Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
1hr 20min

‘Dudhi’ translates to calabash, but in this version, you’ll use zucchini to create these delicious kofta. Fully vegan, this delectable Indian curry is an impressive dish to make for an Indian feast, in winter or summer, or when you want to impress someone with an elegant and powerful plant-based dish.


6 Servings
(1 serving = 1 portion )

Zucchini Kofta

  • 2lb
    . zucchini
  • kosher salt
  • 1
    medium red onion, chopped
  • 2
    serrano peppers, chopped coarse
  • 2tbsp
    raw cashews (salted or unsalted)
  • 4
    cloves garlic, chopped coarse
  • 1tsp
    ground ginger
  • 1/2cup
    chickpea flour
  • 2tbsp
    rice flour
  • 2tbsp
    cilantro, chopped
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • vegetable oil
  • 1tsp
    cumin seeds
  • 1
    medium red onion, minced
  • 2
    serrano peppers, chopped coarse
  • 2tbsp
    cashews (salted or unsalted)
  • 2tbsp
  • 1oz
    14.5 can diced tomatoes
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2tsp
  • 1/2cup
    coconut milk
  • 1tsp
    garam masala
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


For the Zucchini Kofta

  1. Grate the zucchini in a large bowl. Once it’s all grated, add 2 tsp kosher salt and let sit for 30 minutes.

  2. While the zucchini is weeping, start on the onion paste. Place the onion, serrano peppers, cashews, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl or container you can use your immersion blender in (you can also blend in a blender if so desired). ***Note: It’s not important that all your ingredients be perfectly minced, since they will all be blended into a paste. *Blend this into a semi-thick liquid paste.

  3. Once the zucchini is done weeping, place on a clean, dry tea towel. Fold over the zucchini so you have it all in a tiny ball. Then going over to the sink, squeeze the tea towel to release as much liquid as possible.

  4. Place the zucchini back in the bowl, then mix in the paste, the chickpea flour, rice flour, and cilantro. The mixture should still be wet, but cohesive enough you can create small balls with your hand. If it’s too wet, add a bit more chickpea flour, tbsp by tbsp until you have the right consistency.

  5. Heat the frying oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Use enough so that there’s a 3/4 inch to an inch-worth of oil.

  6. Using your hands, take a tablespoon’s worth of the zucchini mixture and roll it so it becomes a ball. You may need to squeeze more liquid out of it. Carefully place the ball in the hot oil. (The oil should be sizzling when you do this. If it’s not, it’s not hot enough.) Let cook for 3 - 4 minutes, turning the ball halfway through with a slotted spoon, until it’s browned on all sides.

  7. When done to your liking, take out of the oil with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat the process until you’ve used up all of the zucchini mixture. Depending on your pan, you can place up to 4 to 5 zucchini balls in the pan at one time.

For the Curry

  1. Taking a large sauté pan, heat a tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let cook until fragrant (about 2 - 3 minutes).

  2. Next, add the red onion, serrano peppers, cashews, and raisins. Sprinkle a dash of salt on the mixture. Cook until the onion starts to cook down and the cashews begin to brown slightly, about 5 - 6 minutes. **Note: Again, it’s not important the onion or peppers be perfectly minced, since you’ll be blending this mixture anyway in the next step.

  3. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, and 1 tsp kosher salt. Mix with the onions, peppers, and nuts for a minute or so. Then take off heat.

  4. Place the mixture in a blender. (You can also put in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender if you don’t have a blender at home). Purée for 30 seconds or until everything is perfectly mixed and the mixture comes out smooth.

  5. Place the mixture back in the pan over low heat, add a 1/2 cup of water, a 1/4 cup of coconut milk, and the garam masala. Stir so everything is combined. Taste test for salt.

  6. Add the dudhi kofta to the pan. Carefully mix in with the curry, making sure to pour the liquid over the kofta, and not move the kofta around too much (else they might disintegrate). Cook for 5 minutes more, or until the zucchini kofta are warmed through.

  7. Take off the heat, and sprinkle the cilantro on top for garnish. Serve with rice or naan, and enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

  1. I highly recommend doing your kofta first and then the curry after. Trying to whip up your curry and fry your kofta at the same time would be overwhelming and could easily end in disaster. Take your time making the zucchini balls and when you’re ready, start on the curry.

  2. If you love your spice, and feel like two serrano peppers isn't enough, feel free to add more! You can also de-seed your peppers or just less if you prefer milder kofta or a milder curry.

  3. You can of course use a different curry recipe than the one provided in this recipe. You could also enjoy the zucchini kofta on their own as an appetizer with chutney or alongside some other dish!

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Recipe by

Rachel Zorn Kindermann


I'm a plant-based eater and food writer dedicated to making cooking and plant-based eating approachable and fun! I'm the creator of Samosas and Mimosa... Read More

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