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 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!


  1. Damn,that does sound good. I usually like chayote squash only as kootu - but I think I'll give this a go! :)

  2. I love that veggie,I make stir fries.This subzi sounds so good,I am drooling:))

  3. We make chutney out of them ..This one is very good ...Will try ..Thks for sharing

  4. That looks so tempting, Mika! I have never ever tasted chayote squash...will try it soon. I so agree, recipes are crossing state borders :) Indira;s stuffed baby eggplants are a popular dinner in my home.

  5. very nice recipe. good and different one for RCI.

  6. looks tasty, thanks for sharing

  7. Dear Mika,

    This Andhra Subzi sounds very tangy and tasty. The addition of sesame powder would add a certain flavour which would be unique. And as you say the more the sesame, the better the taste.The dish looks good and the recipe interesting! Will soon be trying this one.

  8. Hi,
    I have always wondered what is added to the andhra vegetable dishes like this one, that gives it a coconuty look, but it never looks like i know..I am really happy I found it...I tried this recipe and it was really good. Thanks for sharing!!

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