Do you get excited when you see vegetables that you ate as a child? I do. But what amazes me is how I get excited even when I see vegetables that I didn't particularly like. But I still buy the vegetables and call Amma. When I called her after a trip to the INA Market where I picked up these Chowchows (Bengaloor Katrikkai), I think it took her a few minutes to figure out what I was talking about. When she recovered from her shock, she said, "You turned your nose up every time I made it, so much so that I think twice before making this vegetable. And now you go and buy it?" I gave her my little story about how I shouldn't be picky and how I mustn't forget about some vegetables altogether. I still think she must have thought I was half asleep or half drunk.
I don't care much for the Chowchow karumadhu which is made on the lines of cabbage karumadhu. But I found myself missing kootu. I think I started missing it the instant I set eyes on the uneven green bulbs at the market. And since I wasn't drunk or half asleep when I spoke to Amma, I mentally noted he method of kootu making. I was thrilled with the results.
1 cup Chowchow (Chayote Squash/Bengaloor Katrikkai), peeled and diced
1/2 cup Moong Dal
2 tsp Sambar Powder
2 tbsp Coconut, scraped
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
Salt to taste
For the Tempering:
1/2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
Pressure cook the diced chowchow along with the moong dal and the sambar powder.
Heat the oil in a frying ladle and add the urad dal. Fry till the dal turns golden brown. Grind this along with the cumin seeds and the coconut. Add this paste to the chowchow-moong dal mixture along with the salt. Add the asafoetida and mix well.
For the tempering, heat the oil in the frying ladle and add the urad dal. Add this to the dish and serve hot with steamed rice. I had an overdose of dal that afternoon as I made some yelai paruppu as well.
Some rice, a little ghee, some paruppu, some kootu and some vegetable on the side. If this is what you grew up eating, try it out. Memories are guaranteed.