chayote squash subzi

Carnival and Chayote Squash

November was designated as #SquashLove month, a time to celebrate the various and sometimes oddly shaped bright orange, yellow, golden and many-shades-of-green gourds and squash that decorate open fields. With names like Butternut, Acorn, Autumn Cup, or Sweet Dumpling it’s hard not to love winter squash. Squash fall into two classifications summer and winter squash though many are available year-round.

While I could have chosen a traditional winter squash dish to whip up, such as Butternut Bisque or Butternut Risotto, or even a simple pumpkin medley roasted in the oven, I decided to share a special recipe for #SquashLove being that this dish was prepared for me with love in November by a dear friend. In celebration of food and friends, here’s a bite of Chayote Squash Subzi.

Chayote Squash Subzi
If you haven’t had chayote squash before, you’re not alone. This pale green squash rests rather inconspicuously in produce baskets and likely you may, as I have, walked right by it many times. It’s considered a summer squash though abundant in the Fall. Native to Mexico, chayote is common in different parts of the world such as Central America the Caribbean and India were it’s referred to as cho cho or chocho. This recipe is from the Andhra Pradesh area of India.


Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

4 chayote squash, peeled and cubed
2-4 red chilies (more or less based on the level of heat you want to achieve)
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tomato, cubed (optional)
1/2 tsp urad dal (lentils)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 tsp asafoetida
4-5 curry leaves
Salt to taste

Preparation:
Heat 1/2 tsp of oil on medium in a pan (you can use canola or peanut oil). Once the pan is hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal and red chillies. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the garlic, ginger, asafoetida and turmeric along with the curry leaves. Add the cubed squash and season with salt. Stir the ingredients in the pan together until the squash is covered with the seasoning mix. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the squash is soft and tender. Different variations of the recipe call for tomatoes which can be added to the simmering squash. Some recipes call for an onion (which would be added right after the mustard seeds pop). Cook for roughly 10-15 minutes.

Before serving, add the crushed peanuts. Garnish with cilantro if you wish, and be sure to serve warm. Best enjoyed with a side of cooked basmati rice.

I hope you enjoy Chayote Squash Subzi, and better yet, enjoy it as I do, with a friend.

Find more details about chayote squash on Gourmet Sleuth.
Find “subzi” and more Hindi terms found in Indian cuisine in a wonderful glossary by Mamta’s Kitchen.

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8 Responses to chayote squash subzi

  1. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet December 2, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    Looks good Orly! I’ve never used Chayote before, although I’ve seen many recipes including it. I guess I better give it a shot. 🙂

  2. Sarah December 2, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    Thanks for introducing me to an interesting new squash variety. Chayote subzi isounds lovely with so many spices.

  3. Orly December 2, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Thanks Heather! I’m curious myself to try chayote beyond this Indian version. It’s so nice to have friends introduce you to new things.

  4. Orly December 2, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    With pleasure Sarah! It’s such an easy dish to prepare, and a lovely way to enjoy a bite of India. I like the fact that it’s also fairly on the light side.

  5. Daniella December 13, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    Sounds really yummy and the photographs are beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Orly!

  6. Orly December 13, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Thank you for enjoying!

  7. Einat December 28, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Hi……..!
    Found you…
    The pictures are so beautiful and the food looks yummy!
    Hugs,
    Einat

  8. Orly December 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Awesome for finding yumivore! Glad you enjoyed the photos, hope we’ll enjoy more yum together soon. Hugs!