Thursday, May 17, 2007
Chayote squash subzi , the Andhra way
This is my contribution of to RCI event for this month that focuses on Andhra cuisine and hosted by Latha. I have a great taste for the Andhra foods such as Gutti Vankaya kura, the biryani and the mouth-watering avakkai pickle- possibly everyone has. But from the many blogs which specialize in this cuisine, I have learned so much about the home-style foods that you never see in restaurants. And I make some of these simple recipes regularly at home like Indira's ridge gourd curries, Sailu's Black pepper rice. It is good to see healthy eating habits crossing state borders, isn't it?
For this RCI, I am making a dish that made me respect the tasteless chayote squash a teeny bit more. I consider chow-chow or chayote squash to be quite boring. My MIL and mom makes it as a kootu but somehow this vegetable never seems to absorb any flavors, just my opinion...
In the past year, I have learned two new ways of preparing this vegetable. And this recipe is one of them I found at Pachakam.com and I found it when I was searching for an interesting way to make this squash. The cooked vegetable is coated with a thick and coarse sesame-red chili powder. Adding groundnuts and sesame to curries is quite common in Andhra cuisine, making it very tasty. I like to make this extra-spicy because the sesame in the powder does tame a lot of the heat. We eat this with phulkas.
Chayote squash subzi (with very slight modifications from original)
2 chayote squash, peeled and diced
1 large onion
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely diced (optional)
Roast and powder coarsely:
1/3 cup white sesame seeds
a pinch of salt
3-4 red chilies
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
Heat oil. Add the seasoning ingredients except turmeric and salt. When mustard pops, add garlic, ginger and turmeric. Then add onions, and saute till translucent. Add the cubed squash and salt. Mix and cover and cook on low-medium heat till soft and well-done. Add tomatoes if using. Tomatoes make it a little sticky and watery but nice and tangy. You can leave it out if you want a dry curry.
Lastly, toss in the sesame powder. The quantity of powder may seem a whole lot but you need this to give taste. Adding a tbsp or two, will not help much...
Garnish with cilantro. Done!
Posted by Mika at 12:56 PM