As a child, teen or young adult, I ate everything that Amma cooked at home. For years, I cooked only a certain set of vegetables. That set comprised cauliflower, peas, potatoes, beans, carrots, capsicum, corn, baby corn, spinach and broccoli. This year, I experimented with loads of new vegetables. Tori, Tinda, Raw Jackfruit, Cluster Beans, Bitter Gourd and many more. During one trip to the INA Market, I found this vegetable that I hadn't eaten in about 5 years: Chowchow, Marokkai, Vilayat Vaingan or Bengaloor Katrikkai. The vegetable, known as the Chayote Squash, looks like this (courtesy Google Images):
I bought a couple right away. Peeled and chopped them at the first available opportunity and put them away in freezer bags. This is a vegetable I ate, but never relished. So, I never thought of buying it as I didn't really miss the vegetable. A few days later, I was chatting with my classmate and friend of many, many years one afternoon about what we had eaten for lunch that day. She said, "Chowchow kootu" and I told her, "I plan to make that soon. I even ready chopped vegetable at home." She suggested that I make a thogayal/pachadi as S would probably like it. I tried it that very day and it turned out just great. I know I will make this often. Thanks A. This is one way that I would eat this vegetable without complaining.
1 cup Bengaloor Katrikkai, peeled and diced
2 tsp Oil
3-4 Red Chillies
2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tbsp Tamarind paste
Salt to taste
For the tempering:
1 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
Heat one teaspoon of oil in a pan and add the diced vegetable. Saute for a couple of minutes and cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. Keep aside.
In a small pan, heat the other teaspoon of oil and add the urad dal. When it turns slightly brown, add the red chillies and fry for a minute. Grind this along with the tamarind paste, salt, and sauteed vegetable.
In a frying ladle, heat the oil for the tempering. Add the urad dal and mustard. When the mustard splutters, add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this to the ground paste.
We had this with some steaming hot rice and although I had intended this as a side, that's about all I ate that evening.
Do check out my fellow marathon runners on day 2 of the marathon:
My fellow runners are: