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!
249 Comments on “Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry”
Hi, can you freeze this dish?
Hi Batool. I think freezing would affect the texture because of the water content of zucchini. But I know many people do freeze it!
Very good recipe for courgettes. Just getting the usual glut of courgettes this summer so wanted a tasty recipe for them. Ticked all the boxes for me. Added some extra chilli for heat and left skins on but just let it cook until I got the desired thickness. Looks and tastes great.
Sounds delicious. Thank you, Mike!
Loved it very tasty, made it 3 times now, This time I left out the water added extra tomatoes and the zest of a lemon. Delicious great recipe.
I made this today and it tastes just like my (Pakistani) mother made it. She died a couple of years ago and I kick myself for not learning to cook from her – she was the most gifted chef. This recipe reminded me her – thank you Izzah
I’m sorry about your mother’s passing. I’m sure many of her cooking skills are intuitive for you and you may have brought that intuition to this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing, Amna.
This is the first curry that I have made from scratch, and it was absolutely delicious. It really exceeded any expectations that I had. Thank you so much for posting and sharing this receipe. I will definitely be making this again and again. It has inspired me.
Truly delighted to hear that, Tania! I hope you get to try more! This curry is really as ‘hard’ as most of them get. Thanks for sharing!
Made it last night for 2. Thé balance of flavours was just right,especially the addition of one fresh chilli (from my garden) Highly recommended
Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Izzah! My dad (Indian) who is usually picky about so many of the recipes I’ve made for him, loved this!!! Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes.
Aw I’m so glad your dad loved it. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Very easy to make. I cooked it twice for dinner with friends and family and both times it was a huge hit. Better than my meat dishes ☺️☺️☺️
Fantastic flavoursome curry. It is a very easy recipe to follow. Has become a favourite.
I’m so glad. Thank you for sharing! 🙂
I am new to cooking and am seeking one-pot vegan Indian dishes and this site is 2 for 2 so far! The instructions are easy to follow, especially with the little tips on how to do it just right. I also made the aloo gobi and damn… these dishes taste BETTER than the restaurants! You truly orchestrate some magic with the spices.
I just have one question- can you recommend a good pot/pan to make these dishes in? The skillet I have is to shallow to accommodate all the veggies before they cook down.
Thank you for your hard work! I struggle with cooking and am so impressed with the results I get following your recipes!
So kind of you to say that, Nicolle! Thank you! Yes you’re right, curries are best in deep pans vs shallow. A wider, deep pan would work best (4-5 qt). For stainless steel – demeyere essentials 3.5 qt or 4 qt all clad essentials pan would work. A cheaper, lightweight option is AVACRAFT 18/10 Stainless Steel Everyday Pan (11 Inch). Look for similar sizes in nonstick as well!