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Taste of India: Masala and Zucchini

Here is one of our favorite recipes from around the world 🙂 This is a simple and delicious zucchini and masala dish from India. This amazing recipe comes from Manjula’s and features a special Bengali spice mixture known as punch poran. According to Manjula, punch poran is a blend of five spices which gives the zucchini a very unique flavor. You will love Manjula’s recipe because it is healthy, simple to prepare and it’s nutty, spicy flavor is a nice break from the norm.

This recipe serves about 3


  • 2 zucchini large size with skin, sliced in 1/2 inch thick. This will make about 4 cups of sliced zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (also called Jeera)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (also called Methi dana)
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (also called rai)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (also called saunf)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds (also called kalonji)
  • 2 whole red chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (also called haldi)
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (also called amchoor)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. First mix the cumin, fenugreek, mustard, fennel, and nigella seeds (known as Punch Poran). You can make your own mix or but it at your local Indian store.
  2. This recipe works best with large and firm zucchini.


  1. After mixing the 5 spices (Punch Poran:cumin, fenugreek, mustard, fennel, and nigella seeds), set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a flat sauce pan over medium high heat. When oil is moderately hot add the spice mix as cumin seeds and mustard seeds crack add whole red chili stir for few seconds. Add turmeric, red chili powder and salt stir and add zucchini.
  3. Stir fry for about 1 minute lower the heat to low medium, and cover the pen. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes, doing this zucchini will leave the moisture that will help to stir fry them.
  4. Remove the cover bring the heat to medium high and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Zucchini should be tender not mushy.
  5. Add sugar, mango powder and lemon juice, stir and mix it well. Turn off the heat Masala  Zucchini is ready to serve.
  6. Serve Masala Zucchini with roti, paratha or any bread. This also good with rice 🙂

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