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”
Oh my word how yummy is this !! Made this tonight and it is now my favourite curry hands down tasted gorgeous thank you 🙏
This was nothing short of absolutely amazingly delicious. Super simple to make too. I made it in my handi. I did do a variation on prep by pulping the onions before sautéing them and I also put the zucchini in the food processor to break down the vegetable further. It was perfect. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My husband wants me to make this at least twice a month now! He says it reminds him of his home in Lahore. Thanks again
This was so delicious! Me, my husband and my daughter all give it 5 stars! I followed the recipe exactly (except I forgot to peel the zucchini….I will do that next time). It was super easy to make. Looking forward to making this again and also trying more of your recipes!
Thank you so much, Kristin! So happy the whole family enjoyed it 🙂
This is the recipe ammi makes me AS SOON as I arrive in Lahore, but she never knows how much of things for me to put in it (like asking my own grandma how she makes this or that recipe). I’ve tried multiple times, but it’s never quite the same. Thank you for this, now I can have my comfort food away from home and it tastes proper!
I’m so happy it brought you comfort, Wendenth. Thank you for taking the time to share with me! 🙂
P.S. I should add that we had nihari (your recipe) for breakfast this morning, so today is a double-TfT day for us. 🙂
I’m honored at the double appearance! Thank you, Heather!
Delicious recipe, thank you! I made it for lunch today, and we all loved it.
Thank you so much, Heather! So happy you got a chance to try it!
Wow – I was looking for a toray sabzi recipe and this one turned out truly amazing. Perfectly spiced, and everyone in my (Pakistani) family enjoyed it. My mum even said it reminded her of her own mother’s cooking. Making this again for dinner tonight. Thanks, can’t wait to try other recipes on your blog too
What a huge compliment! Thank you, Fatima. Hope you get a chance to try more recipes!
Hi! Thank you for the recipe 😊
I had two zucchinis and South Asian rice that had to be used. So, I was very happy to find your recipe.
I followed most part of the recipe. It was delish and easy to make <3 my partner ate most of what was made before I started serving for myself. I liked texture of the onions in this as I often dice cut onions instead of slicing them :). Looking forward to trying more recipes of yours 🙂
You’re welcome & and thank you, Ally! That sounds like such a delicious meal!
Another outstanding recipe from this site. 5 out of 5 all round. Really easy to get this right for a midweek treat.
I’m delighted to see you tried another. Thank you once again, Leon! 🙂
Made this today absolutely delicious just wish I knew how to make rotis! Thanks for sharing great and easy recipe! If I wanted to make double or triple the amount (it was really so good we needed more) do you just x2 x3 everything including spices?
Thank you, Sahar! One day I hope to get rotis on the blog. Yes, just x2 everything. At the stage when you’ll typically add water, you may want to add slightly less because of the zucchini’s water content.