Zucchini Bharta

// Learn how to make Zucchini Bharta, a simple, flavorful Indian dish with roasted zucchini and spices. Perfect for a healthy, vegan side.



Zucchini Bharta is a simple, delicious, and flavorful Indian-style dish prepared using roasted zucchini and a blend of aromatic spices. It pairs well with roti, rice, or paratha.

Packed with nourishing ingredients, smoky flavors, and delicious textures, this quick and nutritious zucchini bharta is a vegetarian dish that can also be made vegan and gluten-free with a tiny adjustment.

Cooking tip of the day
Ingredient Selection: Unusual Proteins

Try proteins like Chia seeds or Quinoa for adventurous and exotic dishes.

Zucchini Bharta in a white bowl with rotis and fresh cucumber slices on a dark slate background.

Made using some simple and handy kitchen ingredients, this easy zucchini recipe comes together in under 40 minutes!

About Zucchini Bharta

Zucchini Bharta, similar to its eggplant bharta counterpart, is a mashed zucchini side dish prepared with onions, tomatoes, and a variety of spices.

This easy bharta offers a classic and unique twist on the traditional bharta recipe, which typically features roasted eggplant, also known as brinjal or baingan. Inspired by the authentic Indian recipe Baingan Bharta, this zucchini bharta is very delicious and full of tempting flavors.

If you enjoy zucchini in your dishes or are looking for a fresh, healthy side dish packed with deliciousness and wholesomeness, zucchini bharta is your answer.

It has the soft, mildly sweet flavor of zucchini complemented by the robust flavors of garlic, onions, and essential Indian spices. This mashed zucchini dish is not only a treat to the palate but is also nutritious and light on the stomach, making it an ideal addition to any meal.

You can serve it as a quick weeknight dinner or an indulgent weekend lunch with some plain paratha, dal palak, and matar pulao.

I made zucchini bharta using fresh zucchini. But the great thing I love about this bharta recipe is that you can make it using any squash you like.

So, try this easy and flavorful zucchini bharta recipe and bring a touch of Indian taste to your table tonight!

Close-up of Zucchini Bharta topped with fresh herbs in a white ceramic bowl, surrounded by raw ingredients.

This Zucchini Bharta

✔️ is rich in vitamins

✔️ is low in calories

✔️ is vegetarian

✔️ can also be made vegan & gluten-free

✔️ adds a refreshing touch to your meal

✔️ makes a satisfying meal

✔️ comes together in just 30 minutes

✔️ is versatile & customizable

Ingredients

Making Zucchini Bharta is very simple; you just need some very simple and handy ingredients.

  • Zucchini: It is the star ingredient of this dish. I have used 2 large-sized zucchinis for making this bharta recipe.  

  • Garlic & Ginger: These are essential ingredients that give the bharta its authentic flavor punch. Minced ginger is added to the bharta while cooking to give it an aromatic flavor.  

  • Green Chilis: They add heat to this bharta. Feel free to adjust them according to your heat preference.  

  • Oil & Ghee: You will need cooking oil for brushing the zucchini and sautéing the masala.  Ghee is added at the end for richness.

  • Onions: They add a sweet base to this bharta. Tiny pieces of cooked onion in mashed zucchini taste amazing. You can also use red onions if you don’t mind a strong taste.  

  • Tomatoes: They add velvety texture, juiciness, and tang to this recipe.  

  • Spices: For making this bharta recipe, you will need turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and garam masala powder to bring warmth and depth. Also, salt is added according to taste. You can use any type of salt.  

  • Kasuri Methi: Roasted kasuri methi adds a strong flavor that complements the overall taste of this bharta.  

  • Cilantro: For freshness and contrast, you will need chopped cilantro in cooking and also used as a garnish.

Vibrantly garnished Zucchini Bharta served alongside flatbreads and fresh vegetables on a modern kitchen countertop.

How to Make Zucchini Bharta

Making Zucchini Bharta is straightforward and very simple. Here’s how you can prepare it in a few easy steps:

  • Roast the Zucchini: Slit the zucchini and fill the slits with garlic cloves and green chilies. Brush the zucchini with a little oil and roast until tender. You can roast it over an open flame for a smoky flavor, use an electric stove or induction, and for an added smoky flavor, use a torch.  

  • Mash: Once the zucchini is roasted, let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and mash the flesh, garlic, and green chilies using a fork or a potato masher.

  • Cook the Spices: In a pan, heat oil and sauté cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, finely chopped garlic, and green chilies until fragrant. Add chopped onions and cook until golden. Then, add the spices and cook until the oil starts to separate.

  • Combine Ingredients: Add tomatoes and cook until they are tender and the oil separates. Then add the mashed zucchini to the pan, mix well, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. Add salt, Kasuri methi, and garam masala powder, cook for 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed. Then add some ghee, mix well, and cook for another minute.

  • Garnish and Serve: Garnish this bharta with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime. Serve hot as a side dish with roti or rice.

