Friday, November 28, 2008
CHOW CHOW - THE TWO IN ONE MAGIC VEGETABLE
When we went to the vegetable market with father, he would carefully select all the fresh and tender vegetables. However, we made sure that we picked up at least two or three complimentary Chow Chows, which had thick rough thorny skins, to the great astonishment of the green grocer! Back home, my brother dug up holes and planted them in a row near the fence. In no time, tender shoots came up and crept all over the fence with great speed putting to shame even Jack’s Bean Stalk! Our happiness knew no bounds when the creeper was fully decked up with the tender green shiny bulb like Chow Chows. All of us loved this vegetable more because we had grown them all by ourselves. Mother used this vegetable in sambar, mor kuzhambu, koottu, mendhya kozambu or curry. She even sliced them and made hot bajjis for the evening tea. Whatever dish she prepared out of this vegetable, there would be an additional dish which came out of the peel. Thus, we named our favourite vegetable as the ‘Two-in-one Magic Vegetable!
CHOW CHOW CURRY
Tender chow chows – 4
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Salt – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 1 tsp
Dru red chillies – 2
Curry leaves – a few
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Grated Coconut – 1 tbsp
1. Wash and scrape the peel off the chow chows, and cut them into cubes. Save the peels, and set aside for use in the secind dish.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters, add asafoetida and the split black gram dal.
4. When the dal turns golden in colour, add broken red chillies.
5. When the chillies turn crisp, add curry leaves and turmeric powder.
6. Add the cut Chow Chow and salt. Stir well.
7. Cover with a lid and cook in slow flame stirring now and then.
8. Chow Chow cooks in its own water.
9. When it is cooked, remove the lid and increase the heat.
10. Keep stirring till the remaining water (if any) evaporates.
11. When the curry is dry, turn off heat and garnish with fresh coconut gratings.
CHOW CHOW PEEL CHUTNEY
Chow Chow peels – From the four Chow chows used for the curry
Cooking oil – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsps
Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 2 tsps
Red chillies – 5
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Tamarind – the size of a small marble
Salt – ½ tsp
Fresh coriander leaves – a handful
1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard splutters, add asafoetida and black gram dal.
3. When the dal turns golden in colour, add the red chillies.
4. Now add the chow chow peels and blend well.
5. Cover with a lid, and decrease the fire.
6. Cook until the peels become tender, and then add the tamarind.
7. Switch off flame and let it cool down.
8. When cool, grind the mixture, with salt and fresh coriander leaves, into a smooth chutney.
A tasty curry and a spicy chutney is now ready from the Two-in-one magic vegetable – Chow Chow.
Note: Other names for Chow Chow are Sema Kattrikai (tamil), Bengaluru Badanekai (Kannada), Choko (aussie), Chayote (US, Europe)