Chow chow/Chayote Kootu:
I love all watery vegetables like bottle gourd, chayote, snake gourd, ridge gourd, pumpkin. So is my son. I rarely get these in Hubli and I first introduced him Chayote when he was nine plus. Kootu is a Tamil word which denotes a curry made of lentils, coconut, vegetable(less spicy mostly) that is less aqueous than sambhar and more aqueous than any other dry gravies. It is a multi-faceted dish I should call,as it can go well with rice, an accompaniment for rice, roti. As I include moong dhal you can prefer this to any purees for your baby food option. In one single shot, you can include a pulse, veggies, spices and coconut. A no oil recipe if you skip tempering and it needs just 20 minutes.
- Chow Chow/Chayote – 1 cup(finely chopped)
- Moong dhal-1/4 cup
- Coconut grated-2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds-1 tsp
- Green chilly-1/2
- Milk-1/4 cup(Skip for babies below 1 year)
- Salt-To taste
- Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
- Urad dhal-1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves
1.Wash and soak moong dhal for 15 minutes.
2.Wash chayote and peel the skin. Chop it into fine pieces and set it aside.
3.Add a cup of water in a cooking vessel and let it boil.
4.When it has boiled well,add the chopped chow chow and close it with a lid.
5.Add the soaked dhal after 5 minutes and cook them together.
6.Grind coconut,cumin seeds and green chilly into a fine paste.
7.When chayote and dhal gets cooked well,add the coconut paste,salt and stir well.
8.Let it thicken,now add milk and give a quick stir.
9.Do not let milk to boil. It might curdle.
I prefer cooking by closing it with a lid as it retains all nutrients.
Chopping finely and soaking the dhal ensures perfect cooking(almost mashed)
Add the coconut paste only after ensuring that the vegetable is completely cooked.
The dish will get thickened with time as we have added coconut. So switch off accordingly.
Do not add milk if your curry is too watery already.
Do not add milk for babies less than 1 year.
Adjust chilly as per your taste.
You can skip tempering to make it a no oil dish.
You can add hing and turmeric powder too.