Zucchini Curry | Indian Courgette Curry
Zucchini Curry is a healthy & delicious Indian curried dish made with zucchini, peas, herbs and warm spices. It’s a simple & spicy dish but packs a punch when it comes to taste. If you’re looking for ways to add a zucchini dish to your menu or meal plans, this recipe is a good starting point. The dish is quite simple like this Zucchini Stir Fry but with profound Indian flavors.
Zucchini also known as Courgette is a summer squash. A lot of people get confused with zucchini and cucumber as they look similar. Both have high water content, but zucchini is one of those South American plants that now flourish across the globe.
A new entrant to Europe, Asia, and India, it has been enthusiastically adopted and added to regional dishes.
You‘ll find three varieties of this vitamin A and folate-rich vegetable. You have the regular dark green one. There is a light green variant in addition to the less common yellow zucchini that looks similar to yellow squash.
About Zucchini Curry
Zucchini curry as the name suggests, is a curried dish where chopped zucchini is simmered with onions, tomatoes and garam masala. This dish is not different from other Indian curries. But it is a mix of South Indian and North Indian styles.
You’ll find curry leaves and coconut milk (optional) for South cooking blending in with Northern spices & herbs like Garam masala and kasuri methi.
Tomatoes and onions provides the tang while the cumin & mustard seeds tempering provides the crunch. The ground spices add the much-needed flavor to balance out the bland tasting zucchini.
It is a fast-cooking dish & is ready to serve in 30 minutes or less. This curry travels well and makes a good lunchbox option.
Zucchini like other summer squash are bland tasting so I prefer to bring in natural sweet tones into the dish by adding some green peas. Also a basic tempering of curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds infuse some warm flavors. However you are free to skip any of these ingredients in the tempering.
This is a vegan dish and complements all your mains from chapatis to cooked grains. Another of those versatile recipes, this curry works well with the use of other vegetables, especially bell peppers, baby spinach and even broccoli.
On Occasions I prefer to use coconut milk to transform this zucchini curry into a creamy gravy that we usually ladle over cooked rice, quinoa or millets.
So, go ahead and turn your boring courgette salad into a steaming hot curry. And, yes, this curry stores well for 2 days.
More similar recipes
Zucchini stir fry
How to make Zucchini Curry (Stepwise photos)
1. For this recipe, you will need 250 grams (about half pound) Zucchini. Sometimes zucchini, just like cucumbers taste bitter due to toxic cucurbitacins. The most effective way to remove the bitterness from the veggie is to cut off the ends of the zucchini (¾ inch slice). Rub it for a few minutes against the other part until a white froth like substance comes out. Repeat this on the other end as well.
2. Rinse well and taste it. If you still feel bitter, then you may slightly scrape the skin. After all this if you still taste it bitter, then it is good to discard it.
I prefer to keep the skin. If you don’t like then you may peel and then cube them. But the curry turns completely mushy.
Make Zucchini Curry
3. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add 1 pinch mustard (optional) and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
4. When the seeds begin to crackle, add 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 1 chopped green chili and 1 sprig curry leaves. If you do not have curry leaves & green chilies, you may skip them. You can replace ginger with garlic. Saute them until a nice smell comes out for about a minute.
5. Then add 1 cup fine chopped onions and saute until they turn transparent.
6. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder and ¾ teaspoon garam masala. Saute for a minute.
7. Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes or ¾ cup tomato puree.
8. Add chopped zucchini.
9. Saute them for 2 to 3 mins on a medium heat until the veggies begin to sweat.
10. Cover and cook on the lowest heat until tomatoes breakdown completely and zucchini turns slightly tender.
Note: Adjust the cook time to suit your taste. I prefer cooking them slightly softer but not mushy otherwise zucchini tastes very bland and will not absorb the flavors.
11. Add ½ cup green peas and 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional). If you have, do add fenugreek it adds a lot of flavor here.
12. I prefer to cover and cook for another 1 to 2 mins. If you don’t like very soft zucchini, stir fry after adding peas instead of covering the pan. Taste test and add more salt & garam masala if needed. For extra heat you may add some crushed black pepper. Sprinkle coriander leaves.
You can stir in ¼ to ½ cup coconut milk for gravy. Let the coconut milk become warm. Turn off the heat.
Serve Zucchini curry with rice, roti or even with bread.
- Always use small and fresh zucchini for best flavor, and to avoid the bitterness.
- When cooking the zucchini, keep the skin on, otherwise the dish can turn mushy. If you prefer to peel the skin, stir fry for a shorter time instead of covering with the lid.
- To give the dish extra flavor, add the optional fenugreek leaves.
- Skip the green chili if you prefer a milder dish.
