Chow Chow Kootu (Chayote Squash Curry)

Chayote squash is freely available across the country. It is a fairly bland vegetable and not a particular favourite of many people. I tend to use this vegetable quite a lot – especially to make kootus (a wet gravy dish of South India). The dish is fairly bland – but tastes fantastic when paired with a spicy sambar or rasam. There are several other dishes that can be had from this vegetable, including chutneys, mulakootal…

Ingredients
2 cups chayote squash, chopped into medium sized cubes
1/4 cup Bengal gram (or pigeon peas or split mung beans)
A pinch of turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
Salt to taste
To Grind Into A Paste
3 tbsp grated coconut
2 tsp roasted Bengal gram (pottukadalai)
1 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1 dried red chilli
For The Seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1 tsp split black lentil (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 sprig curry leaves
Method
Peel, core and chop the chayote squash into medium sized cubes
Set aside
Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ‘To Grind To A Paste’, with a little water, to a smooth paste
Set aside
Pressure cook the Bengal gram for about 4 whistles (it should be cooked, but not mushy)
Let steam subside an remove lid
Set aside
Add the chayote squash to a vessel and enough water to cover the vegetable
Add turmeric powder and salt
Cook for about 5-7 minutes till the chayote squash pieces are tender
Add the cooked Bengal gram and coconut paste
Mix well and bring to boil
Remove from flame
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the split black gram, curry leaves and asafoetida
When the lentils turn golden brown, remove from flame and add to the cooked kootu (curry)
Serve hot with steamed red/brown rice and sambar or rasam
Enjoy!




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