This zucchini sabzi recipe is a simple recipe with summer squash that takes just a handful of Indian spices and 15 minutes. You can add chickpeas for some protein or potatoes for a heavier meal.
Call it what you want – Indian courgette curry, zucchini curry, or sabzi you can quickly have this fresh zucchini sabzi on the table!
The natural sweetness of zucchini combined with simple spices makes for a fresh meal. You can liken the dish to an Indian-style zucchini stir fry – you just need a few minutes to let the zucchini cook.
Zucchini is used in place of tooriya which is used often in Indian cuisine. This Indian zucchini recipe is a great way to use this vegetable, especially in the prime summer season.
Why you will love this recipe
Pantry ingredients | No fancy ingredients needed! Big flavor with simple ingredients.
Short cook time | Ready in 15 minutes without a great deal of active time.
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free | Suitable for all diet types
Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.
Zucchini: Zucchini is the star of this sabzi. It’s a versatile summer squash with a mild flavor and tender texture. When cooked in the dish, zucchini adds a delightful softness and a subtle sweetness that complements the spices and other ingredients.
Tomato: Fresh tomatoes are an essential component in many curries as they provide a tangy and slightly sweet base.
Crushed Tomatoes: Crushed tomatoes are tomatoes that have been processed and canned without seeds. They add a thicker consistency and intensified tomato flavor to the curry.
Cumin Seeds: When toasted, they release a warm, nutty aroma and a slightly bitter flavor.
Asafoetida: Asafoetida, also known as “hing” in Indian cooking, is a powdered resin with a strong and pungent aroma.
It’s used sparingly in curries and acts as a flavor enhancer, providing a unique umami note to the dish. Unfortunately, there is no good substitute for asafoetida.
Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic form the aromatic base of the curry.
Garam Masala Powder: Garam masala is a blend of various ground warm spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. It adds warmth and complexity. It is added last to the dish.
Cumin Coriander Powder: This spice blend combines ground cumin and coriander seeds. The coriander-cumin powder adds a subtle citrusy and earthy note to the curry, enhancing the overall flavor profile and complementing the other spices.
Green Chili Pepper: Green chilies provide the curry with a pleasant heat and a fresh, grassy flavor. The level of spiciness can be adjusted according to individual preferences.
If you don’t have green chili on hand you can use ½ tsp red chili powder or 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder (which has less heat).
Optional: Top with fresh coriander leaves. I didn’t have any on hand the day I made this!
If you don’t want a spicy dish, for a variation you can add in a few splashes of coconut milk. You may need to taste and adjust the salt if you do so.
Peel and wash zucchini. Cut each zucchini in half. Then cut each half into halves and cut ½ pieces. Try to make the diced zucchini pieces a similar size.
Chop onions, finely chop garlic, and green chili. I left the seeds in the green chili. If you don’t like spicy food you can remove the seeds.
Making Zucchini Curry
➜ Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add a teaspoon cumin seeds. Let them sizzle and cook for 30-40 seconds. Add asafoetida and mix.
➜ Add onions to pan and mix. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add garlic and chopped chilies. Mix and cook for another 2 minutes.
➜ Add crushed tomatoes, cumin coriander powder, and salt. Mix and cook for 1 minute. You will see the oil separate at the sides.
➜ Add chopped tomatoes and zucchini. Mix.
➜ Add water, cover the pan, and cook for about 6 minutes or until knife tender. Stir in between. This is a low-calorie vegetable with high water content so you don’t need a lot of extra water.
➜ Add garam masala and sugar. Mix, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes. Then uncover, mix, and turn off the gas. Remove the pot from the stove and serve.
If you’d like to brighten the dish or feel the tomatoes weren’t tangy enough, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Or, pair it with rice – there are so many options: Sona Masoori Rice, Curd Rice, Mint Rice, South Indian Lemon Rice, Saffron Basmati Rice, Brown Basmati Rice, and Coconut Basmati Rice to name a few Indian recipes!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Have you tried this Indian zucchini curry recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!
15 Minute Indian Zucchini Sabzi (Curry)
- 1 pan
- 1 cutting board
- 1 knife
- 2 zucchini peeled, chopped – 610g
- 1 tomato chopped, 130g
- 3 tbsp crushed tomatoes canned
- 3 tbsp oil neutral, I used canola oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp asafoetida
- ½ cup onions chopped, 55g
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin coriander powder
- ¼ cup water
- 1 green chili chopped, 10g
- ¾ tsp sugar
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds. Let them sizzle and cook for 30-40 seconds. Add asafoetida and mix.
- Add onions to pan and mix. Cook 2 minutes. Then add garlic and chopped chilies. Mix and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, cumin coriander powder, and salt. Mix and cook 1 minute.
- Add chopped tomatoes and zucchini. Mix.
- Add water, cover pan, and let cook about 6 minutes or until knife tender. Stir in between.
- Add garam masala and sugar. Mix, cover and cook another 2 minutes. Then uncover, mix and turn off gas. Remove pot from stove and serve.