Confession: for the longest time, I thought zucchini was another type of cucumber that’s only used in raita and salads. I didn’t even know the Indian name for zucchini, having never seen this vegetable in Kerala or even Hyderabad.
It seems it’s actually a fruit, not a vegetable, and is closely related to ridge gourd (torai or tura in Hindi) and beerakay in telugu.
Anyway, I wanted try an Indian recipe with Zucchini and went with the easiest option – a quick and simple sabji with besan. Also check out Indian potato fry (no onion, no garlic), yam fry, and sesame tofu recipe.
This is a no-onion no-garlic recipe.
Zucchini Besan Sabji
2 zucchini, peeled, washed and cut into small cubes
3 tbsp of besan / Bengal gram flour
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1/8 tsp of hing / asafoetida
1 tsp of rice flour (optional)
Salt to taste
1-2 tbsp of oil
1 tsp of cumin seeds / jeera
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
2 strands of curry leaves
1. Add the besan, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, rice flour (if using), and hing to the cubed zucchini. Mix well with fingertips until the zucchini pieces are well coated in the mixture. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and jeera. When they mustard pops and the jeera sizzles, add the curry leaves and the zucchini mixture.
3. Mix well until the zucchini pieces are coated in oil. Cook on low flame, stirring occasionally, until the pieces are cooked and pulpy. If you don’t peel the zucchini, the pieces will hold their shape and will be firmer, so it’s up to you how you want it to turn out.
Serve hot with steamed rice or chapatis / rotis. How do you cook Zucchinis the Indian way? Share your recipes if any!