Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.
If weekdays are busy, weekends are hectic. The school has reopened and the extra curricular and academic activities have started full swing. Though it took us a little extra time this year to get back into the groove; things have finally settled down, routine is established and we are back in the game. There is silence all around (well, except for the hum of the laptop). Sonshine is off to school; husband at work and me happily blogging from the comfiest place in the whole house – my favorite couch. Bliss 🙂 .
Simple does it! I am planning to share with you a simple Kerala style Moru curry with Chayote Squash. “Moru” in Malayalam is buttermilk and Moru Curry simply means, a curry which uses buttermilk in its preparation. I use the plain yogurt that we get in the US grocery stores. Anyways, back in India also I used to make this with yogurt than actually using the thin buttermilk. The recipe is pretty straightforward, no specialized ingredients or equipments required (don’t you love those kind of dishes?) and can be served with rice. Every region in India has at least one recipe that uses Yogurt/Curd/Buttermilk. For e.g.: Kadhi Pakora or Marathi Kadhi or Sindhi Kadhi are pretty famous. Well, you can consider this Moru Curry with Chaoyte Squash as a “Kadhi” from Kerala. But instead of using Besan/Chickpea flour to stabilize the yogurt from curdling, ground coconut is used.
Recently, we celebrated Onam and that reminded us how far we are from our family and the close friends we had back in India. The comfort that you get knowing that your loved ones are near you, to support you, to cheer for you – that is priceless. So is the pleasure of a simple home cooked meal. And it cannot get simpler than preparing this Moru curry.
Moru curry with chayote squash is a typical Kerala style dish. I learnt to make this curry from my Malayali friends (who were pretty seasoned cooks even at that time) soon after I got married. Back in India, I typically used Ash Gourd pieces instead of Chayote Squash to prepare this curry. I have also used Kohlrabi or Raw papaya to make this curry; and no matter what vegetable I have used from the above list, the result has been delicious. Recently I learnt from my mom-in-law that she also uses raw bananas to make this dish. Some people grind garlic along with coconut or sometimes use garlic pieces for tempering. I generally do not do that. I find this dish flavorful even with out the use of garlic. There are days when I do not use onion and garlic in the dishes for religious reasons, so this makes an ideal dish for those days as well.
Frugal tip for you.
Do not throw the white flesh of the watermelon. You can freeze it and use it in this dish. Just peel off the green skin with a peeler or paring knife and chop the white flesh into pieces and save it in a ziploc for later use. And just to satisfy the “pesticide-paranoid-mom” in me, I buy the organic watermelon if and when I plan to save the white flesh.
The chayote squash pieces simmered in yogurt, coconut and spices absorb all the delicate flavors and aromas. A dish so simple but exquisite – imagine the riot of flavors it bring to your taste buds – from the very mouthful to the last!. Oh well, let rephrase that stament. Don’t imagine the flavor and the aroma, cook it and let me know how you liked it! 🙂
In Moru curry with chayote squash, the chayote squash pieces are simmered in a tangy yogurt-coconut gravy and cooked to perfection.
10 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 2.5-3 cups (Approx. 500g or 2 medium sized) Chayote Squash, diced (See Recipe Notes)
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper/ Ground Red Chilli ; adjust to taste
- 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric/Haldi
- 1 Serrano Pepper (or any green chilli); adjust to taste
- 1 cup Yogurt/ Curd
- 1 cup Grated Coconut
- 3/4 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 4-5 Curry Leaves
- 2-3 Whole Red Chillies
- Knife & Chopping Board
- Medium sized Sauce Pan with lid
- Small Pan for Tempering/Tadka Pan
- Measuring cups & Spoons (This is optional since the measurements need not be precise.)
- Food Processor/Mixer-Grinder
- Small whisk to whisk the yougurt/curd
- Wash and roughly dice the Chayote squash.
- in the medium sized sauce pan, add chayote squash pieces, Cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, sliced Serrano pepper, salt and sufficient quantity water and bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium/low, cover the sauce pan with a lid and cook till squash pieces are soft.
- Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt to ensure no lumps are present.
- Using a food processor or dry grinding attachment of the mixer/grinder, grind the coconut and cumin seeds to very smooth paste using as little water as possible.
- Once the squash pieces are cooked, lower the heat and add the whisked yogurt and mix well.
- Now add the ground coconut paste and bring to another boil.
- Adjust the consistency and the seasoning if required.
- Prepare the tempering in another stove. Heat oil in a small pan on medium heat and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, reduce the heat, add the curry leaves and whole red chillies. Add the seasoned oil along with the spices to the chayote squash curry and serve hot.
1. Instead of Chayote Squash, you can also use Raw Papaya, Ash Gourd (also called Winter Melon), Kohlrabi and even Raw Banana.
2. When dicing the Chayote squash, remove the inner seed using a paring knife.
3. If you do not like the peel of the Chayote squash, remove it using a peeler, though I have not done so.
4. Do not forget to lower the heat or even remove the sauce pan from the heat before adding the whisked yogurt. If you do not do this, there is a chance of the yogurt/curd curdling due to high heat.
5. You can use low fat yogurt without compromising the taste.