Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Scrumptious Subjis : Chayote in Chilli Sauce (Bengaluru Vankaya Kurma)

Chayote in Chilli Sauce (Chayote Kurma)

Just a little color dabbed on the cheeks can do wonders to a pale, lifeless face. Same thing, small dose of vibrant chilli sauce can do wonders to otherwise bland, mild flavored chayote. Just add a dash of chilli and a pinch of spice. Sprinkle some tamarind juice and touch of tadka - here we go. Utterly lip-smacking yet not at all overblown. Impressively energetic but balanced with a persistent sweetness from chayote. Another traditional, savory and scrumptious sabji would be ready. We usually have this sabji with sorghum roti or with chapatis.

Cubed Chayote and Powdered Ingredients for Chilli Sauce
Cubed Chayote and Powdered Ingredients for Chilli Sauce


1 chayote - peel, slice to half, remove seed and dice to bite-sized cubes
1 onion - finely chopped

For chilli Sauce:
5 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons - dalia (pappulu, bhuna chana)
1 tablespoon - grated coconut (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon each - powdered jaggery and tamarind juice
1 teaspoon - mustard seeds
½ teaspoon - cumin
¼ teaspoon each - salt and turmeric
Take all of the above and grind to smooth in a blender or spice grinder.

For popu or tadka:
1 tsp each - oil, minced garlic, curry leaves, dried red chilli pieces, cumin and mustard seeds


In a wide skillet, heat oil. Add and toast the popu or tadka ingredients in the order mentioned above.

When the mustard seeds start to dance, add onions and chayote cubes. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.

When the chayote starts to soften, add the powdered chilli sauce ingredients and one cup of water. Mix. Have a taste. Adjust the salt and jaggery sweetness level to your liking.

Cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the chayote becomes tender and chilli sauce thickens and coats the spoon.

Serve warm with a cup of yogurt or tea on the side. Taste great with sorghum roti/chapati/naan. (Not that good with rice.)

Chayote Kurma with Naan and a Cup of Tea
Chayote Kurma with Naan and a Cup of Tea

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Chana Dal-Roasted (Dalia), Dried Red Chillies, Chayote (Cho Cho) (Wednesday January 24, 2007 at 6:32 pm- permalink)
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Chayote Curry (Bengaluru Vankaya Kura)

Chayote (Bengaluru Vankaya or Cho Cho)

Cho Cho, Christophen, Mirliton, Xuxu - the vegetable Chayote has more names than any other vegetable, I think. The name changes with ethnicity of grocery shop. In Nandyala, my hometown in India, chayote is sold as ‘Bengaluru Vankaya’. Our tiny town imports this vegetable from Bengaluru (Karnataka) region, so the name. The kind we get has more prominent ridges, unlike the very smooth surfaced ones that’s common here. Pale green and pleasantly sweet, chayotes are favored in curry and sambar preparations in our area.

Although available year round, this is the season, where you would see the prices come down for this vegetable here in US. We can buy 2, or sometimes 3 chayotes for a dollar. And 2 are needed to make a decent portioned curry to eat with chapatis for two people. Often I combine the chayotes with potatoes and carrots to make it more substantial and to last at least two meals for us.

Mild flavored chayotes dressed up in coconut-chilli seasoning and little bit of turmeric, together with potatoes and carrots make a delicious curry and a welcome addition to the meal at any time of the day.

Choyate cut to half, seed removed and diced to cubes
Choyate cut to half, seed discarded and diced to cubes


2 each - chayotes, small red potatoes and carrots - lightly peeled and cubed to bite sized pieces. I usually remove and discard the seed from chayote (see the photo above) following the traditional method. Reason given by elders is that seeds are not good for health. I am not sure how true that saying is but still I follow.

1 tablespoon of fresh grated coconut and 6 small green chillies - grind finely in a spice grinder or in a mortar.

½ cup of fresh green chickpeas (green garbanzos/Hara chana or Choleye)
½ teaspoon each - salt and turmeric

popu or tadka ingredients - 1 tsp each - peanut oil, cumin, mustard seeds and 4-6 curry leaves.


In a wide skillet, heat peanut oil on medium heat. Add and toast curry leaves, cumin and then mustard seeds. When seeds start to jump around, add the green chickpeas. Saut? them for few minutes.

Add the chayote, potato and carrot cubes. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring in-between. Just when they are getting tender, stir in the green chilli - coconut paste, salt and turmeric. Mix thoroughly and cook for few more minutes, covered until the vegetables reach the tenderness you desire. Chayote releases water on cooking and this water helps to tenderize the potatoes and carrots.

Serve warm with chapatis or with naans.

Chayote curry wrapped in chapatis with a cup of yogurt on the side ~ Our afternoon meal

Fresh, green chickpeas purchased from - Indian grocery & and also at Trader Joe?s Frozen section.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Carrots, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Baby Potatoes, Hara Chana(Green Chickpeas), Chayote (Cho Cho) (Wednesday January 3, 2007 at 2:02 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: