Thursday, 11 March 2021

Chayote and Radish Dal - South Indian Vegetable Kootu

Chayote in English, Chow chow or Bangalore Brinjal in Tamil is a type of vegetable that has prickly or thorny skin that belongs to the gourd family along with melons and cucumbers. It in enriched in vitamin C and full of moisture content that work as a cooling agent just like the white radish. The current heatwave in Malaysia requires us to eat more vegetable with high water content so white radish and Chayote are pretty suitable with the climate that we are dealing with right now. This dish is rather like a soupy dal if diluted with more liquid and called dal curry if it is slightly thicker. Whatever the consistency,  the purpose is to fully utilize the vegetables and it has mild spice flavor. If you want to envelope more broth flavor to the curry, you may add quarter cup of chicken stock. You can improvise according to your level of creativity. 

Chow Chow, Plantain and Radish Dal (South Indian Tri-Vegetable Kootu)


Chow chow - 1
White radish - 1
Medium sized red onion - 1
Channa dal or lentils  - 1/4 cup
Yellow moong dal - 1/4 cup
Water - 3 cups
Turmeric powder  - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

To Temper :

Mustard - 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chilies - 2
Curry leaves - a sprig
Asafoetida  - 1/4 tsp
Vegetable oil - 2 tsp


1. First, rinse toor dal and channa dal three times until the water is clear and allow it to soak in the clean water for 10 minutes. 

2. Then, cook the drained dals with 3 cups of water by adding 1/4 tsp of salt and turmeric powder. Allow the dhal to cook until it's nice and soft, but not mushy. The dal has to be firm yet cooked properly. when cooking dhal, you may sometimes find your water boiling really high that it may come to the surface and start over flowing from the pot, so to avoid that, you may need to add half a teaspoon of vegetable oil. 

3. Now, heat a pan by adding two teaspoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add all the ingredients under the 'TO TEMPER' section. Allow the mustard to sputter, urad dal to become golden brown. 

4. After the tempering ingredients, now goes in chopped onion, diced chow chow and diced white radish. Chow chow and radish have to be peeled and cut in small chunks. Do be careful while handling chow chow vegetable as it can be full of tiny thorns. 

5. After sautéing the vegetables lightly for 5 minutes, goes in the cooked dal and the dal water as well. Give a quick stir. Let this dal curry to simmer on a low flame until all the vegetable are thoroughly cooked.  

6. The last stage before switching off the flame, add lavish tablespoon of ghee and a teaspoon of homemade tiffin sambar powder to elevate the flavor and aroma of this dish.

7. This dal curry compliments piping rice or chapati. Cooking this dal curry is a breeze and hassle free.

Thank you


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