Sunday 25 September 2011

Pear Squash Thoran/Chow Chow Stir Fried with Grated Coconut

Popularly known as Pear Squash or Chow Chow in India, this veggie belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash. This veggie is used in both raw and cooked forms. When cooked, pear squash is generally lightly cooked to retain the crisp flavour. Raw pear squash may be added to salads or salsas and is often marinated with lemon or lime juice.

In this recipe I have cooked the pear squash lightly and stir fried it with grated coconut and subtle aromatics which helps get rid of the bland flavour of the veggie. What I love about this dish is it's simplicity.


Pear Squash/Chow Chow - 2 (chopped fine)
Curry Leaves
Rice grains or Black gram/Urad dal - few grains
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 to 3 leaves
Salt - to taste

For Grinding

Coconut (grated) - 2 to 3 tbsp (you can add more coconut, adds to the flavour)
Shallots/Small/Pearl onions - 3 to 4
Garlic - 3 cloves
Green chillies – 1
Curry leaves – a few


Grind all the ingredients listed under 'For Grinding' into a coarse mixture.

Heat oil in a wok. Once the oil becomes hot, add a few grains of rice or black gram/urad dal. When this turns slightly brown, splutter mustard seeds. Add the chopped pear squash/chow chow into it along with a few curry leaves and saut'e till the veggie reduces. (1 minute approx) Now add the ground coconut mixture and enough salt and mix well. Splash enough water  (2 to 3 splashes) to cook the veggie and cover and cook on a high flame till steam comes. Turn the flame to low and keep for a 1 or 2 minutes. Then remove the lid and keep saut'eing till done.

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