Chow-Chow – The Six Varieties Of Dishes You Need To Try

Chow Chow, also known as Chayote, is a large pear-shaped vegetable with a thin green skin. It is commonly known as “seeme badanekaayi” in Kannada, “maerakkai” in Tamil, and "seema vankaya” in Telugu. Despite technically being a fruit, it is often cooked and consumed as a vegetable. Chow Chow belongs to the gourd family like cucumbers and melons. Chow Chow also known as Bengaluru Brinjal or Chayote Squash is a great source of folates which plays a crucial role in the formation of red blood cells and promoting healthy cell growth and functions. In the culinary world, it is considered one of the most versatile ingredients with a mild flavour. In Indian households, apart from its seed, everything is used in various types of chow-chow dishes like curry, chutney, etc It is a lesser-known fact that all parts of a vegetable, including seeds, roots, stems, and leaves, are edible. The leaves and shoots are commonly used in stir-fries or as a garnish in salads. Chow Chow has great health benefits with its packed range of minerals and nutrients such as copper, magnesium, protein, potassium, manganese, and zinc, etc.

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Summer and rainy season is the right time to eat this vegetable due to its high water content. Chayote has a mild taste which is comparable to a mix of cucumber and apple making it a versatile ingredient to cook with. Here are a few dishes that you can make with Chow Chow.


Chow-Chow Poriyal

This stir-fry is commonly made in South Indian households. The thinly sliced squash is sauteed with tempered mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder, and flavourful aromatic spices. The mild taste of the vegetables and the blend of spices elevate the dish with a tinge of earthiness and a subtle crunchy texture. The Chow Chow poriyal is great when combined with white steamed rice and spicy curry. This is a great option if you need to prepare an easy and quick side dish that is highly nutritious too.


Chow-Chow Kootu:

Chow Chow kootu is a stewed comfort food made with lentils and chow chow as the main ingredients. The urad dal which is boiled is added to the tempered mustard seeds, curry leaves, hint of turmeric powder, asafoetida, and red chillies. The chopped chayote is then cooked to be seasoned for some time. To enhance the dish's flavour, grated coconuts can be added to the stew, giving the dish a creamy consistency. This Chow Chow kootu is a great addition to any meal that is rich in taste and flavour. 

Chow-Chow Bajji

A snack that is very enjoyable when served hot is a beloved South Indian dish. The squash is sliced in a thin vertical and dipped in the gram flour batter that is comprised of cumin, chilli, and coriander powder. It is then dipped in the oil for deep fry until it achieves a golden hue.  This spicy fritter is enjoyed by kids and adults, especially during monsoon. This dish is great with accompaniments like mint chutney or tamarind sauce—the juicy inside and crunchy outside offer a delightful blend of taste and flavour.


Seeme Badaneki Chatni

In Telugu, “Seema Badaneki Chatni” means Chow-Chow chutney. The ingredients like grilled chayote, grilled tomato, oil, red chillies, curry leaves, cumin seeds, dry roasted sesame seeds, and salt to taste are blended to paste and seasoned with tempered mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies, and Toor dal. The chutney which is thick in consistency and rich in flavour is good to go as an accompaniment to idli or dosa. This nutritional-rich chutney is a fantastic option for quick and easy-to-make dishes recipes.


Chow-Chow Moru Curry

Chow-Chow Moru curry is a dish that is made with ingredients like buttermilk and chow-chow and seasoned with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chillies. It is a refreshing dish that is a twist on the essence of flavours. The vegetable is cooked in the spiced buttermilk. The cooling factor of the chayote and buttermilk makes this dish a perfect choice with white steamed rice during the summertime. The mild flavour of the chow-chow and the tangy flavour of the buttermilk create an exemplary symphony in the culinary finesse. This dish is an easy-to-make, quick, and delicious dish that one must try out.

Chow-Chow Sambar

This dish is a curry with soupy-like consistency which is tangy and flavourful. In sambar, the chow chow can be added to plenty of vegetables that enhance the taste. The lentils are boiled and added to the tempered mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies, tamarind, asafoetida, and chilli powder. The Toor dal in the sambar, finely chopped chow-chow, and the sambar masala infused in the dish enhance the essence of the sambar. The chayote blends with the soup making it so juicy while offering a burst of flavour with every bite.