Days are getting longer and we now have the liberty of some extra bright hours, so that we can do some other pending activities. There was always a feeling of hurry or rush to go back home, finish doing daily chores as early as it was possible and then curl up inside our comfy warm bed and cover up ourselves with blankets, as it was most of the time during winter season. But here comes spring season , and brings with it ,nice sun-shine intermittently with little warmer periods and of course long day hours , voila people now have some time to do things which they have been putting up on pending daily chores list.
I don’t know, what makes me happier, seeing the hand-washed clothes drying up on drying lines or their lavender fresh fragrance waft through inside our living room in the back-drop of sun rays streaming through windows. Spring season is perhaps time to say – hey! Come on life is calling on you, go live your life the way you want it to be.
This recipe that I am now going to write is about a kind of "squash" not technically appropriate but it belongs to the same family and is a fruit.I recently started using this fruit in many ways. Chayote/ or Mirliton- Creole/Cajun cuisine or Chow-Chow in Tamil Nadu / Sayongte- in Thai food / or Labu Siam- in Indonesian cuisine , etc is a small wonder fruit, add it in simple stir/fry recipes or in dal and they turn out soft and flavorful. They do really resemble quite like bottle gourd/Lauki/Lao, as they tend to go soft after being cooked.However I am not sure if they can be eaten raw as in salads or not.
Here is a dal-lentil recipe with chayote and cholar dal. Actually made this dal for dinner, but I guess it can very well be paired with warm cooked rice and with any bhaja – like begun bhaja or aloo bhaja.
Now to the recipe
Chayote diye Cholar dal- Chana Dal cooked with Chayote
- About a 1 and half cup of cholar dal/chana dal
- 1 chayote squash
- ½ cup of frozen green peas (optional)
- ¾ tsp of turmeric powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of sugar
- ¼ tsp of red pepper powder
- 3-4 green chilies
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds or panch phoron
- 2 tej patta or bay leaves
- Wash and clean the lentils in several changes of water.Cut open the chayote into half, take out the stone and then make cube pieces out of it.
- Now you can pressure cook lentils for 2-3 whistles or cook slowly simmering over a pot. Due to time crunch I always do pressure cook the lentils. Put the lentils in pressure cooker; add enough water to wholly submerge the lentils. Put the lentils on a quick boil at high flame; discard any white forth if formed. Now lock the lid and then put it to pressure cook. After 3- 4 whistles or one whistle at high and then put it to simmer slowly for 15-20 mints. Open the lid when pressure subsides; add about a cup of water if it has turned sticky or mushy.
- Now prepare the tempering part
- Heat up a saucepan; add in cooking oil, temper – phoron -it with cumin seeds,tej patta and green chillies. Now add in cubed pieces of Chayote and fry well. Cover it with lid. After 5-7 mints Chayote will cook and will tend to go soft. Now transfer this phoron to the cooked dal.Let it simmers slowly for about 7-10 mints at medium flame or until all is well incorporated.If you wish to add frozen green peas then add in at this time while it’s being slowly simmering.
This recipe is quite similar to Lao diye moong dal – bottle gourd cooked with moong lentils, except this time the dal is cholar dal and is with Chayote- a squash easily available here in abroad.And tell me how you like to make chayote.
Happy Cooking Friends