Zucchini Curry | Indian Courgette Curry
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams zucchini (1 medium)
- 1 cup onions fine chopped (2 medium)
- 1 cup tomatoes fine chopped (2 medium)
- 1 green chilli pepper deseeded & chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
- 1½ tablespoon oil
- 1 pinch mustard seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
- ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ cup green peas (I use frozen)
- 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, skip if you don't have)
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves fine chopped
- ¼ to ½ cup coconut milk (optional)
- Rinse onions, tomatoes, chilies, ginger and fine chop them. Deseed the chilli and chop or slit.
- Rinse zucchini well under running water. Cut off the end (a ¾ inch slice) and rub it for a few minutes against the other part until a white froth like substance comes out. Repeat this on the other end as well.
- Rinse well again and chop to 1 inch pieces.
How to make Zucchini Curry
- Pour oil to a pot & heat it. When the oil turns hot, add mustard and cumin seeds.
- Add curry leaves, ginger & green chilies. Saute for 30 seconds.
- Then add onions and fry them until golden. This takes about 3 to 4 mins.
- Regulate the heat/flame to medium. Stir in red chilli powder, turmeric, salt and garam masala.
- Add tomatoes and zucchini. Stir fry for 3 mins until the veggies begin to sweat.
- Cover and cook on a lowest flame/heat until tomatoes breakdown well and zucchini turns slightly tender (adjust cook time to suit your liking here).
- Later add green peas and kasuri methi. Stir and cook covered for 1 to 2 minutes. If you do not like mushy zucchini then cook without covering until the peas are done.
- Taste test and add more salt & garam masala if needed. For gravy version, simply pour the coconut milk and mix well. Bring it to a gentle boil and turn off the heat.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve zucchini curry with rice or roti.
- Zucchini tastes bland without a good flavorful masala. So use a good garam masala. You may use a good curry powder in place of garam masala.
- I use frozen peas, so they cook faster. If you are using fresh peas you may add them to the pan along with the zucchini.
- Stir in coconut milk towards the end to have some gravy/sauce in the dish.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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This was brilliant! I an overgrown courgette – almost a small marrow – and cooked it to the recipe, with mustard seeds, methi and coconut milk. It was great. In season, my friends tend to swamp me with courgette and after making ratatouille, I’m never quite sure what to do with this rather boring vegetable. This recipe turns it into something truly delicious. I had it with brown basmati rice. Perfect.
Just one query: you talk about red chilli powder. The recipe calls for 3/4 tsp. I used cayenne, but 1/4 tsp and that was certainly enough. Do you mean Kashmiri Chilli? Anyway, I will try that next time.
Yes it is Kashmiri red chilli powder & that’s what most Indian recipes call for. It seems like a lot but it imparts the deep bright color without making the dish too spicy or hot. Thank you so much Annie for trying and sharing back how it turned out.
By far the best, most flavourful courgette curry! Thank you!
Thank you Rebecca
Rich, flavorful, overall delicious. Thank you for sharing. I used the coconut milk and the gravy was fantastic.
Glad you like it.
This zucchini curry is fantastic. Never even thought of making a curry with zucchini. I wasn’t expecting it to taste delicious. But the spices blend fabulously with the bland zucchini. I can’t eat coconut milk so stirred a little plant based yogurt before finishing the dish. 10/10.
Thank you so much Pamela for trying and sharing back.
Dear Swasthi, you are always my go-to for the most wonderful recipes! I have made so many of them, and they always turn out so beautifully! Thank you 💕
This zucchini dish sounds fabulous, and so I will make it tonight to go with your Vindaloo (the chicken is already marinating!)
Cheers from Canada 🇨🇦
Thank you so much for the kind words. So happy to know. Hope you enjoy the dishes.
I already know I will! 😁
I’m a big Madhur Jeffrey fan. She has an easy Indian cookbook that I’ve used for 4-5 years. I was hunting for a good, easy zucchini side dish to go with tandoori chicken (bought at Costco.). This was it. My husband raved and asked that we please make it again. Tip: get the spice combinations pre-measured and this is easy to pull together. I did end up added a bit extra garam masala and Salt. If you had good vegetarian curry dishes like this in your normal routine, being an occasional vegetarian/vegan would be easy to do.
Glad to know! Thank you!
Dear Swasthi, I was amazed I had everything needed except for coriander leaves. I immediately tried this recipe and double kasuri methi to make up for the missing coriander. It is so delicious! Once again, thank you for yet another perfect recipe. God bless❤
So glad to know you liked it! Thank you so much for the wishes.
thank you for sharing this lovely recipe. Made it for the first time today and we found it delicious, along with butter paneer.
You are welcome! Glad to know