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!

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 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)

14 Post your Comments:

Lakshmi said...

I never knew Seemebadnekayi grows so fast! After coming back from India, I will be on a mission to plant them coz even we like this veggie. Veggie and chutney looks good. Loved the idea of chutney with peels.

jayasree said...

Chutney from peels is new to me. Though I make chutney out of chow chow. Shall try it soon. This is a regular veggie at my home too.

Finla said...

WOw really beautiful colours the dishes have.

SMN said...

never knew it grows so fast. this one is least prefeerd veg at home.

YOSEE said...

LONG time since i made the peel chutney. In these days of astronomical price rise, it pays to be thrifty and to waste not !

Deepthi Shankar said...

i love seemebadnekayi .. i love the peel chutney .. my husbands granny has grown it in her backyard

Vibaas said...

i love the peel chutney and i have that recipe in my blog too. learnt it from my mom. Both dishes look yum.

anudivya said...

Your pics are just too good. I have not had much Chow chow growing up, guess as a child I never relished it that much.
Got to try it now...

Cham said...

I never knew the peel can be made chutney. Great recipe

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

thanks for visiting my blog dibs.. i have visited ur blog quite a few times.. chow chow chutney and curry look yummy.. i have never tried chutney. healthy one.

Purnima said...

Dibs, tks for both recipes..never had chow chow yet! But surely wd know to recognise one now if I see it in the veg. section. And also I know how to use them! :D

notyet100 said...

nice recipe,..liked the sketch alot,...:-)

Purva Desai said...

we dont have any dish from Chayote or chow chow, now I have good dishes at your blog will try them soon..
Thanks for sharing

Unknown said...

I use chow chow all the time but never knew we could use the peels too, how interesting...will give it a try the next time I use chow chow...thanks for sharing this tip!