Turai ki Sabzi (Stewed Zucchini)

turai ki sabzi (stewed zucchini)
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This Turai ki Sabzi is the most underrated curry

I used to hate vegetables as a kid. But oddly enough, one vegetable I loved was turai ki sabzi. I accidentally took a bite, not knowing what it was, and I loved it. It was sweet, yet spicy. It was soft, but not a complete mush, and my mom conveniently didn’t tell me it was plain old zucchini until I was old enough to realize that I was enjoying vegetables. Needless to say I was shocked, and eventually began trying other vegetables.  Potatoes I can have in any form, but tori only hits the spot if it’s stewed in an onion and tomato masala with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, mopped up with fresh roti.

Simple is better with curries like turai ki sabzi

What I love about Pakistani vegetable currie sis that the vegetables get their moment to shine. They’re spiced with simple turmeric and chili powder, and stewed in a classic onion and tomato masala. It may look very different form start to finish, but you truly get to taste the zucchini in every bite. It’s sweet and spicy, with the perfect hint of savory. This is the perfect simple weeknight meal. In my family we sometimes add meat to it, lamb or goat, but I prefer mine just like this.

How to cook your zucchini

The process is simple. you start by making a masala with your fried onions and tomatoes. Then you add the spices and the sliced zucchini. I like peeling mine, but you can cook it with the peel on as well. The trick to keeping the flavors intact is to slow cook this, and to not add any water. The zucchini stews in its own liquid, and that gives this curry the best flavor.

turai ki sabzi (stewed zucchini)

Turai ki Sabzi (Stewed Zucchini)

This turai ki sabzi is a Pakistani classic curry. It's vegan, gluten free and dairy free but full of flavor. The sweet zucchini is stewed in a spicy tomato and onion malsala, and the flavors combine beautifully.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani
Servings 3


  • 3 zucchini peeled and sliced
  • 3 tbsp oil flavorless
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 roma tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 3-4 green chili peppers whole
  • 1 tsp garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt add more if needed
  • 1/2 tsp kashmiri laal mirch chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • fresh dhania (cilantro) for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions till they start turning light golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Then add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and all the spices. Saute until the tomatoes start breaking down, about 5-6 minutes. Add the sliced zucchini and green chilies. Mix to combine. Then cover and cook on a low flame for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the zucchini doesn't burn.
  • If the curry gets too dry add a splash of water. Cook until the zucchini has cooked down and is tender. Taste for salt and spices and adjust accordingly. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh dhania.


Turai/Zucchini. Turai is actually a little different than zucchini, in that it’s thinner and longer, but you can’t always find it here in the states. I find that using normal zucchini gives a very similar result. 
Slow cook and non stick. The trick to a good Pakistani vegetable curry is that no water is added to mellow out the flavors. This is why you need to cook it low and slow, and I always prefer using a non stick pan. That way you don’t need to add lots of oil and it won’t burn or stick to the bottom. 
Variations. You can add meat stew to this. You would cook the meat like a curry and then add the zucchini to it. 
Spice. I love using a good amount of spice, just enough so you get a kick with every bite, but not so much so that you can’t taste anything else. That’s what’s listed in the recipe. Adjust according to your personal taste. 
How to serve. I love eating this with fresh roti or naan. I know some people who enjoy this with steamed basmati. 
Keyword Curry, Turai ki Sabzi, Turai Sabzi, Zucchini

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