Lady's Finger/Okra Stir Fry Recipe (Benda Upkari)

Lady's Finger/Okra Stir Fry Recipe (Benda Upkari)

Even though this side dish is as simple as it can get, I never cooked it right for the first few years of my cooking. It would often turn up all slimy in the end and would be very unpleasant to eat. For all those people struggling to get this simple dish right, here are some tips for you. 

This okra stir fry is called benda upkari in Konkani. And you should make it once in a while as it's healthy & helps in bowel movement.

Love okra? Then also try Okra Stir Fry/Lady's finger chilli fry.

Lady's Finger/ Okra Fritters (Benda Bajo)

Fried okra in curds with delicious seasoning (Benda Gojju)


  • 10-12 tender lady's finger 
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of urad dal
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1 leaflet of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of grated coconut (optional)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1-2

How to pick tender lady's fingers:

When you feel the lady's fingers with your fingers, you should be able to tell if they're tender or mature. Tender lady's fingers will be soft. Mature ones will be hard as the seeds inside would have hardened. 

Another way to tell is by breaking the bottom tip of lady's finger. Tender lady's finger tips snap easily. As they mature they become quite fibrous & do not snap easily.

Picked up mature lady's fingers by mistake? Don't throw them away. Make Lady's Finger/ Okra Fritters (Benda Bajo) 

Preparation Method:

1. Wash lady's finger well. Then pat them dry completely using a dry cloth.

Drying them completely is ver important. Any water present makes them slimy as they cook.

2. Chop off their tips. Then finely chop them into desired size. 

3. Heat oil in a wok. Add in mustard seeds.

4. Once mustard stops spluttering, add in urad dal & let them fry until they start to brown.

5. Add in pieces of dried red chilli, curry leaves & let them sizzle for few seconds.

6. Then add in chopped lady's finger & saute for a minute.

7. Close it with a lid, set the flame to medium for 2 minutes & put off the flame.

8. After a minute, light the flame & set it on medium. Saute lady's finger once. Close it with the lid. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes. Put off the flame.

9. After a minute repeat the process again until lady's finger cooks through.

10. Any water content added makes the stir fry slimy.

11. Once lady's finger is almost cooked add salt, grated coconut & mix well. Do not add salt unless lady's finger are cooked as it will make the stir fry slimy. 

12. Simmer for a minute & remove off heat. Serve hot.