Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry
The original Zucchini Curry recipe adored by thousands! 12 simple ingredients are all you need to transform boring zucchini into this flavorful Indian & Pakistani-style Zucchini (Courgette) Curry, called Toriyan or ‘torai ki sabzi’ in Urdu. This is an easy, one-pot vegan curry recipe that will have you (and even your kids!) loving Zucchini.
“…It blew my mind. I can’t stop thinking about it, weeks later! I had no idea courgette could taste so good, I will definitely be growing it again just to make this amazing curry.”Kath
What’s so special about this recipe?
I originally published this zucchini recipe back in 2017. Since then, I’ve had hundreds of people reach out and share how much they love this curry. Here’s what I think makes this recipe special:
- The cooking process brings out the sweet and rich flavors of zucchini. This plays well with the earthy, spicier flavors of this vegetarian curry.
- An extra onion adds another layer of caramelization and complements the zucchini.
- The spices are subtle, which make the final dish pronounced in flavor, but not overwhelmingly spicy.
Notes on the Ingredients
I was tempted to give the onions and tomatoes in grams, but this dish allows for plenty of variance and I wanted the recipe to reflect that. Here’s what you need to know about the ingredients:
- Green Chili Pepper – You can use Serrano, Thai chilis, or other suitable green chili pepper. You need just a small amount to add adequate heat and flavor.
- Red Chili Powder – This is Pakistani and Indian style red chili powder. Substitute cayenne if you don’t have it. Since the spice level of red chili powder varies from brand to brand, start with the smaller amount and increase as desired.
- Onions – This recipe works well with sliced onions (similar to okra curry), which contribute to the overall flavor and texture. For large onions, you may prefer to quarter them before slicing. If you’d rather just finely chop them, that’s okay too.
- Zucchini (Courgettes) – Traditionally peeled but you can leave it unpeeled if you’d like. Just note that unpeeled zucchini may take a little longer to disintegrate into the curry.
How to Make Zucchini (Courgette) Curry
The method can be simplified into 4 Steps:
- Step 1: Sauté the onions until golden. Don’t brown them too much because once you add the garlic and ginger, the onions will deepen even more in color.
- Step 2: Add the tomatoes, salt, and spices. Once the tomatoes soften, add the zucchini along with a bit of water.
- Step 3: Cover and allow to cook for 7-10 minutes. Once the zucchini is soft and the water has dried up, use a wooden spoon to break the zucchini into pieces.
- Step 4: Lower the heat, cover, and allow the zucchini to cook for another 15-20 minutes. Uncover and sauté out any excess moisture, using your spoon to break up any remaining bits.
How to know when it’s done:
The final dish shouldn’t have water content from the zucchini floating around. When in doubt, sauté a little extra. Once the oil separates from the curry and the zucchini is very well cooked, you’re done!
A note: I’ve had several people share pictures of their finished product with a bit more ‘curry’ and not fully reduced down. If that’s how you prefer it, that’s okay too. Make it your own!
How to Serve
This dish pairs perfectly with just about anything, but roti, naan, paratha, or any other bread go exceptionally well with it. Rice is another reader-favorite pairing.
More Popular Vegetarian Curry Recipes:
- Easy Spinach and Potato Curry (Aloo Palak)
- Easy Mixed Vegetable Curry
- Potato & Cauliflower Curry (Aloo Gobi)
- Baingan Bharta (Smoked Eggplant Curry)
- Chana Masala (Chickpea Curry)
Tried this recipe? If you have a minute, please consider leaving a comment & star rating telling me how it was! If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I truly love hearing from you! Thank you!
Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry | Toriyan (Torai ki Sabzi)
- 1/3 cup (79 ml) grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 inch piece ginger, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium tomato, cubed
- 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili powder, or to taste
- 3 large (1 to 1 1/4 lb) (454-567 g) green zucchini squash (courgette), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch half-moons, (weighed after chopping)
- 1 small green chili pepper (such as Serrano), sliced
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup (4 g) chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Heat oil in a nonstick or heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the onions, and sauté until they are lightly golden (~8-10 minutes).
- Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds. Sauté until the raw smell of the ginger and garlic disappears (~1 min). Add the tomato, salt, coriander powder, black pepper powder, and red chili powder. Sauté for a minute, then stir in the zucchini and 1/4 cup of water. Mix well, ensuring that the zucchini is well coated.
- Cover and let cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring once in between. Once most of the water has dried up, use a wooden spoon to break the zucchini into pieces. Add the sliced green chili pepper and turmeric and sauté for a few minutes.
- Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring half-way. If you’re afraid it will stick to the pan, add a splash of water. Uncover and stir well. If needed, raise the heat to high to sauté any extra moisture for 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.
This is an update of a recipe that was originally published in 2017. Since then, it’s been updated with new pictures and video!
250 Comments on “Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry”
I have made your recipe before and loved it! Wil be making it again this week! Its my best courgette recipe!
So sweet of you, Lorraine! Thank you for letting me know!
I absolutely love this recipe I had to make it 2 days in a row. I added mashed butternut squash to it, then you have a sweet savoury dish. Beautiful either way.
That sounds so delicious, Chan! Thanks very much for sharing your review 🙂
Omg, the first healthy recipe my kids love. I’m Mexican and I wasn’t sure but I gave it a try and its a keeper. thank you! everyone must try this recipe.
Made my day, Lucy! Thank you so much for sharing this good news with me. I am so happy to hear your kids enjoyed it!
recipe says peeled but photo shows the half moon with peels, please clarify which is it?
Hi Farid! Yes, they are peeled. Sorry for the confusion!
This recipe is absoloutely DELICIOUS!!!
YAY! So glad to hear that. Thanks for the feedback, Anne!
This looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to give this a try. Will it work with zucchini found in normal supermarkets? Or does it have to be the thin Pakistani version from a desi supermarket?
Thanks so much! I use the ones from the American supermarkets. Let me know if you try! 🙂
So yes, this method was totally against my Pakistani cooking instincts but I was like, let’s just roll with it and see what happens, I trust her.
Mashallah Tabarakallah this was perfect. The perfect amount of salt and spice and the real litmus test was my husband: he not only ate it without complaint, he said it was good! This, coming from Mr. It-aint-food-unless-it’s-got-meat is practically a miracle.
The day my husband happily eats vegetables should be a day marked in history.
So nice of you! Thank you, Becky! I’m so glad you both liked it. Seriously means a lot to me. 🙂
I am pinning and I am making this as soon as I get my hands on some zucchini. Am always trying to expand my sabzi repertoire but us Pakistanis are such carnivores its hard! Your husband clearly has a winner on his hands 🙂
Yayy! Do let me know if you get to try it! You’re right, Pakistani dishes rely heavily on meat!
I never pick up zucchini here since it is overpriced. I normally go for its cheaper cousin called baby marrow, or koosa as in Arabic. I feel this curry would be amazing for that vegetable. Must pick up a batch and try since I love Pakistani style curries… Even though the dish looks unassuming, the taste is definitely what got the guest to eat it… 🙂
I’ve never heard of koosa…very interesting. You’re right..people like to experience new dishes and this dish pleasantly surprises people. Let me know if you try it. 🙂
You are seriously my new best friend, thank you so much for this! My husband always buys huge bags of zucchini and I never know what to do with it. Made this last night and everyone loved it!! Jazaki Allahu khairan sis
You’re a blogger too so you must know how happy this makes me. Literally made my day! Thank you so much for trying it and for the wonderful feedback. I am so happy you all liked it!
Did not know that zucchini is called Torai! And dude, I would have NEVER thought to turn zucchini into a saalan! Looks amazing!
Thank you! Yes, it’s surprising how many vegetables our ancestors curried. 😀
I am one of those people who has great intentions when I buy lots of zucchini at the farmers market and then I’m never in the mood to make it or eat healthy! Haha!! But this zucchini curry was absolutely delicious and so easy to prepare with minimal clean up! My friend loved it and he initially was skeptical when he saw me chopping a bunch of zucchini for dinner. Thank you! 🙂
hahah I get it. Same happens to me whenever I don’t have a crystal clear plan to use something. So glad you got to try this, Kelly! Thank you!