Food fix

Chow-chow choices

Chow-chow (Kannada - ‘seemay- badane-kaayee’) is a delectable pleasantly coloured and easy to cook vegetable. It can be easily grown by planting a mature sprout got from the market (which cannot be used for cooking) and trailed over a pandal or compound wall (if space permits), to enjoy a basketful of harvest.

In addition to using it in sambar/curry, there are other ways to relish it too!

Chow-chow curry with gravy

Ingredients: Chow-chow - 4 cups (peeled and cubed); tamarind pulp (medium thickness) - 1 tbsp; jaggery - a small piece; salt to taste.
Grind to a coarse paste: mustard seeds -1 tsp; roasted Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp (putani); coconut gratings - 1 tbsp.
Red chilli - 1-2, turmeric powder and asafoetida - a pinch each.
For seasoning: Oil - 2 tsp;   jeera - 1 tsp; curry leaves - a few.
Method: Peel and cut into 1 inch cubes; cook in salted water till soft; add the ground paste, tamarind pulp and jaggery and simmer for just 2 minutes to blend.
Season with the mentioned ingredients and serve hot, with rice/rotis.

Chow-chow bonda

Ingredients: Thin chow-chow slices -24; besan/gram flour - 1½ cups; rice flour - 2 tbsp;  salt and chilli powder -to taste; crushed ajwain seeds - 1 tsp;         asafoetida and turmeric - a pinch each; green chillies and coriander leaves - a few chopped; oil for frying.
Method: Peel and slice thinly and diagonally the chow-chow to get long and oval slices. Mix the ingredients for the batter; heat about 2 tbsp of oil and pour over the mix; mix well and make a batter of coating consistency with sufficient water; heat oil; dip each slice in the batter and deep-fry till brown and crisp; drain and serve hot with tomato ketchup/sauce; serves four.

Chow-chow halwa

Ingredients: Chow-chow gratings -8 cups; milk - 1/2 cup; sugar - 1 cup; pheda (crushed) - 2/3; raisins/cashew /almonds - a few ; cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp; ghee - 2 tbsp.
Method: Cook the gratings in milk till soft and dry; add the crushed phedas, sugar and raisins and cook till well-blended and dry. Add 1 tbsp of ghee; stir well till the mix leaves the sides of the pan;
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of ghee; fry cashews almonds and pour over the mix; add cardamom powder and mix well and serve hot. Serves four.
Note: As this vegetable is too tender, it does not need much water or time to cook.

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