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!
256 Comments on “Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry”
I couldn’t stop eating this!
That’s a win! Thank you! 🙂
This was fantastic! I stirred in some fresh spinach at the very end because I had some I needed to use up, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. I will definitely be making this again (and again).
That sounds delightful. Thanks so much, Liz!!
This looks great! What do you think about adding a can of Coconut Milk to this?
Very delicious. I sometimes struggle to know what to do with my homegrown courgettes but this is one of my top go to recipes now. Excellent. I’m going to try freezing surplus.
Glad it’s become a go-to. Thank you, Adrian!
would like to know which spices you use,apart from tumeric and cumin.
oops ,no need to answer, i found them.l
I LOVE this recipe. Huge hit with the family (ranging in ages from 64 to 15 months)! It has become my favourite thing to do with the glut of zucchinis available at this time of year. Thanks, Izzah!
So thrilled to hear that, Finn! Thank you so much for taking the time to share with me!
This recipe is amazing!
I cook a lot of South Asian recipes but seldom do they taste authentic. This recipe did not disappoint! It reminded me of a dish I had many years ago at a Pakistani restaurant.
I’m am glad to have discovered your blog and I look forward to cooking more of your vegetarian dishes, right after I use this recipe again to use up all my zucchini!
A true declaration of love to your senses. It simply amazing! The best Zucchini curry I’ve ever tried. I love your blog, thanks for this recipe!
I love your blog. Love each recipe I’ve made from here so far. Just wondering, can I use this recipe with yellow squash or did it have to be zucchini? Thanks!
Hi Sumaira! Thank you so much! I’m sure yellow squash would be great here. Would love to hear if you try it 🙂
So quick and easy to make and very flavourful . Will definitely make it again.
Thank you, Lucia!