Easy Ladies Finger Fry (in the microwave)

Okra, also known as vendakkai, ladies finger or bhindi is widely used in Indian curries, poriyal (side dishes) and stir-fries. The easiest way to stir-fry okra without stickiness is to cook it in the microwave. This ladies finger fry is a low-carb, low-calorie side dish you may not want to miss!

Closeup view of microwave-cooked  ladies finger fry on a white plate.

You’ll love this recipe

If you’ve ever thought that you hate okra, now is the time to change your mind. You’ll love this spicy ladies finger fry because:

  • With less than 170 calories, this is the best way to eat bhindi. It needs less oil than you use for sauteing on stove-top.
  • This recipe does not require breading, hence it is gluten-free.
  • It is a quick and easy side dish with a few basic ingredients you’ll most probably have in your kitchen. If you’re looking for easy ladies finger recipes for rice, this would be perfect for a vegan, dinner or lunch with rice and curry like chana masala and sprouted mung beans curry. (I’ve listed more pairing suggestions below.)
  • It is sort of hands-free cooking. Mix the okra with spices and cook in the microwave oven. Apart from tossing twice in between, there’s nothing much you need to do. By the time you cook the main dish, this lady’s finger dry fry recipe will be ready like magic!
  • The stickiness gets totally removed without spending much time frying or sauteing on the stovetop. Imagine being able to cook a healthy side dish without literally sweating out!


How to make ladies finger fry without stickiness

Nobody likes the stickiness in ladies finger that makes your hands, knife, chopping board and everything else it comes in contact with, sticky. I remember refusing to help my mom on days when she used to cook bhindi!

But it used to turn out so delicious without being sticky at all, every single time.

It was only when I started watching her cook, I realized how much oil went into the dish so it’s not slimy. (no offense, mom! We still love your okra fry.)

To replicate the same amazing side dish, the moisture had to be reduced so it becomes less sticky and in turn, uses less oil. The microwave comes to our rescue here since it cooks food using moisture in the food.

So, ladies finger is cooked + stickiness removed + less oil used– feeding not 2, but 3 birds with one scone! (I hate to use the other analogy 🙂

Using a microwave for cooking ladies finger is easier and more versatile than roasting in the oven. You don’t have to spread out the okra in a single layer. (okra pieces being sooo small and sticky, it’s really a pain!)

Another advantage is that the ladies finger is free of stickiness within the first 20 minutes of cooking, so you can stop cooking if you’re not keen on browning it.


  • Okra/ Ladies fingers– also known as okra or bhindi, this is a low-calorie, high fiber vegetable full of nutrients. (source) Choose young, tender ones.
  • Onions– tastes great with okra and adds a crunch to the dish.
  • Spices– cumin, coriander and chilli powder are all you need to make this awesome dish. Reduce the chilli powder according to your taste, if you feel it’s too spicy.
  • Oil– I’ve used olive oil here, but any cooking oil is fine.
Labelled ingredients for ladies finger fry recipe.

How to prepare ladies finger fry- step by step

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

The most important step is to rinse and wipe the okra dry with a kitchen towel. The more moisture you allow, the longer it would take to get rid of the stickiness. Trim the ladies fingers and chop into about 1/2 cm rounds. Place in a wide microwave-safe bowl.

How to season ladies fingers

Mix the coriander, cumin, chilli powder, and salt. Add to the chopped ladies fingers and mix well.

Add oil and toss again.

How to microwave

Cook on high power in the microwave for 10 minutes.

Take out and toss with onions and curry leaves. Microwave for another 10 minutes.

Remove, stir thoroughly again and cook for 10 more minutes.

By now, the okra should be well cooked and soft, but if you like it a little more browned, stir and cook for 5 more minutes. You can see the difference in the fourth and fifth photos:

Recipe tips

  • WIPE THE OKRA clean before chopping.
  • SPRINKLE THE SPICES evenly on the okra so they are easier to toss. (To show them clearly in the pictures, I dumped the spices on the okra, but found it hard to mix. The slime works against you! So avoid that mistake.)
  • DO NOT CLOSE the bowl. The bowl should be left open throughout the cooking process.

Additions and substitutions

Ladies’ finger fry with peanuts: For extra crunch, roasted peanuts may be added before serving. Roasted and powdered peanuts can also be used for a flavor boost.

Lady’s finger fry with coconut: Dried coconut flakes may be added before serving. Or fresh desicated coconut may be added, before the last 10 minutes of cooking.

With almonds: Toasted slivered almonds can be strewn on top before serving.

What to eat ladies finger fry with?

Tastes great as a side dish with bagalabath (curd rice) and one pot vegetable pulao biryani.

This spicy bhindi fry tastes great with rice and spinach dal, Kerala dal curry, chole masala or chicken curry.

It also pairs well with my turmeric lemon brown rice.

For a low-carb/ keto option, pair it with cauliflower rice with masala chicken or coconut cauliflower rice.

Health benefits of bhindi

  1. Biologically classified as a fruit, bhindi is packed with nutrients and particularly high in Vitamins C and K1 that helps improve your immune function and blood-clotting ability.
  2. It is rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and improve heart and brain health.
  3. Eating vendakkai on a regular basis helps lower blood cholesterol levels and protect your heart.
  4. Okra contains lectin, a protein that may help prevent the growth of cancer cells.
  5. Eating bhindi may help pregnant women meet their daily folate needs.
  6. Okra is high in fibre that helps digestion and cuts hunger cravings. (Source)

More healthy side dishes

Closeup view of microwave vendakkai poriyal in a white plate.

Easy Ladies Finger Fry Recipe

Okra, also known as vendakkai or ladies finger, is widely used in Indian curries, poriyal (side dishes) and stir-fries. The easiest way to stir-fry okra without stickiness is to cook it in the microwave. This ladies finger fry is a low-carb, low-calorie side dish you may not want to miss!
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 people
Calories 169 kcal


  • 500 grams Ladies fingers (vendakkai/ bhindi/ okra)
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli powder or cayenne pepper (note1)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves


Scroll back to find detailed recipe photos!


  • Rinse and wipe the ladies fingers with a kitchen towel. They should be completely dry before cooking.
  • Trim the bhindi at both ends and chop into 1/2 cm thin pieces. Place in a wide microwave-safe bowl.
  • Sprinkle coriander, cumin, chilli powder and salt. Mix well.
    Add oil and toss again.
  • Place in the microwave (leave the bowl open) and cook on high power for 10 minutes.
  • Add chopped onions and curry leaves. Mix well and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Take the bowl out, toss well and cook for 10 more minutes.



  • Chilli powder can be reduced according to your taste. Or paprika can be used if you’re not used to the spice in chilli powder.
  • Optionally, roasted peanuts, peanut powder, toasted slivered almonds or coconut flakes may be added before serving.
  • Desiccated fresh coconut can also be added before the last 10 minutes of cooking. 
Easy Ladies Finger Fry (in the microwave)

★★★★★Did you try this recipe? Please give a star rating in the comments below ★★★★★

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Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!

I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.

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6 thoughts on “Easy Ladies Finger Fry (in the microwave)”

  1. 4 stars
    Okra is one thing I have stayed away from, due to the gluey mushy texture it leaves if not done well. Your recipe changes it all ‘everafter’..nice . Really liked it. Thanks

4 from 1 vote

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