When I tell my friends that I frequently buy chayote squash or chow chow, they all look at me amazed! They have asked me what all can we prepare with chayote? Seeme badanekai (Chayote Squash in Kannada) is used extensively in Karnataka. My mom uses this vegetable regularly. She makes kootu, dal or thovve, chutney, sambar, majjige huli, palya & many other varieties. I have already posted the palya (stir fry) & chutney recipes.
Today am posting a South Canara specialty dish, kodilu made using chayote Squash. Kodilu is a spicy, and a tangy curry flavored with lots of garlic! This kodilu is mostly prepared using tendli (thonde kai or Ivy Gourd). However, I prepare it using few other vegetables too. This is a great side dish for dosa, especially the set dosa, banana dosa or bread dosa!
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Cubed chayote squash/seeme badnekai : 2 cups
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup (fresh or frozen) [Refer notes]
Fresh tamarind : big marble sized (soaked in 1/4 cup warm water) [Refer notes]
Red chilli powder: 1.5 tsp, more or less
Salt: As needed
Turmeric powder: a big pinch
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-6 nos, torn
Garlic: 1 tbsp, sliced
Soak the tamarind in about 1/4th cup of warm water for about 10 mins. Squeeze the soaked tamarind & extract the pulp. Discard the fiber strands & the seeds from the tamarind.
Heat oil in a broad vessel. When oil is hot, throw in mustard seeds. When seeds crackle, add the curry leaves. When leaves wilt, throw in the sliced garlic & saute in a medium heat until the garlic turns golden brown.
Drain extra water from the cooked squash & throw in the cooked squash to the coconut mixture. Add the salt & let the mixture boil on a low-medium heat for about 15 mins.
Let the cooked gravy or curry sit for about 10 more mins. Serve it hot with dosa or rice.
- I do not like throwing away the water in which the vegetables are cooked. Hence, I add little water while boiling the vegetables.
- Instead of adding water, the drained water from the vegetable could be added for making the coconut paste.
- Always thaw the frozen coconut well. Also, use hot or warm water while making a paste using frozen coconut. The coconut will not ooze out oil. I have mentioned the tip here before.
- You could replace fresh tamarind extract with store bought tamarind pulp or paste. Use just 1 tsp of tamarind paste. I prefer using the fresh tamarind pulp because I love the sweet tinge from the fresh extract.