Chayote is also popular in South Indian cuisine. It is popularly referred to as “Bangalore brinjal (Bengaluru vankayya)”, called in Kannada as “seeme badanekai” – brinjal/eggplant/aubergine of the plateau. It is used in vegetable stews like “sambar” and “palya”.
In Tamil Nadu, South India, Chayote is known as Seemai Kathrikai/ Chow-Chow / Bangalore Kathrikai in Tamil and widely used in everyday cooking for recipes like “sambar”, “kootu”, “poriyal”, “thuvayal”, “chutney” and “mor-kulambu”. Chow-Chow is the common name used in the markets.
This is a fruit and does not need to be peeled to be cooked or fried in slices. Most people regard it as having a very mild flavor by itself. It is served mainly in South India as a side dish or curry. It can also be boiled, stuffed, mashed, baked, fried, or pickled. Both fruit and seed are rich in amino acids and vitamin C. Fresh green fruit are firm and without brown spots or signs of sprouting. Smaller ones are more tender.
Here goes a simple side dish recipe that you can make within 10 minutes.
1 Cup Chayote Squash/Chow Chow (cut to small pieces)
1 Medium Onion (Finely Chopped)
2-3 Green Chillies (Chopped)
4-5 Curry Leaves
1/4 Tsp Mustard Seeds
2-3 Tbsp Fresh grated Coconut
1-2 Tbsp Fresh Coriander (Finely chopped)
Salt to taste
2-3 Tsp Oil
– Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and allow spluttering.
– Add Onion, green chillies, curry leaves and fry till onion is translucent.
– Add the Chayote Squash and salt and 2-3 Tbsp of water.
– Cover and cook till soft. (Add little more water if required).
– Add grated coconut and coriander and mix well.
– Serve as side dish with rice and sambar.