Chow Chow Kootu (Chayote Side Dish)

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Chow chow (Chayote) is a green squash that originates in Mexico, though it is very popular in Asia as well. “Chow chow” is its delectable name in Tamil Nadu, and the side dish is so sublime that if I ever had to go Vegan, I would eat this if I ever craved mac and cheese.

Serve with rice.

This recipe is an adaptation, with minor modifications, of Rak’s Kitchen version. Her recipes are awesome, check her out!

Special tools: You will need a pressure cooker


Chow Chow Kootu

Add these ingredients to the pressure cooker. Mix, and close the lid. 

  • 2 Chayote, peeled and diced into small cubes (no seed)
  • 1/4 cup moong dal (mung bean)
  • 1 tsp Sambhar powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Cook for 2-3 whistles (2 is fine if you have an efficient pressure cooker, but if you’re not sure go for the 3 whistles)

While you are waiting for the pressure cooker to whistle…

Grind

  • 1/4 cup fresh/frozen grated coconut (don’t use sweetened!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

Grind the coconut and cumin powder together. However, if you choose to just mix the grated coconut with the cumin, it will taste fine, but the look and texture will be different.

Once the pressure cooker is done and the lid is removed, add the coconut mixture and set back on the heat (but keep the lid off). Bring to boil.

While you wait for the food to reach a boil…

Heat

  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad dal (black gram or white lentil)
  • 1 sprig of Curry leaves (NOT curry powder)
  • 4 shallots, finely diced

In the oil heat the mustard seeds and urad dal until the mustard seeds pop. Add curry leaves (they will sputter), then add shallots and fry.

Once onions are soft, put all the hot oil and spices into the kootu, and stir. Sample and adjust the salt to taste. You’re done!

Serve with rice.

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