Chow Chow Kootu – Indian Chayote & Lentil Stew
South-Indian Chow Chow Kootu or Chayote Squash and Lentils Curry
Even the most obsessive gourmand would love to keep a few humble dishes in their repertoire and this chow chow kootu is one of them. The humble Indian Chayote Squash is cooked with yellow lentils in a pressure cooker until soft and then flavored with coconut, chilies, peppers, and so on.
Besides the ever so popular Sambar, Rasam, coconut chutney, Idli & dosa, I’ve been getting myself acquainted with even more gems of the simple and stomach-friendly South-Indian cuisine. This curry, as light and healthy as it is, features in our menu at least once a week. In this recipe, you’ll find 2 ways to make the chow chow kootu. In both methods, you cook the lentils and chow chow or chayote together, and then flavor it with a different base.
Chow Chow or the Indian Chayote is also known as Bangalore Brinjal, Cho Cho etc. Its a kind of squash and you cook it like you would a pumpkin. Here are 2 ways in which we make the curry –Print
Healthy and wholesome chow chow kootu recipe from south-india! Made with chayote squash and yellow lentils, this is a high-protein, low-fat curry which goes well with rice
- 1 large Chayote (Chow Chow / Bangalore Brinjal)
- 1/3 cup Yellow Mung Dal (lentils)
- 1 tsp Asafoetida / Hing
- 2 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
- 2.5 cups Water (enough to cover the lentils & diced chayote pieces together)
Gravy Base – 1
- 2 TBsp grated Coconut (preferably fresh)
- 2 tsp Black peppercorns
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
Gravy Base – 2
- 1 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 Dry Red Chili
- 1 Tablespoon Tuvar Dal
- 1 Tablespoon Urad Dal
- 2 1 Tablespoon Coconut
- 1 tsp Vegetable Oil or Ghee
- 1 tsp Split black gram (Urad Dal)
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 2 tsp Curry Leaves
- Soak the lentils in water for 15- 30minutes.
- Peel the Chayote / Chow Chow & dice into 1 inch cubes
- Add the cubes of the vegetable into the pan containing the lentil soaked in water
- Add Salt, Asafoetida & Give it a good mix
- Place it on a medium flame and let it cook. Keep stirring to avoid vegetables or lentils from sticking to the pot. Or place in a pressure cooker and cook for 4-8 whistles. Cook until vegetable is soft-with-a-bite.
Option 1: Gravy Base with Coconut & Peppercorns
- To a blender, add grated coconut, cumin seeds & black peppercorns and a splash of water. Blend it to a smooth puree.
- Add the coconut mixture to the lentil and vegetable mixture
- Mix it well and let it boil for another 5 minutes
Option 2: Gravy Base with Chilies & Dal
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add chilli, both dals and fry until they turn aromatic and golden.
- Add to a blender.
- Add coconut, a splash of water and blend to a smooth puree
- Add the chilli, coconut & dal mixture to the lentil and vegetable mixture
- Mix it well and let it boil for another 5 minutes
- Heat some oil or ghee.
- Add urad dal. Once that starts to splutter, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and fry for 10-20 seconds
- Pour the tempering onto the curry
- Mix well and serve hot
- With a bowl of hot rice and ghee
- Or Chapatis
- If you don’t find Chayote Squash, you can use this recipe to cook for any squash you like
- Category: Side-Dish
- Method: Boiling
- Cuisine: South-Indian
Keywords: chow chow kootu, indian chayote squash curry
Here’s how you make this curry –
Wash the lentils well. Soak the lentils in 2.5 cups water for 15- 30minutes. (My mom always does this coz it helps the lentils cook faster)
Peel the Chayote / Chow Chow
Dice them into 1 inch cubes
Add the cubes of the vegetable into the pan containing the lentil soaked in water
Add Salt, Asafoetida (If you can’t find Asafoetida, use garlic powder instead. It won’t taste the same but it adds another flavor)
Give it a good mix
Place it on a medium flame and let it cook.
It’ll start boiling and the top will look frothy. That’s okay. All you have to do is keep stirring it once in a few minutes to ensure the lentils don’t burn.
For additional flavor (not to mention the amazing nutrients) add grated coconut, cumin seeds & black peppercorns to a blender / food processor.
Add a few drops of water and blend it to a smooth puree
Meanwhile, stir the curry every now and then. You’re looking for the vegetable to soften and lentils to be cooked. It takes around 8-10 minutes
Add the coconut mixture to it
Mix it well and let it boil for another 5 minutes. (The best way to tell if the stew is done is to take the a bit of the vegetable and lentils on a spoon, let it cool a bit & try mashing with your hands. If it is soft & easily mash-able, it is done)
For the seasoning / tempering – heat some oil & ghee. Add split black gram.
Once that starts to splutter, add cumin seeds
Then add curry leaves
Pour the oil with seeds & curry leaves directly into the pan containing curry.
When it’s time to serve, mix well & serve hot with rice! The best way to eat it is with a bowl of hot rice. However, you can have this as is like a soup or with bread / chapati etc.
If you liked this healthy and delicious chow chow kootu, do leave a comment down below with your thoughts! ? You can also have my recipes delivered to your inbox or follow me on social media – YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or TikTok.
Until next time,