This courgette recipe is a super quick and easy weeknight meal which takes minutes to whip up and serve. It’s a dry, stir-fry kind of affair, with slices of juicy onion prominent in the curry, as is often done in vegetable curries (see: Bhindi Masala, Karela Gosht, Bhindi Gosht).
It involves just 6 core ingredients (onion, green chillies, ginger garlic paste, tomato puree, courgettes, fresh coriander) and a few staple spices you’ll have to hand if you cook Pakistani food regularly. And honestly, I am sometimes blown away by how easily this comes together and how delicious it is! I often talk about how us Pakistani have an on-going love affair with meat in our cuisine… but this curry really makes a treat out of a vegetarian meal that even some of my vegetable-averse family are happy to have this!
This recipe is also available to view on my YouTube channel here! The video will be useful for those who prefer to see the visuals of how everything is done, as I haven’t been able to take photos of the cooking process as I like to usually do.
What kind of courgettes should I be using?
This recipe uses young courgettes typically available year-round in supermarkets in the UK. They are firm, about 15cm in length and slice easily with a knife. When you pierce the skin with your nail, it pierces easily therefore I prefer to not take the skins off. Less waste, more nutrition and less work, yay!
If you are using more mature, larger courgettes the skin may be difficult to pierce with your nail. In this case, you can choose to remove the skin or cook the courgettes for longer.
How to serve
We love serving our courgette curry alongside either a hot, freshly made roti smeared with butter or with parathas. You can serve it with achaar (pickle) for a bit of a kick too
If you would like to serve it with another dish, I reckon it would pair well with a simple Chicken Bhuna or Lamb Bhuna, or if you’d like a vegetarian option, I’d recommend (again, a simple) Tadka Dal.
Variations and Substitutions
- Start off the curry by frying some small pieces of boneless chicken in the oil before proceeding to add the onions and other ingredients for a chicken and courgette curry. You will need to adjust the salt
- Similarly, you can add in diced potatoes too. Add those in alongside the onions, as potatoes won’t need to be sauted in the way chicken does for curries
- If you don’t have tomato puree, you can use one finely diced tomato alongside the courgettes. If the curry feels too wet at the end of the cook time, you can dry out some of the excess moisture by allowing it to cook for a few minutes uncovered. Tomate puree adds a wonderful red hue to this this – you can make up for it by adding some paprika or deghi mirch if you like
- If you’d like a tangy, more chattapatta flavour, you can add some achaar or achaar seasoning into the curry alongside the courgettes
- I’ve used red onion in the video of this recipe, but white work equally fine. Red onions will result in a darker, sweeter curry, white in a lighter and less sweet curry.
- Courgette doesn’t actually take very long too cook, which is why this is such a quick recipe. In fact, overcooking the courgette for too long can make it very soggy and mushy. I like how the courgettes in this curry remain in tact, not soggy but also maintain their shape. You can cook them with the lid on for a maximum of 12-15 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend more than that UNLESS they are the mature variety of courgettes, which may potentially take up to 30 minutes to cook through with the skin on
- Whether you remove the skin from the courgette or not is a personal choice. I prefer to keep it on as it isn’t hard, doesn’t take longer to cook and feels wasteful to remove it when it is perfectly edible
- Refrain from adding water to the courgettes! This recipe doesn’t include adding any water, and that’s for a reason! Courgettes have a high water content and as long as they are left to cook over a low heat with the lid on, they will cook in their own water. Adding water will lead to soggy courgettes and a wet curry!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see a picture! I’m active on Instagram as @fatima.cooks and love to hear from you 🙂
Enjoy, with love x
15 Minute Pakistani Courgette Curry (Zucchini)
- 1/3-1/2 cup oil or ghee (more or less, as per your own preference)
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 5 whole green chillies
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- 0.5 tsp turmeric
- 0.5-1 tsp red chilli powder (as per preference)
- salt, to taste (I used 1 tsp)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 500g courgettes, sliced into semi circles
- A small handful of fresh coriander, to garnish
- Heat the oil or ghee in a pan. Add in all the ingredients except the courgettes and fresh coriander. Fry everything over a medium to high heat, stirring often until the onions become translucent and limp,. We're not aiming to brown the onions. This will take about 5 minutes
- Add the courgettes in and stir to combine. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium to low heat for 10 minutes, stirring once in between.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve!