Chayote, sechium edule, is a member of the curcubitacae family native to Mexico. But this vegetable has found its way into the homes and on to the thalis of South India as chowchow. There are many recipes to prepare chowchow in line with traditional South Indian cuisine. Studies show chayote to contain as many as eight anti-oxidant flavonoids. it shows antimicrobial activity against multi-resistant staph. and enterococci, as well as against gram negative food poisoning bacteria like e. coli, salmonella and shigella. It has anti-ulcer, laxative and diuretic properties. It is anticonvulsant (can prevent seizures), and hepatoprotective (protects the liver). It also protects the kidneys from toxic damage as well. Here's a chayote recipe we prepared recently.
3 chayotes, chopped (discard the seed from chayote)
¼ cauliflower broken into florets
1 carrot, cubed to bite sized pieces
1 Tb of fresh grated coconut
6 small green chilli
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
4-6 curry leaves
Heat oil in a pan. Add curry leaves, cumin and then mustard seeds.
When they start to splutter add the chayote, cauliflower and carrot cubes. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Grind green chillies and coconut finely to paste.
When the vegetables are almost tender, stir in the green chilli and coconut paste, salt and turmeric. Mix thoroughly and cook for few more minutes, covered until the vegetables reach the tenderness you desire.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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