Fried Zucchini, Bangla-Style

Serves     4


4 or 5 small zucchini
2 tablespoons mustard oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (OR 4 tablespoons vegetable oil with ¼ teaspoon dry mustard added)
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt coriander leaves or mint leaves, for garnish


Slice the zucchini cross-wise into ½” thick slices. Heat the oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric, mustard seed, cayenne and sugar and fry for about 10 seconds. Add the zucchini and cook, turning and moving them, for about 3 minutes, until browned on both sides. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Don’t crowd the zucchini or they will steam instead of fry.

Remove the slices as they are done and place on a platter, sprinkle with salt and fresh herbs and serve.

Let the flavored oil left behind cool, and refrigerate for future use in cooking or stir-frying.


Notes and Instructions

In Bangladesh they would use potol (pointed gourd) for this dish. Our zucchini are the closest available substitute for the potol.

The cooking technique here is shallow frying, which gives the slices of zucchini a wonderful crisped outer surface, leaving the center creamy and tender-textured. It’s delicious served hot or at room temperature.

Source: “Mangoes and Curry Leaves,” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid