Zucchini Fry | Indian Stir Fried Zucchini with Spices

This is an amazing curry that is both gentle and strong.

Zucchini Fry

Love Zucchinis! Juicy, fresh and luscious. Amazing vegetables that can be baked, grilled, char-grilled, steamed, fried, sauteed, boiled, mashed, and eaten raw. Full of seeds, but no-one minds. Not when the zucchini are fresh and young. Such soft, gentle seeds.

Zucchini is in season now and for the summer months, here down-under in Australia. Zucchini are prolific bearers, so with many of them in the kitchen I turn to this amazing curry that is both gentle and strong.

Similar dishes include Cauliflower Fry with Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies, Courgettes a la Grecque, Marinated Zucchini, and Steamed Eggplant and Zucchini.

You may like to browse other zucchini recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or find inspiration in our Late Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Zucchini Curry | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Zucchini Notes

Don’t use large, old zucchinis for anything other that baking, stuffing or longer cooking. Try to use the smaller, younger veggies whenever possible.

When I first made this dish I didn’t peel the zucchini, but in subsequent times I always peel it. The gentleness of the flavours works best with peeled zucchini.

TIP: Use older zucchinis in your fruit juices. They make the most amazing juice combined with cucumbers, apples, carrots, and summer fruits.

Ingredient Notes

There are a couple of Indian techniques and ingredients that you may not be familiar with. They are explained here.

Zucchini Curry | Indian | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Zucchini Fry | Indian Stir Fried Zucchini with Spices

Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it

4 medium zucchini
0.5 – 1 Tblspn ghee
2 tspn black mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies
0.5 green chilli
0.75 Tblspn Urad Dal
1 tspn Cumin seeds
Pinch of asaphoetida
2 stalks curry leaves
1 scant tspn tamarind paste dissolved in 0.5 Tblspn hot water
Sea Salt to taste

Peel the zucchini and cut the zucchini into cubes.

Heat the ghee in a kadhai, wok or deep frying pan. Add the black mustard seeds and allow to pop.

Add the urad dal and the split dried red chillies. Then add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. After a moment, add 1 stalk of the curry leaves and allow them to splutter.

Now add the zucchini and finely chopped green chilli, and saute with the spices until tender and slightly browned but not overcooked. About half way through the cooking, add the tamarind paste water and stir it through.

Towards the end of cooking add the remaining curry leaves.

When cooked, remove from the heat and add salt if needed to season. Sprinkle with some fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Zucchini Fry

recipe notes
This dish can be served with rice. Especially a plain white rice or a lemon rice. You can add an Indian pickle on the side. Make a chutney or pachadi and add a small green salad. Dinner is served.

Or serve as a side dish with a dal and rice. Add a chutney or pachadi and pickle if you have them.

It is not traditional but you can also use quinoa, barley or other grains as a substitute for rice.



16 thoughts on “Zucchini Fry | Indian Stir Fried Zucchini with Spices”

  1. Yum, Asha, the thought of those pancakes is very tempting.

    Hi Rosa, it is quite strange for me to think of seasonal food as food actually ending. In Australia we have all weather from tropical in the north to sub tropical in eastern central coast to cold cold cold in Tasmania, Mediterranean in the south, and desert in most of the country. So things never really become unavailable. It is just that the quality and the amount available might vary from season to season.

    Having said that, zucchinis are good and prolific at the moment. And delicious in curry.

  2. Zuchhini, or gourgettes as we call them her in France, are one of those vegetables that you can do million things with and they are always a winner. The quinoa sounds great long with the curry!

  3. I love the way that the net exposes us to different ways and traditions across the world. Here in Australia, such a mix of people that we often have several names for the same thing. I am sure that happens elsewhere too. Zucchini is also referred to here as courgettes, but I never heard them called gourgettes. Thank you Ronell for letting me know that.

    Gourgettes are so very versatile, aren’t they? from cakes and cookies to curries and pies. The quinoa – a real surprise to find it so well matched to the curry.

  4. With such an abundance of local fresh zucchini every summer, we can always use another refreshing recipe for them. Thanks for the ingredient glossary. I didn’t know what tadka was, although I have all the fixings for it. Can it be made ahead of time in batches to store until use, or is it better made right at the time?

  5. Hi Susan, the curry is good – I hope that you get to try it. Great to see that you are venturing into Indian cooking too. I am a spice junkie.

    A tadka adds something very special to an Indian dish. It changes the taste of black mustard seeds completely, and captures the intense flavours of the spices in the ghee or oil. I can’t imagine making them beforehand. I think that they need to be fresh, and indeed hot hot hot when they hit the curry and sizzle as it hits the dish. The oil is important – don’t do what my brother did the other day. He make the tadka, then drained off the oil (and lots of the flavour) and only added the spices to the dish.

  6. Utterly beautiful – zucchini are a perfect vehicle for flavours and spices like these! Quinoa was a inspired addition.

    I’ll never forget the look on my partner’s face when he opened the tin of asaphoetida. Very amusing.

  7. Wow, bee, I never thought of growing them in a pot – I must try this.

    Hi Lucy, lol with the asaphoetida story. Yes, I know, very pungent.

    Writingimpropmpt, look forward to your zucchini cooking stories.

  8. I have not tried it as an Indian stir fry yet. Nice idea, will try it soon. But I have made zucchini daal, oven baked zucchini fries and chocolate chip zucchini bread. I have everything in my blog. Actually I asked my husband to get one zucchini to try the oven baked zucchini fries, but he got 4 instead and tried 4 different recipes and each of them turned out better than the other.

    Zucchini is so versatile, and so delicious. Madhuram I love how you got to try lots of different dishes!

  9. Zucchini curry looks yummy! Liked the way u have presented the recipes. Perfect pictures too!!

    I am Anu from My Scrawls. I have posted my version of zucchini curry in my blog. Do have a look at it when u get time. would be happy to receive your comments 🙂

  10. Hallo dear, thanks for receipe but What I have noticed If I am not wrong is missing on your cooking method is tamarind to add. I apologies if I am worng.

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