Zucchini is a staple in Indian cuisine and is perhaps the best multi-purpose vegetable that you can either fry, bake or cook in different curries!
Since Indian cuisine relies heavily on roasted ground spices or garam masala, there are a ton of ways you can extract and use the flavors from zucchini in multiple recipes.
Without further ado, if you have been looking for the best Indian zucchini dishes, then this roundup is just for you.
Read below to discover new ways to expand your culinary horizons!
This Indian curry will tantalize your taste buds and will also provide just a glimpse of what Indian cuisine is all about.
Zucchini can be prepared in many ways but there is just something wholesome about shallow frying it with onion and tomatoes and then pairing it with Indian spices!
This recipe perfectly demonstrates how you can leverage the flavors from zucchini. It also has a thick curry that will pair well with flatbread or, our favorite, aromatic basmati rice.
If you thought vegetable recipes cannot be as hearty as meat dishes then we have news for you! The curry itself is what makes this dish extremely delicious and hearty.
Why is this vegetable dish hearty? Well, it uses coconut milk, coconut oil, and lots of chickpeas too!
With a balance of Indian spices like garam masala, turmeric, and roasted cumin, this zucchini dish will thoroughly introduce you to Indian cuisine, especially if you haven’t had it before.
Also, this dish looks more like butter chicken – but without the chicken, which should be a good enough reason to try it!
It has a more earthy, sweet, and nutty flavor owing to the chickpeas and zucchini, which both lend a lot of texture and flavor to this dish.
Ultimately, this is one of the healthiest lunch options that you can make for your family!
A good chutney is always welcome!
If you haven’t tried Indian chutneys before, we highly recommend that you start with this delicious zucchini chutney.
It balances spices, sweetness, sourness, and more – all in one dish. Trust us, this is a chutney that will take you by surprise!
The zucchini provides a great foundation that adds texture and volume to the chutney. You can also tweak some of the ingredients in this recipe to fit your preferences.
For example, you can replace the tart apple with tamarind, which we highly recommend for any type of chutney.
Confused about what to have with this recipe? Well, you can pair it with almost every dish in the Indian cuisine. But we highly recommend that you try it with simple garlic naan or cumin rice first.
Remember, the chutney can also be eaten on its own but if you want to turn this into a proper meal then you must try it with rice and a side of a freshly cut salad!
If you love a good curry then we can’t recommend this recipe enough!
Much like the first recipe on our list, this one also has a coconut-milk curry but is texturally different with the addition of cubed and fried potatoes.
It has a great combination of aromatic whole spices, herbs, and, of course, garam masala which makes it an excellent option for both lunch and dinner.
The zucchini in this recipe adds balance with the help of the thick curry. The best part is that you can have this recipe with rice or parathas, which are just lightly fried flatbread made from wholewheat flour.
Want to know a secret? You can also have this curry with noodles too! The noodles will pair extremely well with the consistency and flavors of the curry and will also turn it into a completely new dish that resembles another popular recipe in India called Khaosay.
This is sadly a lesser-known pairing that is also highly underutilized in Indian cuisine.
But with this type of curry, you can pull off the noodles, as all the flavors will tie together nicely and if you have little ones at home, then this will make for a healthier alternative to commercial noodles too!
This dish perfectly captures the versatility of zucchini and the power of Indian spices – that can seemingly pair with just about every ingredient known to man.
This is the type of recipe that you can have in the afternoon and will surely be a hit with all ages! It has fried onions, tomatoes, cumin seeds, and of course zucchini with a splash of roasted Indian spices.
The consistency of this recipe is largely dry which is why we highly recommend that you also try it with any favorite curry or even daal (lentil).
Trust us, if you have been looking for a good comfort-food option then this is going to take the top spot! Want even more out of the recipe? Mix in cubed potatoes!
You can also choose to fry the zucchini separately and then add it to the main dish to get a delicious caramelization on the vegetable.
The sauteed onion and tomato base will lend a balanced citrusy and subtly sweet flavor that will accentuate the texture of the zucchini too.
Prepare basmati rice on the side and get ready to impress a whole lot of people with this popular Indian dish!
If you are looking for a high protein and vegetarian alternative for your meaty diet, then start here.
This combination of red and orange lentils (daal) with zucchini and spices is a winner!
The nutty and earthy flavor from the lentils and the texture and flavor of the zucchini will create a very balanced and hearty recipe with an almost curry-like texture.
Of course, when you also add roasted Indian spices and whole spices to the mix, it will take this dish to the next level!
We also have to highlight the addition of Hing or asafetida in this dish, which in our opinion, is the hero in this recipe! Hing provides a strong yet subjugated aroma and flavor that will bring all the ingredients together.
Also, we get it, making daal is very hectic and requires a lot of patience. But the great thing about this recipe is that you can make it in an instant pot.
Pressure cooking alone will easily bring down the cooking time to just 15-20 minutes, including all the preparation!
Pro tip: While the zucchini and daal cook in the instant pot, we recommend that you make a quick salad with a combo of freshly chopped cucumbers, washed and drained onions, firm tomatoes, and salad leaves!
Serve with warm flatbread or basmati rice and you will have yourself an excellent lunch/dinner dish!
We can’t stress the importance of vegetable fritters in Indian cuisine.
It is perhaps one of the foundations of Indian culture – so much so, that there are also special occasions where fritters are mandatorily cooked in Indian households!
Whether it is with yogurt-based curries or in spicy savory snacks, the humble pakoda or pakora has solidified its place in both the hearts and stomachs of Indian people.
The great thing about making pakodas is that you can use almost any type of ingredient. Whether it is meat, or in this case, vegetables. Zucchini pakodas are extremely flavorful and can be had with a wide range of dishes too!
This pakoda recipe keeps it traditional with the use of cumin, ground spices, and of course gram flour. If you want a taste of Indian snacks then the zucchini pakoda will easily provide you with a quick refresher.
Top it with spicy and tangy chaat masala and you will have yourself an extremely well-balanced snack that you can munch on almost any time of the day!
To finish off, here is a great stir-fry recipe that will surely change your perspective about cooking with zucchini!
The Zucchini Besan Sabzi is a beloved dish that includes ingredients like mango powder, garam masala, gram flour, ginger/garlic, and much more.
It is the quintessential Indian recipe that showcases the culture and flavor of India.
If you had just one recipe to pick from this list (we hope not!) then we would suggest that you go with this! It’s non-intimidating for folks that haven’t tried Indian food and will provide a balanced range of flavors.
If you are worried about this dish being too spicy then the good news is that even though this sabzi has lots of roasted spices, their flavor is tamed with the help of zucchini and gram flour.
Pair this recipe with roti, leavened flatbread, or just aromatic rice!
If you want even more flavor, then you can also pair this dish with the zucchini chutney mentioned above. It will taste great with this type of sabzi because it is predominately dry, and the chutney will add a lot of texture and flavor to every bite!