Friday, December 10, 2010

Chayote Squash Stew

While I was at the Indian store earlier this week, I picked up a bunch of Chayote squash. I have never cooked them in my entire life until now. My mom used to cook'em back in the day. The variety that we used to get had small thorns on it and had to be peeled before it could be cooked and eaten. However, the variety I got at the Indian grocery store did not have the thorns on them. That's cool with me :)

With the Chayote squash, I made a stew. 

Here is the recipe:

Chayote Squash Stew (Chow Chow Kootu in Tamil)

3 cup cooked lentils (Toor dal)
6 Chayote Squash - peeled and diced
1 large onion - diced
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
5 Tbsp shredded coconut (fresh/frozen/dry)
1 Tsp cumin
6 Red Chili Peppers
1 Tsp Mustard seeds

1 Tsp White Lentil (Urad Dal)
3 Tbsp shredded ginger - I prefer the ginger pieces be chunky, so the stew is spicy. Chayote is a mild veggie!
2 Tbsp shredded curry leaves (split into 2 portions, 1 portion will be used as a garnish and the other will be used in creating the spice mix)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup filtered water
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of Asafoetida

Cook the Lentils and keep ready.

In a blender or a food processor, grind the red chilis, curry leaves, cumin and the coconut into a paste.

Heat up the oil in a large pan.
When the oil is hot, turn down the heat.
Add the mustard seeds. Cover with lid.
Add the asafoetida, chopped onions, curry leaves, ginger.
Add the chopped Chayote squash.
Add 1 cup of water, turn down the heat. Let simmer.

After the Chayote pieces are cooked (tender if poked with a fork)...
Add the cooked lentils.
Add the spice paste.
Simmer for a few minutes until the mix is not too runny (until much of the added water has evaporated).
Stir frequently!!

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro!

Add salt to taste!

Serve piping hot with fresh ground black pepper!

Bon appetit' :)

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