Spicy Creamy Courgette Gratin with Cheese

by Helene Dsouza on December 20, 2013

Spicy Creamy Courgette Gratin with Cheese www.masalaherb.com

In the past years the vegetable courgette, which is also globally known as zucchini, has been introduced into the Indian market. A handful of common vegetable vendors sell it here in Goa and one place where you can purchase this delicious versatile summer squash is in the recently modified, well known Mapusa market. Organic produce is usually sold by the local market women, and since courgette is rather a new vegetable here, you won’t see the local ladies selling this particular vegetable. Therefore, to come across organic courgette is rather difficult. Luckily a known foreigner here has been successfully growing and selling his organic produce in North Goa and I regularly purchase the products from Ambrosia farms. Organic vegetables are most of the time 10 – 20 INR more expensive but that has changed a lot since we have been experiencing high inflation of food prices in the Indian subcontinent, so at the end of the day it makes sense to buy a pure organic courgette.

Because I grew up eating frequently dishes made with courgette, I made an attempt to introduce this vegetable to my husband. Most of the time he was just ok with the dish flavors. I wanted to show him how spectacular courgette could taste and for that I had to modify the typical European flavors so to come up with new fusion style dishes a la India. I suppose you are not surprised by that, right? Also, family and friends had asked me in the past how they could possibly use this vegetable in their meal planning. On the one hand, a westerner might have no clue on how to use a ridge gourd, on the other hand an Asian is missing knowledge on how to use a courgette in a dish. I am not trying to point out a stereotype here, it’s just common sense that Goan locals, who have never used a barely known vegetable here, will feel confused about the courgette preparation.

Spicy Creamy Courgette Gratin with Cheese www.masalaherb.com

Anyway,… So I was fixing flavors and trying dishes again and again when this superb spicy creamy courgette gratin with cheese came to be. Courgette gratin is a popular baked side dish in France, which is commonly seasoned with herbs such as thyme and finished with a cheesy, or breadcrumbs/egg, crunchy “grilled” layer. The top layer should be golden and if you reheat it, the flavors turn out better. Normally I make the double amount of gratin, so that I have some left for the days to come because I believe a reheated/ grilled (top heat in the oven) dark golden gratin tastes even better then a freshly made light colored gratin. By the way my gratin in the picture was cooked once, so feel free to bake yours more golden dark.

Various type of gratins are common, including different vegetables such as potato, spinach and cauliflower. You can expect more quick and simple gratin side dishes here in the future, no matter if real classics such as the gratin dauphinois or similar spiced gratins such as this tasty spicy creamy courgette gratin with cheese.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Spicy Creamy Courgette Gratin with Cheese
Serves: 2-3
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

  • 500 grams courgette (zucchini)
  • 200 milliliter fresh cream
  • ½ Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • pinch Turmeric Powder (haldi) – optional
  • about 100 grams mild grated Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt according to your taste
  • Pepper according to your taste
  1. To prepare a courgette is very quick and easy. You don’t have to peel the vegetable as long as you wash it well, but if you don’t know if your courgette was treated with pesticides, then you might want to peel the courgette, just to be save. I use organic naturally grown courgette, so no peeling is required. Cut off both courgette ends and discard the parts. Slice your courgette thin. Spicy Creamy Courgette Gratin with Cheese www.masalaherb.com
  2. Preheat your oven to 200 Celsius.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the fresh cream, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder (optional), half amount of the cheddar cheese (so, 50 grams only), salt and pepper and mix the whole content well. Also add the cut courgette and make sure the vegetable pieces are well covered with the mixture. Spicy Creamy Courgette Gratin with Cheese www.masalaherb.com
  4. Grab an oven proof dish and pour/place/spread the spicy and creamy courgette mixture into it. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese on top so that it’s evenly covered. Spicy Creamy Courgette Gratin with Cheese www.masalaherb.com
  5. Place into the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes at 200 Celsius.
  6. Serve hot as a side dish or as a light main dish.

Have you cooked with Zucchini in an unconventional way before?

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }


A tasty combination! I love pairing cheese and courgettes with spices.




John@Kitchen Riffs

You’ve done some really creative spicing in this dish! This really is a great dish – I’m going to have to make this. I had no idea zucchini wasn’t common in India. I’ve eaten it in Indian restaurants here in the US. It works really well with common Indian spices, IMO. Anyway, good recipe – thanks.
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Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com

I have to echo John – I had no idea zucchini was not so common in India – glad you found someone in north Goa who sells it; if you didn’t we wouldn’t have this dish to drool over!
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Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

I would love this dish. John’s not big on cheese so he’d pick at it but I’d happily eat his share too.
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Sanjeeta kk

Zucchini is till a rare sight in my local markets…like this simple, quick and yummy gratin. Perfect for a weekend indulgence!
Sanjeeta kk recently posted..Recipes | Charmagaz Curry and Pita Bread – Reliving Childhood MemoriesMy Profile



What a lovely gratin. Never thought to use courgette… looks perfect. :) Have a wonderful Christmas!!
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Angie@Angie's Recipes

It looks very delicious!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!
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May this Christmas marks the beginning of a wonderful year for us. Have a joyous Christmas!
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Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania

So how was your Christmas, dear Helene? This gratin looks lovely! I would love to try this recipe. Yum!! Courgettes are one of my favourites.
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A great recipe. I hear you, my mom loves zucchini when she comes to visit and it’s quite hard to find it in India.
A nice way to introduce this vegetable.
Hope you are having a blast in beautiful Goa. hugs.
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