In India, especially the southern parts, Chayote Squash, ChowChow or Seemebadnekayi (in Kannada), is used in a wide variety of preparations. Although chayote squash does not have any particularly distinct taste of its own, when combined with some Indian spices, this veggie can turn out to be really delicious :).
I have tried a lot of dishes with this veggie – simple easy-to-cook stir-fry, a protein packed south indian variety called sambhar in which I mix chayote squash with lentils and spices and I have even tried to make a spread or chutney as it otherwise called in most Indian languages. When I make chutneys, I generally make more than for just one meal. These chutneys easily stay for 2-3 days when refrigerated. What I like most about having a batch of these spreads/chutneys stocked up in the fridge is that these go well with everything. I like having it with traditional Indian crepes (dosas), flatbreads and even with rice!!
- 2 medium chayote squash
- 2 tbsp chana dal
- 40 curry leaves (about 3-4 stalks)
- 3 red chillies (or adjust according to spice level required)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
- 2 tsp oil of choice
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
- Peel the chayote squash and cut it into medium sized chunks. Place these in a microwaveable bowl. Add a little water and sprinkle some salt over the squash. Microwave till the squash is just-cooked.
- Take a small saucepan and add 2 tsp oil to it. Once the oil heats up, add the chana dal, red chillies and curry leaves and saute for a min. Once the chana dal changes color slightly and the curry leaves turn darker, turn off the heat.
- Drain the excess water from the cooked squash and add it to a mixer. Add the contents of the saucepan also to the mixer.
- To this, add salt and tamarind pulp. I generally mix the tamarind concentrate with a tbsp of water before adding it.
- Grind this to a fine paste. You can add some tempering to this chutney or garnish it with coriander while serving.