise, and cardamom and stir till the aroma fills the air. Be careful not to burn the dry spices.
  • Add the sliced onion and saute till they are translucent
  • Add the slit Okra and stirit well in the ghee.
  • Allow the okra to roast well.
  • Add the chopped walnuts and coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Now add the fluffed rice and mix well
  • stir fry the rice for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Now the pulao is ready to serve.
    Bhindi okra pulao


if you like it spicy add slit chillies when you stir fry the onions.
Keep it nut-free by taking off the walnuts.
Use quinoa, millets or couscous to make this pulao.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 7 votes

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Shobha Keshwani
2 years ago
Rating :

This is really an interesting pulao recipe. What a brilliant idea of making bhindi pulao. I am going to make it too.

2 years ago
Rating :

I think we all treasure the tiffins that moms brought for us. I have some with me. Love this brilliant idea of bhindi pulao the ease with which it can be made is something I must try. Thanks, I am making this pulao.

2 years ago
Rating :

my little one is still reluctant to try okra except in kurkuri bhindi form, this pulao would definitely interest her. and yes, that ‘ever silver’ memories are so good ! eco friendly to the max !

Jayashree T.Rao
2 years ago
Rating :

Never thought of using bhindi in a pulao or any rice dish for that matter. This is something different, wish I could taste a little bit.

Sujata Roy
2 years ago
Rating :

Sounds interesting. Never thought of making pulao with bhindi. Pulao looks absolutely delicious. I would love to try it soon.

Chef Mireille
2 years ago

What a new and unique way to make okra. The walnuts is definitely a delicious and unique twist.

Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
Rating :

What a lovely idea Seema, to pair rice and okra together to make a delicious looking bhindi pulao. Will have to bookmark this recipe as I really want to try it out when I get some bhindi.

mina joshi
2 years ago

I love okra a lot but never had them in a pilau. I am certainly going to try your recipe. I love the way you fry the okra first. That must make it lovely and tasty.

Priya Vj
2 years ago
Rating :

Bhindi pulao is very new to me ..hardly occurred to me to make pulao using bhindi. Loved reading the train journey memories and I think all mums packed a whole lot to woo the kids during travel to eat. 🙂

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