link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' Sukanya's musings: CHOW CHOW KOOTU (CHAYOTE / BANGALORE KATRIKKAI IN COCONUT GRAVY)

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Monday, July 19, 2010


CHOW CHOW KOOTU (CHAYOTE / BANGALORE KATRIKKAI IN COCONUT GRAVY)While growing up in Mumbai I had never ever had this vegetable and when I moved to Singapore I saw an abundance of this vegetable. As usual I asked the Indian Grocery shop person what's this and how it is cooked. Now, most pf the guys who work for the Indian shop are from the villages of India and know a lot about cooking and our South Indian traditional dishes. The guy said, "Just make a kootu with it". So i bought the Chayote thinking to myself hope it turns out well. 
Chayote belongs to the Gourd family along with melons, cucumbers and squash. 
Chayote in India is locally known as Chow Chow (Doesn't that sound like a pet name). It's also known as Bangalore Katrikkai (Eggplants/Aubergines from a place called Bangalore in India).

For those unfamiliar about this vegetable, some info on it
Chayote/Chow Chow/ Bangalore Katrikkai is light green in color, usually pear shaped and sometimes has wrinkles. In Singapore I sometimes see thorn like structures growing at the base of the Chayote. It's a good source of amino acids and vitamin C.
The leaves and fruit have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties, and a tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and hypertension, and to dissolve kidney stones.
(Some info courtesy :Wikipedia)
With health benefits to add on, I decided to cook it in the below manner. I must say that it turned out yummy and from then on this is on our vegetables shopping list too. Do try and let me know how you like it.

Chow Chow - 1
Yellow split Moong dal – ½ cup
Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
Red chillies – 2-3 nos.
Curry leaves – 5-6
Udad dal – 1 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste

Peel the chow chow and cut into square chunks. Keep aside. Rinse out the moong dal well. In a vessel, mix washed moong dal and little amount of water. Add turmeric powder. Cook it until almost done, add in the chayote, pour ½ cup water and cook until the chayote is soft and the moong dal is totally mashed. Chayote cooks very quickly.  Add salt as per taste at this stage, as sometimes if you add salt to the moong dal it may not cook or take time to cook.
Grind the red chillies(1-2nos), Cumin seeds and coconut to a fine paste in a blender and add to the cooked chayote and dal mixture.
Heat the oil. Add mustard seeds and udad dal and when it crackles add the curry leaves and one red chilly and pour it on the cooked chayote. 
Enjoy this Chow chow kootu with Chappatis or hot rice and pappads.

  • Diabetics and Weight watchers, can avoid the coconut.

  • You can add Onion and Tomato to this recipe if avoiding coconut, to give it a good flavor. In case adding Onion and tomato, add oil, fry the Onions, one transparent, add the tomatoes and cook until squashy before adding the chayote in the above recipe, This will infuse all the flavors into the chayote while cooking.


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