Indian Zucchini Curry (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

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Tender summer squash smothered in a rich and creamy masala sauce! This recipe is the most exciting thing to ever happen to zucchini!

zucchini curry (turai ki sabzi)

We’re tossing thick zucchini slices, a handful of spices, and onion masala in an instant pot and setting the cook time to ONE minute. Adding a touch of cream. And then eating a dish that is sure to provide the most thrilling zucchini experience you’ve ever had.

I’m not exaggerating. Not even a little bit. This is absolutely the best and most amazing zucchini recipe in existence… (I’m like, 99.899 percent sure of that).

zucchini curry (turai ki sabzi)

My recipe for zucchini curry (courgette curry), also known as turai ki sabzi or toriyan, is made with spices that really complement the natural sweetness of zucchini. Spices like tangy amchur (dried green mango powder), roasted cumin powder, and spicy cayenne infuse this porous squash that basically begs to be seasoned.

As the squash cooks, it becomes tender (not mushy) and releases its water into the curry while absorbing all the wonderful masala flavor that goes into this dish. What we’re left with are concentrated sweet zucchini slices floating around in a creamy masala that is packed to the brim with flavor.

There is no other zucchini recipe quite like this.

zucchini curry (turai ki sabzi)

HEY ASH, SHOULD I PEEL THE ZUCCHINI FIRST?

Depends on who you ask, lol.

I often text my parents with photos of new recipes. Shortly after texting a photo of this dish, my dad immediately replied asking why I didn’t peel the zucchini. When making zucchini sabzi, you typically peel the zucchini first.

I’m a (food) rebel (just let me pretend) and I like my zucchini with the peel on. Why don’t I peel it? For the same reason that I don’t grate potatoes when making aloo tikki. There’s just no need.

You really can’t taste the peel… like, at all. It doesn’t affect the texture of the dish either. If anything, I think the green color makes the dish look prettier. This zucchini curry actually looks like it’s made with zucchini; your family and friends won’t have to play the “guess the vegetable” game at dinner time.

We don’t have to do things just because things are done a certain way, you know? That said… when I make this for my dad, I will absolutely peel the zucchini first, lol. So if you are making this for your traditional Punjabi father/relative, maybe just peel it, okay? 😂

zucchini curry (turai ki sabzi)

I know zucchini has a reputation for being a bit bland, a bit boring. But let’s please take a quick break from hiding it in bread or pretending like it’s spaghetti.

The key to making zucchini shine is to highlight its natural sweetness and tender bite. And despite being smothered in a well-spiced masala sauce, zucchini really does hold its own in this curry.

zucchini curry (turai ki sabzi)

Zucchini Curry (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

zucchini curry (turai ki sabzi)

Zucchini Curry (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

4.86 from 14 reviews
Pin Recipe Print Recipe
Servings 2 -3
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

Spices

 

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • teaspoon hing
  • 1 ½ pounds zucchini sliced lengthwise and then cut into 1-inch half-moon chunks
  • ¼ cup frozen onion masala
  • 3 tablespoons water

Add later:

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Cilantro garnish

Instructions
 

Instant Pot

  • Combine all of the spices in a bowl and set aside for now.
  • Press sauté, add oil and once it’s hot, add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds turn brown, add hing and stir, then add zucchini, water, onion masala, all of the spices, and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and set the cook time to 1 minute at high pressure.
  • Quick release pressure.
  • Add 2 tablespoons cream and mix well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Stovetop:

  • Combine all of the spices in a bowl and set aside for now.
  • Add the oil to a dutch oven over medium heat and once hot, add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds turn brown, add hing and stir, then add ½ cup water (cooking on the stovetop calls for more water) and onion masala and saute until the onion masala melts. 
  • Once the onion masala melts, add the zucchini and mix well, then add the spices and mix well. 
  • Add an extra ¼ cup of water then cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for around 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender to your liking. 
  • Add cream, stir, garnish with cilantro.

Notes

  • turai can refer to several different types of squash/gourds. This recipe has only been tested with zucchini.
  • It's always a good idea to gather spices together before cooking but in this recipe, it's necessary to do so in order to prevent burning as step 2 moves very quickly. 
  • If you don't have or don't want to use heavy cream, you can use ghee instead. It'll be a bit spicier but it'll still taste good! I do prefer it with the cream though.
  • Roasted cumin powder is very different in flavor from regular cumin. If you don't have this, it's easy to make and adds a really unique flavor to recipes.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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zucchini curry (turai ki sabzi)

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About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Barb says

    I’m trying this tonight so will let you know what the family rating is, lol.
    I have the amchur powder, just wondering what this adds to the recipe since I’ve never used it before?

