Chayote, the pale green gourd with a mild sweetish flavor is a commonly found vegetable in India. My chayotes usually go in Indian style subzis and dal preparations. Chayotes are one of the good canditates for hassel free, simple and quick dishes.
This happens to be one of my favorite veggies. In the initial days of our marriage, some how my in laws came to conclusion that I favor only veggies with a sweet flavor. One of the reasons being that I was not in great love with the commonly available veggies in Andhra like brinjals, okra or bitter melon and loved mostly carrots, beets and such other stuff. M used to tease me all the time that I prefer rabbit food. My MIL however used to buy ridge gourds and chayotes for me even though she did not know what to do with them.
After more than a dozen years of our association and my cooking, M's point of view towards some of the vegetables have changed. Now, whenever I send M to grocery shopping, he makes it a point to buy some of these green beauties which have become his favorite too.
I usually follow my mom's steam - saute method while preparing this dish. The addition of fresh coconut lends a subtle sweetness to the dish.
What is needed:
One chayote -peeled, quartered, the seed removed and cubed
1/4 cup fresh coconut, grated
Chili Powder - 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste
For tadka - 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp chanadal, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, few curry leaves, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
How it is done:
Heat oil in a saute pan and add all the tadka ingredients in the order mentioned. When the mustard seeds start to pop and the chana dal starts to turn reddish, add the chayote cubes and salt. Stir once , cover the pan with a lid and cook on a low flame till the chayote cubes turn tender. Then add chili powder & coconut and mix well. Let it cook for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove.
Serve with rice / rotis.