Monday, April 27, 2009

Seemebadane Palya (Chayote Squash Palya)

Let me bring out the difference between palya & gojju. Palya is the dry or sooka sabzi, something similar to stir fry. After entering the blog world, I got to know palya(Kannada term) is known as thoran in Malayalam. Gojju (Kannada term) is something similar to ‘vegetables in gravy’ or in general known as “Curry”.

Usually for any palya recipe, the tempering is done followed by stir frying the vegetables in water or oil until the vegetables are soft. But my mom never prepares palya this way. She always boils the vegetable in pressure cooker (may be 1 or 2 whistles depending on the vegetable she is cooking) & then adds tempering to it. During my initial cooking days, I used to fight with her for stir-frying the vegetables in oil or water for more taste, but she always smiled & refused to do so. I never understood why she was oblivious about my proposal. Even she failed to convince me, partially due to my ignorance about intricacies of cooking.

After many years, I have understood the importance of boiling the vegetables. For those who don't know: Stir-frying the vegetables spoils the nutrient levels of the vegetables & steaming or boiling the vegetables holds most of the nutrients. Hence, it is advisable to boil the vegetables whenever possible. I need not say that, I have started following my mother now :)

Seemebadane/Chayote Squash: 2 medium sized or 500 gms
Oil: 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds: ½ tsp
Urad dal: 1tsp
Channa dal: 1 tsp (optional, our family prefers this)
Curry leaves: 4 chopped or whole
Green chillies: 2 chopped
Cliantro/Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp finely chopped
Grated coconut: 2tbsp (optional)
Salt: according to taste
Lemon juice: ½ tsp (optional)


  • Peel the skin; discard the seed of chayote squash. Cut them into 1/2inch cubes & pressure cook for 1-2 whistles. (Add around 1/4th cup water while cooking the vegetable). Allow it to cool for a while.
  • In a broad pan, heat oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds followed by urad & channa dal. Fry till the dal turns golden brown. Add curry leaves, cilantro, green chillies & sauté for 10secs.
  • Add the cooked vegetable to the pan (discard excess water), salt & cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn off the flame; add coconut, lemon juice. Mix well & serve it as a side dish for rice, roti or dosa.


  • Do not add more water while boiling the vegetable as it has to be discarded for fry sabzi like this.
  • On a second note, by chance if you add more water, do not throw the water, store the water & use it while preparing sambar. The chayote squash boiled water can safely be used while preparing sambar as it doesn't smell pungent like cabbage or radish.
  • Have you tried frying the cilantro/coriander leaves in oil along with curry leaves? Try it out; the aroma of fried cilantro is just too good to resist.

Blog Events:

This along with Tomato-Onion Gojju goes to "WYF : Side dish" hosted by EC


  1. Sushma, this palya looks great and tempting mice color and healthy...

  2. We don't get seemebadhane kayi here that often. But whenever we do, its a hit at home! I make the same palya too.

  3. I love chayote anything.. this veggie looks healthy and yum.

  4. Palya and Gojju is really confusing, I love both whatever the name. Love seemebadane, looks so yummy! :)

  5. Hi Sushma,
    Wonderful read abt the difference btn palya and gojju.
    seemebadekayi palya is a very healthy stuff, as a kid nanu adanna tirgi saha nodtirlilla :) Amma used to literally shove it down my as the years rolled I'm getting to love all the veggies, which I once used to hate.
    Good one sushma :)
    The notes are worth reading twice, tumba useful ri thanks.snap tumba chennagide.

  6. I too don't cook my veggies first. I stir fry them :-).Nanu Seemebadinekai thandidhini palya madoke. Tumba channagide.

  7. Channagide!I use it to make bele saaru most often.

  8. Love this simple palya.. looks so gud!!

  9. Love this palya, simple and tasty.I make it the same way.

  10. Sushma, that looks just like pineapple pieces. Cool. I liked the look of it.

  11. palya tumba channagidhe nodakke...i rarely get this in mumbai..

  12. Yummy thoran Sushma..The veggie is new to me though..I sometimes tir fry beets ,all others are steamed..Thanks for the yummy dish..:)

  13. this is new for me....but i am sure must have tasted yumm

  14. Lovely color you got there...this is my Dad's fav' veggie...wish to try ur version for him...when I get home. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe, here.

  15. wow! nice palya thanks for the recipe

  16. Nice recipe and click too.

  17. @All,
    Thanks a lot for making time & leaving such wonderful & inspiring comments

  18. Looks delish...Thanks for both the entries

  19. I found your recipe looking for something to make with two chayote (chow chow) that I had to use. I'm new to Indian cooking, sort of. Anyway, I cooked this following your instructions and must say it is VERY delicious. However, the tempered dal is not optional. It tastes too good to leave as an option. Make the channa dal and urad dal mandatory.

  20. Tried it very nice and yummy ..have you added turmeric? looks yellow in the pic.thanks for sharing




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