Bhindi Zunka (Okra cooked with chickpea flour and spices) Vegan, glutenfree. and more Liebster love

Okra is one of those gooey vegetables, that can easily put me off. Though hubbs is an avid fan, he does not like the gooeyness too. I try to make it as slime free as possible. There is always an option of deep frying it, but I dont really deep fry anything unless really needed.

My earlier post a simple Crisp Okra with indian pickle spices(Achcari Bhindi) was a big hit. The achari bhindi was a crisp okra pan fried with some sweet and sour spices.

This dish is okra(Bhindi) with Zunka. Zunka is a spicy Chickpea flour preparation, usually made in Maharashtra state in India and served with Bhakri, a hard flat bread made of Sorghum, millet, wheat and other grain combinations. Zunka is usually made of roasted chickpea flour, cooked in some spices like Ajwain(carom seeds) or fennel seeds(saunf) and onions and/or tomatoes.
Fresh or frozen Okra can usually be found at Indian stores or Asian supermarkets. frozen okra gets gooeyer, but can be crisped up with longer cooking time in open pan.

  • 3 Tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 cups chopped okra
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • pinch of asofetida(hing – optional, it helps add a garlicky flavor and helps with digestion)
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or red chili powder to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  1. In a pan, dry roast the chickpea flour on low-medium heat stirring every 15-30 seconds till it gives out an aroma or starts to change to a deeper color(5-7 minutes). 
  2. Keep the chickpea flour aside. Add oil to the pan and heat on medium heat.
  3. Add in the asofetida, cumin and coriander powders and fennel seeds and mix well for a few seconds.
  4. Add in the turmeric and chili flakes and mix well.
  5. Add in the okra and mix well to coat. Cook partially covered on low-medium heat for 10 minutes. 
  6. Add half the salt and mix well and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes till okra is tender crisp done. If the okra is too slimy, cook uncovered for a bit longer. 
  7. Add in the roasted chickpea flour, a Tablespoon at a time, and a little more salt and mix well to coat okra. Sprinkle a few drops of water to help the chickpea flour stick to the okra(you might not need water if the okra is still gooey).
  8. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 15 seconds till the chickpea flour is clumpy and sticking to okra pieces and not dry. Adjust salt and spice if needed, mix and take off heat. You can add more chickpea flour to make a really crusty okra which makes for a fun snack.
  9. Serve hot topped with chopped cilantro leaves or crushed roasted peanuts, with Roti/Naan or any Indian flat bread, and daal(lentil soup). or eat as is, as a snack!
  10. For variations: Add some chopped onion, cook for 2 minutes and then add okra. Use other spices like Ajwain(carom seeds) or mustard seeds. Add dried herbs like Oregano or Kasuri methi(fenugreek leaves) along wit the chickpea flour.

After the Liebster post earlier, I got another Liebster from Lacey at Mon petit chou, Hibou
And though I covered a bunch of my new friends on my previous liebster post.. i missed a few.. I’d love to pass some love on to
Ashlae at OhLadyCakes
Jen at TheRAVegan

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  1. says

    I’m a big fan of okra – once it’s cooked really well and loses the stickiness. I love the added chickpea flour and spices – I’ll definitely try this!

  2. says

    this okra looks amazing! we rarely see it fresh at the grocers around here, but i know where i can find it frozen. that might lead to mega goo, but i’m going to give a try!

    and thankyou richa for the blog love! xo

  3. says

    Bhindi! I never knew what it was before. This is fascinating. Not sure I want to eat it. Looks kind of tempting in a “Want to try but not sure” way. I’ve never had okra so I’d have to try it. Always wanted to try it. Next time its in season I’ll get some! I love how you make me think of food in a totally different light. Hope all is well & your visit is great. Love!

  4. says

    Thanks savannah.. u should give okra a try.. no worries if u dont like it:)

    Thanks Arati.. i’ll try it with some soy yogurt!

    Thanks Kumudha! hope u try some!

    Thanks Bobbie. let me know when u do!!

  5. says

    This looks so incredibly delicious. And I am going to try my hardest to make it tomorrow night.

    Also, thank you for your sweet words – they always make my day!

  6. says

    Great use for chickpea flour! I make karentika with my chickpea flour and that’s pretty much it. I look forward to having another use for it.

  7. pretzel says

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I made it with fresh okra and ate it all as is because I couldn’t wait to chop cilantro! No one else here will eat okra but with this recipe it is truly their loss and my gain. Am going to make again tomorrow or tonight with the onion and this time pre-chop my cilantro to try it that way.

    Love this combination of spices and probably will try increasing the amount of each one (same delicious ratio, tho’) a bit for my spice loving tastes. My hing was stale so I included two cloves of chopped garlic in my pan. I admit I never thought to use ground fennel in my Indian-style food (still learning) and am SO glad I trusted your excellent taste judgment — it gave another dimension to my typical spice mix and did not give an overt fennel flavor.

  8. moomoo says

    My earlier comment doesn’t seem to have posted. Loved this recipe & will make again tonight! Thank you so much for sharing.


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