In a large hot skillet, sauté zucchini in oil. Allow to cook evenly for 3 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent over cooking. Add the corn, peppers and onions, stirring and sautéing for another 5 minutes so that the zucchini begins to soften and barely turn golden. The zucchini should be slightly crisp . Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin and stir for a few seconds until the flavors are released, careful not to burn the garlic. Finally add the tomato with its juice, water or vegetable both, the salt and the cilantro. Simmer on medium heat uncovered for about 5 minutes.  Sample the broth and adjust the seasoning – adding more cumin to your taste. Cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes, until the tomatoes release their sweet juices and the vegetables are cooked but slightly al dente.

Serve hot.


Add diced chicken or pork for extra protein (season and cook diced meat separately, then add to the skillet of calabacitas while it simmers).

Add cheese  – grated Chihuahua, Monterey Jack or cheddar (typical choices).

This dish is versatile. It can be served as a side or as a main.