Mum’s stuffed courgette curry (based on Snakecoy curry)

A visit to my home city (Sheffield) for the June bank holiday provided an ideal opportunity to document one my Mother’s many outstanding home cooked Anglo Indian dished that have stood the test of time (and taste) in our family.

The dish is basically the same as a ball curry (curried meatballs in sauce) but with the added attraction of some of the meat being stuffed into tender fresh courgettes, before being gently simmered in the sauce. The rest of the mince is shaped into balls and cooked.

The original version of this dish, in India, is normally cooked with an Asian vegetable called “Snakecoy” or “Snakegourd” which is a long light green vegetable, particularly suitable for stuffing.

Snake Coy (or Gourd)

Because these are  generally unavailable in the UK (although I did manage to buy some once in Tooting, South London – and when I took them home Mum made a magnificent dish from them), courgettes are a viable alternative and prove to be very tasty when cooked in the the curry.

Although I’ve seen Mum do this a few times, I still checked the recipe, because it is, without fail, always better than my own cooking…. years of experience there I think.. 🙂

I also was careful not to get to intrusive while trying to take photos, since I know how touchy I am when people are getting in my way in the kitchen…


For the stuffing / meatballs

  • 1lb mince (turkey, pork of beef or any combination of such)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch pce ginger
  • 2 green chillis (or more according to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 Mixed spice
  • 2 green chillis

For the curry

  • 8 Cloves
  • 3-4 pces Cinnamon
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 2 large onions
  • 2-3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • About 4 courgettes
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 4 potatoes
  • Small pce of coconut
  • salt to taste
  • hot water to (enough to cover the courgettes/meatballs)
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • some fresh coriander

The first step is to prepare the mince for the stuffing / meatballs.
Chop the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies as finely as you can, and mix thoroughly the mince and the rest of the ingredients.
This can then be left to stand while you prepare the courgettes.

Stuffing / meatballs mixture

Hollow out the courgettes ready for stuffing. This is best done (carefully) with a small sharp knife.

Courgettes ready for stuffing

Stuff the courgettes and form the remaining mince into small meatballs and set aside.

To prepare the curry, first fry the cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves in hot oil for a few minutes.
Then add the chopped onion. When the onion has softened add the masalas (coriander powder, cumin, tumeric, mustard powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, chilli powder) and fry for another few minutes.

Frying the spices

When the spices have fried down sufficiently (take care they don’t burn on the bottom of the pan) carefully add the stuffed courgettes, meatballs, tomatoes, coconut and salt. Then pour in the hot water and bring to a gentle simmer.
After about 30 mins add the potatoes, simmer for another 15-20 mins.
As you can see from the photo below, must be gentle simmer since the stuffing has a propensity to want to work it’s way out of the courgettes if boiled to vigourously.

Simmering the curry

When the potatoes are cooked, add the fresh coriander and lemon, and serve.

On the plate


    About Gourmet Gorman
    I'm a musician who enjoys cooking

    10 Responses to Mum’s stuffed courgette curry (based on Snakecoy curry)

    1. Tes says:

      It looks so delicious. I love the idea of stuffing courgette and make curry. The recipe seems not so difficult. I think my family will enjoy this very much. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Pingback: Mum’s stuffed courgette curry (based on Snakecoy curry) - Cooking YOUR Food

    3. Snakecoy is completely new to me. I appreciate the photo – but they look like Chinese long beans to me. They must be much bigger than that to be stuffed. Are they as big as a large snake – or like a long cucumber? And how does the flavour and texture compare to the zucchini? My husband can tolerate Thai curries, but not most Indian curries… I love them if they are not too full of cumin. I just adapt the seasoning, but rarely get to make them due to partner’s taste. This looks like a really delicious recipe and there is nothing like sharing mom’s cooking. The recipes are usually handed down and have an entire family history within them somewhere. The cumin here seems to be well balanced, and the fresh coconut is an interesting addition. I really appreciate this post and the photos particularly are helpful. I am going to try to make this in a similar fashion to suit Vanja’s palate. He won’t eat the zucchini, either. Just lately I got him to eat asparagus by wrapping prosciutto around it!

      • I think that photo of the snakecoys is deceiving. They are actually quite long and about 5-10 cm in diameter, so they perfect for cutting into sections and stuffing. The flavour and texture (as far as I can remember) is very similar to zucchini – snakecoy may be a little but firmer, and thus more suitable for cooking this curry (ie. it won’t disintegrate and fall apart so easily).
        You can always leave the cumin out… nothing is written in stone and it’s all according to taste..

    4. Cate says:

      This is a serious courgette curry. I’m alway on the hunt for innovative courgette recipes, thanks I’ll be trying this out over the next few days.


    5. leeswammes says:

      Interesting recipe. I wonder for how many this is, looks like about 8 people (since there are 4 courgettes)?

    6. Nadia says:

      OMG – I have to make this. It looks so good. I think I might be able to find the Snake Coy in Sydney. Btw, it is kind of similar to how to cook stuffed bigger gourd isn’t it? Mums recipes are always the best!

    7. thaixican says:

      This recipe looks really good! I will definitely make this and leave another comment after I do. This curry with some flat bread or Indian naan would be delicious!

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