Dal with Okra | Bhindi Dal

Okra is not only delicious; it also has many medicinal properties. It is a gentle laxative, anti-inflammatory, strengthens bones, soothes urinary problems and enhances lactation. Enjoy this comforting Ayurvedic dal recipe I created after Sadananda proudly came home with fresh okra!

Serves 4


  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 Tbsp. ghee

  • 1 cup red lentils, washed

  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped

  • 1 tsp. turmeric

  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander

  • 4-6 cups water

  • 1 lb okra, washed; tops and tails cut off.

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1" piece grated fresh ginger

  • 1 dry red chilli

  • 1 pinch hing

  • 1 spring curry leaves

  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat 1Tbsp. ghee in heavy bottomed pan. Add the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds and fry for a minute or two, taking care not to burn the cumin.

  2. Now add the washed dal, chopped tomato and grated ginger and fry for a few more minutes.

  3. Add 4 cups of water and the powdered spices and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for 10-15 minutes until the dal starts to break up.

  4. Now add the okra and simmer for another 20-30 minutes until the dal is well cooked and the okra is soft. Add more water as needed for your desired consistency. Some prefer a thicker dal eaten with chepati and some a thinner dal poured over rice.

  5. Add the rest of the ghee in a small frying pan and heat. Add the red chilli, hing and curry leaves and sauté a few minutes, taking care not to burn the spices. Drop the sizzling spice mix into the hot dal.

  6. Salt to taste and serve. Good with Bitter Gourd Sabji. (Karela sabji)

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!