Chayote Vegetable Pear Bhaji (Dry Curry)
Chayote Or Chow Chow ki Sabji
Chayote has a pear like shape, mildly nutty flavour and generally a light green skin. Sometimes, it can be dark skinned too, when it looks like an avocado pear. It belongs to squash family and it grows on a vine. On a trip to Costa Rica in 2007, we were served this delicious vegetable in many forms we all loved its juicy texture, simply stir-fried. It is widely available in UK supermarkets and many Indian shops, but I had never thought of buying it before! Keep the amount of spices to a minimum, in order not to overwhelm the gentle flavour of this vegetable. This vegetable is available in southern India and is called Chow Chow. Serves 2
1 chayote or vegetable pears
1 tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1 clove of garlic, grated (optional)
1 level tsp. grated ginger
1 dry red chilli, broken up
1/2 tsp. salt
A pinch of chilli powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp. or less turmeric (just a hint)
A squirt of fresh lime/lemon juice
Peel, stone and slice chayote into finger thick slices.
Heat oil in a pan and add fennel seeds. When they begin to change colour, add the broken chilli and stir.
Add garlic and ginger, stir-fry for 10-20 seconds, until you get aroma of frying garlic.
Add sliced chayote, salt, chilli powder and turmeric, stir.
Lower the heat to minimum, cover and cook until tender. Keep stirring gently from time to time. They should be cooked through, but not soggy or mushy. This takes about 15-20 minutes on low heat.
Turn heat up, sprinkle lime juice and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, turning over gently, so that the surfaces looks slightly browned and no liquid is left in the pan.
You can garnish with coriander leaves, but this is not essential.
To make it more colourful and spicy, you can add 1 thinly sliced red pepper and/or a couple of broken up Baries to it, as in pictures 4 and 5 and 6.
You can add a few shelled peas also.