  2. Kim says

    5 stars
    I made your onion masala and then the zuchini curry and O.M.G. It was amazing! I haven’t found hing so I used garlic powder, I’ll order some hing online, and used coconut cream at the end. SO GOOD!! I can’t wait to try your other recipes with the onion masala. Thank you!

  3. Marah says

    5 stars
    Ashley, I have made about 9 of your recipes and each has been fantastic! You have made it possible to have delicious, varied dishes with consistently excellent results. I really appreciate the clarity of your instructions and the time saving tips. I have the onion masala, ginger and garlic paste in the freezer as well as a stocked pantry so that I can daily pick recipes. I have loved Indian food since childhood and have used some great cookbooks but the time required to make multiple dishes became something I could not do daily. Your recipes allow me to incorporate these dishes into my family meals 3-4 times a week. I have been meaning to send this for awhile. I really appreciate all the work and care you have put into the recipes, cookbooks and website!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!

  4. Kiran says

    5 stars
    We really enjoyed this recipe, even my husband who isn’t very keen on courgettes. I also added yogurt instead of the cream and it turned out well. The onion masala makes this very quick and easy to make.

  5. Christine Baughan says

    5 stars
    I made this for the first time today and I love it. Very easy and quick, delicious and surprisingly filling for hours, even after a not very large serving. A real keeper and my now favourite way to eat zucchini.

  6. Samantha says

    5 stars
    This was incredible! I used coconut milk (from the can) I stead of cream as I don’t eat dairy. I already have plans to make it again this weekend, it’s that good!

  7. Upstairs Woman says

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I used a small dollop (~2 Tbsp) of homemade plain whole milk yogurt in place of the cream and it still was delicious (cooled the gravy somewhat and then stirred in the yogurt).

  8. Donna Piasetzki says

    5 stars
    My first time using the onion masala and it was a smashing success. This is my new favourite way to cook zucchini! Oh and we are vegan, so I added 2 tablespoons of cashew sour cream instead of the heavy cream and it was perfect.

  9. Ruhi says

    5 stars
    Thanks Ashley!

    It came out super yummy! I did add some curry leaves and few garlic cloves with cumin. Rest followed exact same. Thanks again for easy yet yummy recipes.
    I did peeled the zucchini as I am Punjabi myself 😉

  10. Renita Sathasivam says

    Hi again Ashley,

    I had the leftover curry reheated with some couscous and I must say it was even better the second time around. Really grateful for all your tips and recipes.

  11. Renita Sathasivam says

    3 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for helping me put dinner on the table yet again! I will definitely use kashmiri chili powder the next time because the paprika threw me off a bit. Well, you did give us options and I just chose the wrong one for me ; )
    QUESTION: Should I salt the zucchini chunks ahead of time to get rid of the excess water. I cooked it down a fair bit but still could taste bland water when I bit into the zucchini. That was slightly disappointing. Overall, I would make this again because its so healthy and convenient.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Renita, were you using sweet paprika? Hopefully not smoked paprika? As for the zucchini, was it a particularly large one by any chance? Large zucchini isn’t as flavorful as smaller zucchini and so I wonder if that’s why it was bland?

  12. Megan says

    5 stars
    Made this during lunch today. I added a bit more cayenne because I like the heat. Now my new favorite preparation of zucchini and/or my favorite of your onion masala recipes.

  13. Piara Singh says

    I’m probably your parents age group and 100% Punjabi. I never peel zucchini. Also I don’t peel ginger and often don’t peel potatoes. This gives a unique variation in taste and saves time as well.

  14. Enakshi says

    5 stars
    Very timely as i have zuchinni that needs to be made and soon. This recipe sounds very easy to make but i don’t have your onion masala handy 🙁
    What is the quantity of the ingredients that I can put instead?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Enakshi, it’s hard to say the exact quantity of onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and spices in the masala but I’d try caramelizing half an onion, cooking down half to one tomato and then half a teaspoon of ginger and garlic. I’m sure it’ll turn out well though it’ll take longer as you’ll need to cook the onion and tomato. If you have the ingredients for my onion masala I’d suggest making that then making this recipe – the onion masala is a huge time saver and it’ll be great for many other recipes as well.

  15. Sara K says

    Hey there Ashley,

    Quick question – If I do not have your Onion masala on hand and want to make this with fresh, do you have a ratio of how much fresh onion/tomato/garlic/ginger to use? for example, this recipe calls for 1/4th cup frozen masala so what would that equate to if using fresh ingredients? Thank you!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sara, it’s tough to say the exact quantity of onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and spices in the masala but I’d try caramelizing half an onion, cooking down half to one tomato and then half a teaspoon of ginger and garlic. I’m sure it’ll turn out well though it’ll take longer as you’ll need to cook the onion and tomato. If you have the ingredients for my onion masala I’d suggest making that then making this recipe – the onion masala is a huge time saver and it’ll be great for many other recipes as well.