Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chow Chow Curry | North Indian Style Chayote Squash Curry

Chayote Squash or what is commonly known as Chow Chow is not a vegetable I was familiar with in my childhood. I don't remember seeing Chow Chow in a big vegetable markets in Delhi, though I am sure some smaller vegetable vendors might have carried it regularly to customers accustomed to using it. I remember eating a lot of Doodhi (Bottle Gourd) and Karela (Bitter Gourd) but Chow Chow was never on our platters. So it comes as a sort of irony that today I can buy Chow Chow in any supermarket or farmers market I visit, but I get to see the best quality Doodhi and Karela only in season at my local farm.

Many of the Chow Chow recipes we enjoy have come from the South of India. They are wonderfully delicious and I love making them, whether it is a simple curry, kootu, or even chutney!! However I also love to make this vegetable in a typically North Indian way with the aromatic trinity of spices that accompany a tomato based curry - coriander, fennel, and cumin.

1 chow chow, peeled and cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1 green chili, chopped
1" piece ginger
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
1/2 tsp lal mirch (red chili powder)
1/4 tsp zeera (cumin seeds)
11/2 tbsp oil
1/8 tsp hing (asafoetida)

Dry Grind:
1 tbsp saboot dhania (coriander seeds)
1/2 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)
1/2 tsp zeera (cumin seeds)

  1. Dry grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds to a fine powder. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the hing and then the cumin seeds.
  3. Reduce the heat, add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry until the onions turn transparent. 
  4. Now add the green chili and cilantro and mix. 
  5. Throw in the cubed potatoes and chow chow. Follow immediately with the red chili powder, turmeric powder, and freshly ground spice powders.
  6. Stir well to ensure the vegetables are well coated with the oil and the spices.
  7. Now add the tomato paste and salt along with 2 cups of water.
  8. Cover and bring the whole to a boil.
  9. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook the vegetable to 3 whistles.
  10. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to drop on its own.
  11. Remove whistle and lid, stir the vegetable, adjust salt if required.
  12. Enjoy the vegetable warm with chappatis or rice.
Good to Know
  • This recipe uses the pressure cooker method of cooking. In the event you do not use a pressure cooker, simply follow the recipe in a large thick bottomed saucepan and follow instructions below.
  • Add 3 cups of water in Step 7 instead of two.
  • Do not cover the saucepan completely. If using a lid, partially cover the saucepan and cook on a medium heat throughout. 
  • Stir occasionally to ensure that the vegetable and spices do not burn.
Vegan Recipe

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  1. Super delicious curry, it looks spicy and mouthwatering

  2. This is interesting, except for a stir fry and using it in salad once I haven't made anything with this vegetable. I think I'll try this.

  3. Chow-Chow is my favourite vegetable. Mouth watering dish.


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