Chayote Palya and Peel Chutney: Delicacy to be Savoured


Chayote is also known as Chow Chow in Southern India and commonly referred to as vegetable pear or chocho and Seeme badanekayi too. It can be eaten raw though the peel contains a sap that may cause irritation in some. So, best is to cook the fruit, which has a mild sweet taste similar to an apple while the peel can be made into a chutney separately. It’s a fast-growing vine and has characteristic tendrils and white flowers. The fruit itself is green and pear-shaped with furrows. All parts of the gourd are edible, including the seeds, skin and flowers. It lends itself to be cooked any way you like – baked, grilled, boiled and steamed and with lentils too. The tubers of the plant are eaten like potatoes while the shoots and leaves are often consumed in salads and stir fries. Its lightly cooked to retain its crispy texture. 


Chayote originated in Central America where it used to be cultivated by the Mayans and the Aztecs. European explorers took the fruit to Caribbean, South America and eventually it found its way to Asia and Africa as well. 

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes

Cooking: 10-12 minutes when cooking a chopped chayote



Chayote palya

    1.5 cups - chayote pieces / or 2 whole pears

    1 tsp – oil 

    ½ tsp – Mustard seeds 

    ½ tsp - White lentils / split black gram / dhuli urad dal 

    5-8 - curry leaves 

    1 – red chilly 

    1 tsp – salt

    1.5 tsp - jaggery 

For grinding 

    ¼ cup – coconut 

    ½ tsp – cumin seeds 

    1 – red chilly 

    1 – green chilly 

Chayote peel chutney

    1 cup chayote peels 

    1 tsp – ghee 

    1tbsp – white lentils / urad dal 

    2 - red chillies 

    1 - green chilly 

    5-8 – curry leaves

    ½ cup – grated coconut 

    1 tsp – salt 

    water as needed 

    small piece - tamarind 


    Peel and chop Chayote into small cubes. Keep the peel aside for use later 

    Heat ghee in a pan

    Add mustard seeds and urad dal and let sputter 

    Add curry leaves

    Add red chillies

    Add the chayote pieces to the spice mix 

    Sauté for a few seconds

    Add turmeric and salt and mix well

    Cover and let it simmer for a few minutes

    Take coconut in a mixer 

    Add whole red chilly 

    Add green chilly 

    Add cumin seeds and grind the whole mixture

    Add the dry coconut spice mix to the cooked chayote pieces 

    Mix well for a minute and its ready to serve


    In a pan, take ghee and sauté the peels for a few minutes, but don’t let them turn brown

    Add chillies

    Add urad dal / white lentils 

    Add green chilly 

    Add curry leaves 

    Roast the ingredients on medium flame 

    Let the lentils brown 

    Transfer all – peels and spices to a mixer 

    Add grated coconut 

    Add small piece of tamarind

    Add salt 

    Water ½ cup 

    and grind to a fine paste

Conclusion: Whether raw or cooked, chayote is a good source of vitamin C. It is also rich in anti-oxidants, which can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals. The plant contains multiple nutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties which can aid in the treatment of high blood pressure, kidney stones and indigestion.