Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Chayote squash stir-fry - 3 flavors

Here is one vegetable rarely available outside South India, unknown to people staying in other parts of India. Chayote squash also called Chow-chow, Seemebadane kaayi, Bangalore katrikaayi  etc is hardly found in Mumbai. This vegetable is grown on plains but not in coastal plains. Most of the time they reach Mumbai, yellowed and bruised - was hardly worth buying them. They were past their freshness. Whenever my husband visits Bangalore I remind him to buy this.
See that you buy Chayote squash which are light green in color without any bruise.
This vegetable can be used in dal, stir-fried or cooked with ground coconut masala paste or ground into a nice chutney.
Unlike other gourds it retains it's shape and tastes delicious after cooking. It's peel is never thrown as they make nutritious tasty chutney.
Using peanuts, split chick pea, dried coconut (copra) in the stir-fry enhances it's flavor by leaps and bounds.

Today I stir-fried this veggie (Seemebadane kaayi) with onions and some masalas. Lastly added 2 tsp of Chutney powder made using split chickpea (Chana dal) and dried coconut. This chutney powder is usually eaten with Idli and dosas.

Try out this stir-fry with split chickpea and dried coconut chutney pd. You will love it. Next time you can cook them with slight variation.

Try a different version each time you stir-fry this Chow-chow (seemebadane)
1. If you do not have this chutney powder, add 2 tsp Vangi bhath powder 
or roast and powder separately 1.5 tsp Chana dal and 2 tsp grated dried coconut and add them to
the stir-fry along with 1 tsp chilli pd.

2. North Indian flavor- You could add a carrot along with chayote squash and also add  Chole masala* instead of chutney powder. Vegetable cooked this way is tasty and colorful too. Omit split black gram (urad dal).

Here's a collage of  all the ingredients you may need. Choose the one's which are available. You can leave some of them if unavailable.

2 large chayote squash (peel, discard the seed and cut into 1/2" cubes, about 500 ml)
1 orange colored carrot (peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes, about 200 ml) (optional)

For tempering-
1 tbsp oil (rice bran, peanut, coconut or sunflower oil)
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp cumin (jeera)
1 tsp split black gram, husked (urad dal)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 long green pepper (green chili) cut into large pieces
1 large onion (chopped into small pieces, about 200 ml)

Other ingredients-
Salt about 1 tsp
2 tsp Chutney pd or Vangi bhath pd or use chana dal, chilli pd and dried coconut or 1 tsp Chole masala*

Heat oil in a non-stick wok (or any)  and add mustard, cumin.
When these seeds splutter put in the split black gram (if using).
These split gram will start to get golden and you know that it is time to add turmeric.
After a second put in green chilli pieces and chopped onions.
Fry till onions are translucent.
Add the vegetable cubes, salt and give it a good stir.
Now add 100 ml water and cover and cook for 10 mins on slow heat.

The vegetables would have been cooked by now.
Mix in the spice powder that you have chosen from the ingredient list and stir.
For extra nutty taste add 1 tsp dried coconut (grated) along with the Chutney pd or Vangi bhath pd.

* If you do not have chole masala use a mixture of  1/8 tsp thymol seeds (ajwain), 1 tsp kasuri methi, 1 tsp chilli pd, 1/2 tsp coriander pd, 1/2 tsp amchur (dried mango) pd, 1/2 tsp garam masala pd.

For some of you who are coming from my other blog -cookingwithoutkitchen
If you are cooking this in rice cooker temper the chutney pd or chole masala and store it. Carry them along when traveling or staying in hostel. Use it whenever required.

Try out this chutney from Spicyrasoi
Chayote Peel Chutney (Seema Vanakaya thokku pachadi)

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