Serving Suggestions

Zucchini Bharta pairs exceptionally well with any flatbread such as roti or Afhgan naan. It can also be served as an indulgent side to an elaborate meal of dal, jeera rice, and jeera aloo.

Colorful presentation of Zucchini Bharta in a white bowl, garnished with green herbs, with flatbread and fresh veggies nearby.

Pro Tips for the Best Zucchini Bharta

  1. Garlic: It adds a distinct flavor to this bharta. However, adding garlic is optional, so if you don’t like garlic, feel free to skip it. Your bharta will still taste delicious.

  2. Roasting: Roasting enhances the flavor of this bharta recipe. You need to roast the zucchini until it is slightly charred. I have used it on an electric stove, but you can also roast it in an oven.

  3. Spices: This recipe makes a spicy bharta, but feel free to adjust the spice levels to suit your taste. To make it less spicy, you can omit the green chilies and reduce the red chili powder. You can also swap red chili powder with smoked paprika for an enhanced smoked taste.

  4. Serving: For freshness, it is best to serve this bharta hot, straight from the pan to enjoy its full flavor profile.

  5. Ghee: Adding ghee towards the end adds an aromatic touch and an extra layer of flavor to this bharta recipe, but adding ghee is optional.


Zucchini Bharta (Step-by-step photo instructions)

Roast Zucchini

  1. Start by making slits in the zucchini. Stuff each slit with garlic cloves and green chilies. Brush each zucchini with oil, which will help peel off the skin easily after roasting.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-1 for Zucchini Bharta
  3. Begin roasting the zucchinis directly over a flame or on an electric or induction stove, flipping occasionally. You need to roast until the zucchini turns dark and is completely cooked from the inside. Since I cooked the zucchini on an electric stove, I also used a torch to char the skin.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-2 for Zucchini Bharta
  5. Once charred, remove the zucchini and let it cool completely. Once cooled, peel off the skin. Mash the roasted zucchini, garlic cloves, and green chilies with the help of a fork. Set it aside.
  6. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-3 for Zucchini Bharta

How to Make Zucchini Bharta

  1. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida. Sauté for a few seconds or until fragrant. Add chopped ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add chopped onions and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-1 for Zucchini Bharta
  3. Next, add chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder, and sauté until the spices become aromatic. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-2 for Zucchini Bharta
  5. Add salt to taste and mix again. After that, add the roasted and mashed zucchini and mix well to combine. Cook for 5 minutes or until the flavors are well combined.
  6. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-3 for Zucchini Bharta
  7. Add roasted kasuri methi and garam masala powder. Mix well, then add the chopped cilantro. Mix again until everything is well combined. Lastly, add ghee and mix again, then cook for a minute. Your delicious zucchini bharta is ready.
  8. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-4 for Zucchini Bharta
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro, drizzle with lime juice, and serve hot with makki ki roti, palak paratha, or rice.
  10. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-5 for Zucchini Bharta

Recipe Card


Zucchini Bharta [Recipe]

Recipe Image
Learn how to make Zucchini Bharta, a simple, flavorful Indian dish with roasted zucchini and spices. Perfect for a healthy, vegan side.
★★★★★
(Rating: 5 from 7 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
35 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Sides Indian 4
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
174 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Roasting
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small green chilis
  • 1/4 teaspoon oil for brushing
Making Zucchini Bharta
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida (I used gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger and garlic
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon roasted kasuri methi
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
For Serving
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges

INSTRUCTIONS:

Roast Zucchini
  1. Start by making slits in the zucchini. Stuff each slit with garlic cloves and green chilies. Brush each zucchini with oil, which will help peel off the skin easily after roasting.
  2. Begin roasting the zucchinis directly over a flame or on an electric or induction stove, flipping occasionally. You need to roast until the zucchini turns dark and is completely cooked from the inside. Since I cooked the zucchini on an electric stove, I also used a torch to char the skin.
  3. Once charred, remove the zucchini and let it cool completely. Once cooled, peel off the skin. Mash the roasted zucchini, garlic cloves, and green chilies with the help of a fork. Set it aside.
How to Make Zucchini Bharta
  1. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida. Sauté for a few seconds or until fragrant. Add chopped ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add chopped onions and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Next, add chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder, and sauté until the spices become aromatic. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  3. Add salt to taste and mix again. After that, add the roasted and mashed zucchini and mix well to combine. Cook for 5 minutes or until the flavors are well combined.
  4. Add roasted kasuri methi and garam masala powder. Mix well, then add the chopped cilantro. Mix again until everything is well combined. Lastly, add ghee and mix again, then cook for a minute. Your delicious zucchini bharta is ready.
  5. Garnish with chopped cilantro, drizzle with lime juice, and serve hot with makki ki roti, palak paratha, or rice.

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NOTES:

  1. It adds a distinct flavor to this bharta. However, adding garlic is optional, so if you don't like garlic, feel free to skip it. Your bharta will still taste delicious.
  2. Roasting enhances the flavor of this bharta recipe. You need to roast the zucchini until it is slightly charred. I have used it on an electric stove, but you can also roast it in an oven.


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